Like many other young males, I had drifted through high school without a sense of direction. When I graduated I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to do with my life. So, I worked as a carpenter for a couple of years. While I was doing this work I used to watch the guys running the bulldozers, and the big backhoes. I wondered what it would be like to run one, but in my neighborhood you had to join the local IBOE, and go to one of their schools to be trained. I had enough money saved, so I applied at the International Brotherhood of Operating Engineer’s school, and was accepted. After a year I was considered a qualified operator of pretty much every piece of construction equipment around.
I was sent to a local sewer and water main contractor for my first job. They had a new Cat 335 excavator, similar to one I had trained on, and I felt right at home in the cab. My foreman, a nice man of Mexican extraction took a liking to me, and I was now the main operator. I really enjoyed my work.
We were replacing some old sewer line along one of the cities main streets, and we were supposed to be doing it in such a way that the road remained open to traffic. We all hated this type of job, because we had to be extra careful. And, every machine was assigned a flagger. If you were lucky you got a pretty female flagger to look at.
I was assigned a new flag girl who appeared quite attractive. She was reasonably petite, had a nice figure, and had long caramel colored hair that she wore tied back in a ponytail. While she was working she covered her hair with a hood that was attached to a lightweight cotton long sleeved sweater to protect her from the dust. She also wore silver framed wrap around sunglasses. When the garbage wagon showed up for break, I discovered that her name was Carmelita, and she was of Mexican origin, although she was quick to inform me that she was the second generation of her family born in the USA.
On the morning of the third day that Carmelita had been flagging for me, I spotted Carmelita getting out of my foreman’s car. Was it possible that Carmelita was Jorge’s daughter? Or maybe she was his niece, or a neighbor’s daughter. She could be his daughter, but if she was she probably was wearing contact lenses behind her expensive wrap around sunglasses. Jorge is very nearsighted, and he wears pretty strong glasses, so it was highly probable that Carmelita was fairly nearsighted herself. I wondered how she could possibly stand wearing contact lenses in the dusty conditions she was working in.
Now I was intrigued. I had worked in an optical store for 3 years while I was still in high school. I had developed a real affinity for glasses, and especially for a pretty girl who wore glasses. And, I had developed a pretty good knowledge of the optical field. I knew that Jorge probably wore around a –12D lens in his glasses. He wore flat top 35’s for the bifocal portion, but he was a reluctant bifocal wearer. When he was looking at plans and specifications he would often remove his glasses, and sink his nose into the paper he was reading. And, I had also become pretty good at spotting contact lenses on the eyes of their wearers.
Later that morning I discovered that Carmelita did in fact wear contact lenses. She must have been surprised by a cloud of dust, because she removed her sunglasses, and tried to bring the dust to the inner corner of her right eye. I could see her fingers moving gently around the cornea, carefully trying not to dislodge her contact lens. Then a bit later at coffee break, I spotted the contact lenses on her pupils, and I noticed that her eyes were getting pretty bloodshot. I wanted to warn her about the dangers of continuing to wear contacts in dusty conditions, but many girls are quite sensitive about requiring corrective lenses, so I thought it best not to say anything.
The next morning I had a new flag person. This one was also of Mexican extraction, and was quite a bit older, and much stockier. She wore glasses – prescription sunglasses, probably with a prescription of around –6 or –7, as the front of her lenses were not quite plano. I was a bit surprised that evening when I saw my new flag lady get in the car with Jorge, and drive off with him. Was this Carmelita’s mother, filling in for her daughter until her daughter got glasses?
Friday Jorge’s wife was again my flagger. She was quite good at the job, so I surmised that she had done this sort of work before. I half expected Carmelita to be back to work on Monday, but it wasn’t until Tuesday morning that I saw her arrive in the car with her father. She was wearing dark sunglasses, and I thought I could see light reflecting off the front – probably a plano front. As I got closer looks, I decided that the front of the lenses were not plano, but were in fact slightly concave. When we broke for coffee, and I walked to the roach coach with her, I could see that there was quite a lot of thickness to the edges of these lenses. Not only was Carmelita very pretty but she was also an extremely myopic young lady.
I told Carmelita that I had missed her as my flagger the last few days. Of course she had to ask if her mom had not done as good a job, so I had to tell her that her mom had done a great job, but her mom wasn’t as attractive to look at for me as Carmelita was. And, the only mention I made of her new glasses was to tell her that her sunglasses looked good on her.
Over the next few weeks I discovered that Carmelita was an only child. She had graduated from university in the spring, but was returning to school in the fall to specialize as a librarian. I didn’t even have to ask her if she read a lot. I pretty well knew the answer to that before she told me that she was becoming a librarian because she was an avid reader. We got along well, and I discovered that she was only a couple of years younger than I was, and that at this time she was not seeing anyone.
“Jorge, I have to ask you a question, and I will agree to abide by your answer. Do you have any objection to me asking your daughter for a date?” I asked.
“What are your intentions Jeff?” Jorge asked me.
“Well at this time I would just like to go out with her. But, I can assure you my intentions are honorable. I just wanted to clear this with you first.” I replied.
“Well, her mind is her own, so I doubt that what I want would matter to her. However, I do appreciate your asking me first.” Jorge told me.
So I did ask Carmelita out. When I picked her up I was hoping that she would be wearing clear-lensed glasses, but she had switched to her contact lenses. We dated the rest of the summer, and when Carmelita returned to university in the fall, I continued to see her as often as I could. I never said a word about wanting to see her wearing glasses. I had made the mistake in the past of pressuring other girls I had dated to wear their glasses for me. I probably had been too forceful in expressing my desire, or else I had revealed myself as being optically obsessed in some way. I knew that Carmelita’s glasses were sufficiently strong enough to satisfy my desires, so even though I could hardly wait to see her in glasses, I kept my mouth shut.
Winter turned into spring, and the sun began to shine more often than once a month. When Carmelita and I went out on a sunny day, she would wear her silver framed wrap around sunglasses.
“Hey honey, why don’t you ever wear those really nice sunglasses that you wore last summer?” I asked her one sunny day.
‘They are prescription Jeff. I can’t wear them unless I remove my contact lenses.” Carmelita told me.
“Oh, you wear glasses then do you. How come you have never worn them around me?” I asked.
“My glasses are so thick they are real coke bottles. They make me look pretty ugly. Anyway, I don’t see nearly as well with glasses as I do with contact lenses.” She replied.
I could have written what she told me word for word on a piece of paper before she even opened her mouth. Now all I had to do was convince her that it didn’t matter to me if she wore glasses.
“Well, whatever makes you comfortable babe. But when we get married you will have to wear glasses in front of me once in a while.” I told her.
“You haven’t asked me to marry you yet.” Carmelita replied.
I can’t ask you to marry me now until I at least see you wearing glasses. You wouldn’t ask me to buy merchandise without seeing it first would you?” I replied.
“Well, for starters, you are not buying me. But, I suppose that I should let you see me wearing glasses. What have you planned for us this evening?” she asked me.
“Well, I had originally thought that we would have dinner, and then go to a show. But, I bet you would rather not go to a show if you were wearing your glasses. How about going to that new club on the other side, and we can dance.” I said.
Well, you are right about me not wanting to see a show if I am wearing glasses. At least if we go dancing I will have you to lead me around. But, I have to warn you, I am pretty blind, even with my glasses.” Carmelita told me.
That evening when I picked her up Carmelita was wearing glasses. The thick biconcave lenses minified her eyes so much that it looked as if she had nothing behind her lenses except for a small black dot. These were a major strong prescription. I figured they must be at least –20D, maybe even more. I had to help Carmelita read the menu at the restaurant, as she could not see it well enough in the candlelight. And I held her tightly as we walked from the restaurant to the car. I again held her close as we walked into the bar. That evening I danced to all the slow songs, holding Carmelita tight to my body.
When we arrived at Carmelita’s house, I asked Carmelita to marry me, and she accepted.
We had a great wedding, with lots of friends and family helping us celebrate. Jorge had told me that he would rather have seen Carmelita marry a nice Mexican guy, but that I was the very next best thing.
Carmelita’s prescription continued to climb until she reached her early 30’s. It has since seemed to stabilize at –25D in each eye. I have purchased her a pair of very nice hi index lenticular myodiscs, and she seems to be content to wear glasses much of the time. Of course, with the 2 children, she is so busy trying to juggle kids, and still maintain her position at the library that I think she is sort of relieved to be able to wear her glasses around home. I know it is what I always dreamed of.