The Ice Queen
The puck bounced off the boards, and crossed in front of the opposing team’s net. I was in position, and I quickly beat the other teams defenseman to the puck, and with a deft flick of my stick, I sent the puck flying towards the goal. It went in, and the crowd cheered. I had not thought that this would happen on this, my first night with the university Varsity Blue team. But, this is why the scouts from Varsity had seduced me away from my other team, away from the university for which I had played my best hockey for a little over the past 2 years.
When the evening ended Varsity Blue had beaten out opponents by a 5 to 2 margin, and the crowd went wild. I had managed a goal, and 2 assists, playing with a team that I had barely had a weeks practice with. I thought that this was pretty good, for a kid from the sticks.
Everyone was in a jubilant mood when we got back to the dressing room to take off our gear. Varsity had a strong team before I arrived, but I suppose that the hype about me had brought out the best in the other players. It was all comradeship, everyone patting everyone else on the back, congratulating me, and the others who had scored goals. I just wanted to get the heck out of here, back to my room, so I could remove my darned contact lenses, and get some relief from the burning sensation in my eyes. But, I couldn’t remove my lenses here. For one thing I didn’t have my glasses. For another, there was no way I was going to reveal to these people that their new all star center was so shortsighted that he couldn’t see the tip of his nose without his very strong glasses. This had been my little secret for many years, and I saw no reason to reveal it now.
I had some eye drops, which I used, and the relief was wonderful. I said my goodnights, and headed for my dorm. Once I got back there, I took out my contacts, and threw them away. The burning had probably been from me wearing them for that extra day, which I was stupidly prone to do. I put on my glasses so I could see, and I took 2 new vials of lenses out. I removed the metal caps, overturned the one bottle into my hand, and let the storage solution flow out between my clenched fingers, leaving my new –11D right lens in the palm of my hand. I took fresh solution, and I washed the lens, and placed it in my sterilized fresh container. Then I repeated the same procedure with my left lens. My left lens was not as strong as my right lens – it was only –10.50D. Once this was done, I turned out the lights, and climbed into my bed, carefully folding and placing my glasses on the nightstand.
I was in my third year of a science course, and had yet to specialize. Since I had just transferred from another university, in another state, I had a lot of orientation to do before I knew where all my classes were. Then I had to find the labs. But, I was sure that given a few days, I would have a handle on things. I headed out to find lecture hall 307 in the Fleming building.
The doors to the lecture room were still locked, and a bunch of students were milling around outside, drinking coffee from Styrofoam cups. I spotted a tall blonde with glasses standing by herself. I am partial to girls with glasses, even though I hate my own, and I really have a thing for blonds, so I moved over closer to see if I could have a talk with her. My knees melted as I got a good look at her. Her glasses had fairly small lens sizes, but it was obvious that they were myodiscs. The frames were brown plastic, almost an oval shape, and from the side it appeared that the lenses were a good ¾” thick. Her blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail, but a wisp of hair had escaped, and was hanging down the right side of her face, almost touching the white turtleneck sweater that she was wearing. She had on a loose black sweater with a white border, and she was wearing tight black pants. She looked good, really good.
“Hi, I’m Tim, Tim Ralston. This is my first day here.” Not the most brilliant way for me to start a conversation.
“Marianne. I’m Marianne Stuart.” Replied the blond goddess.
Just then the doors opened, and everyone filed inside. Marianne headed right for the front of the room. I supposed that this was because of her obviously poor eyesight. I didn’t want to sit right up front, as that would put me under the nose of the professor, so I compromised. I sat a few rows behind Marianne, but on her exit route. I didn’t have another class right away, and I was going to follow her to see where she was going.
But, after the lecture ended, my plans were thwarted by a couple of guys on the hockey team, who wanted to rehash every play we made last night. I have to get along with these guys for the next 18 months, so I didn’t want to upset them. I saw Marianne leaving the lecture hall, and one of my teammates noticed me watching her
He remarked, “What’s this Tim, are you interested in the Ice Queen?”
“What do you mean the Ice Queen?” I asked him.
“Take your pick. Her glasses are like 2 chunks of ice, and she is totally impossible for anyone to thaw out.” He replied.
“How do you know that? Have you dated her?” I asked.
No, but Jimmy did, and he said that after 2 months he couldn’t get to first base with her, much less home plate.” I was told.
Well, that was interesting information. This was the first time I had ever heard a pair of thick glasses referred to as ice cubes. But, I had to admit that they did look a bit like that. I wandered over to the library, to check out the situation for studying between lectures. It was a nice new modern building, with lots of table space, and quite a number of private cubicles. I got my library card, and wandered around. To my surprise I spotted Marianne’s black sweater, and her blond ponytail hunched over some books. But, I didn’t say anything, and left the library to find my next class.
I found the class easily enough, and I wandered into the open lecture hall. I sat down, about 4 rows back from the front, and started to read the textbook. I was interested in the subject, and before I knew it the Teacher’s Aid was at the lectern, calling the room to order. All Professors use undergraduate students to do the grunt work of lecturing, and this one was no exception. I glanced around the room, and there in the front row sat a familiar blond head, with a black sweater. This was fortunate. Marianne was in 2 of my classes. And this one had a lab associated with it, so it was highly likely that we would be working together in the lab.
By the end of the first day I had discovered that Marianne was in 3 of my classes, and 2 of my labs. Breaking the ice was not going to be a problem.
I had an older and a younger sister to draw from their experiences.
As I became more involved in my classes, I saw quite a bit more of Marianne. She was definitely shy, probably due to her poor eyesight. My youngest sister, who is also extremely nearsighted, is a bit unsure of herself at times because of her poor vision, so I felt that this was Marianne’s problem as well.
By a strange quirk of fate, the first initial of her last name was right behind mine and we had been partnered in both the labs. As I worked in closer proximity to Marianne, I managed to get some pretty good looks at her glasses. There was something strange. They were very thick, but they didn’t minimize her eyes nearly as much as my younger sister’s glasses did to her eyes. Marianne wore a strap hooked to the earpieces of her glasses, and when she looked at something through the microscope she would let her glasses dangle around her neck. On a couple of occasions I had looked at the myodisc bowl of her glasses, and it really didn’t seem to be deep enough for such a strong prescription.
You might think I was being foolish, but I had plenty of glasses experience to draw on. My mother and father were both teachers, and were both quite nearsighted. My sister, who was 2 years older than I am, and my younger sister, who is 2 years younger than me, both got glasses when my older sister was 12. I also had to go through the eye exam, but I didn’t need glasses until I was 12 years old. My older sister’s eyes, and my eyes were both about the same prescription at our respective ages. I almost could have worn my older sister’s cast off glasses, except they were girls frames, and I wouldn’t have been caught dead in them. My younger sister started off a lot more nearsighted than either my older sister or I did, and by now I think she was wearing a prescription of around –24D at the age of 20. My older sister had a prescription of around –15.50D, and I was wearing a prescription of around –14D. I assumed that in 2 years, I would be wearing 15D or so.
I had gotten contact lenses when I was 14, because I was playing junior hockey, and was doing quite well at it. After I got my first glasses, I had to wear a pair of sports glasses for the next couple of years, but the darned things fogged up at the most inconvenient times. My coach talked my parents into having me fitted with contacts lenses, and I was only too happy to get rid of the glasses.
Both of my sisters also got contact lenses. They wore them a lot, mostly on dates, and for special occasions, but I was the one who wore them all the time. I remember one time my older sister was getting ready to go out on a date, and she was ready except for putting in her contacts when her date showed up. She told him that she just had to put in her contacts, and he told her that if she was doing it for him, not to bother, because he found her just as attractive wearing glasses. She wore her glasses that night, and I remember hearing my sisters talking the next day, deciding that this boyfriend was a keeper, because he could accept her glasses. So, little things like this gave me a lot of insight that would help me with Marianne.
I was pretty busy on the weekends with hockey, so I was unable to take Marianne out. But I managed to find time to take her to dinner on a couple of Friday evenings, and we had a good time. She was interesting to talk to, possibly because we had so much in common. Her dad was an optometrist, and she wanted to follow in his footsteps. I wanted to be a pharmacist, so we were both very oriented in the field of science.
And then it happened. A cross check into the boards, and I fell hard. I tried to get up, and my left arm collapsed under me. It was broken, and with only another 8 weeks to go before the end of the season, I was definitely out. They had to pin it, and place it in a plaster cast. I was able to use a sling, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do my contact lenses with one arm. So, I went to class wearing my glasses on Monday. My glasses are pretty strong, but the average person couldn’t tell by looking at them. They cost me over $1,000.00, and I picked the frames at my opticians. Then the frames, and the measurements were sent to Germany, I think, where the lenses were fitted. I really don’t know the details, but I sort of remember something about a 1.9 index, and a lenticular design for the lens. I do know that I could really only see clearly through the center portion of the lens.
Marianne was surprised to see me wearing glasses. I had phoned her to tell her that I had been hurt, and I had told her before that I wore contact lenses most of the time, but for some reason she had not connected that I would have to wear glasses. We worked together with the microscope that day, and I also found that I had to remove my glasses to use it. But what was strange was that I had to do very little adjustment for my eyes after Marianne had used it. Was it possible that her eyes were no worse than mine were? If so, why was she wearing these horrendously thick glasses?
Since I was free from the demands of hockey, I was able to spend a lot more time with Marianne. I would not say she was frigid. She was warm, and loving, and great to hug, and hold, and neck with. But, I could tell that she would go into a deep freeze cycle if I attempted to mention anything about going to bed together. So, I skirted the subject. We did however spend a lot of time lying on the floor together listening to CD’s, and talking. One day we were both lying there, and we had our glasses off, just looking into the blur. She asked me for her glasses, and I took them from the coffee table, but couldn’t resist looking through them. They were not quite as strong as mine. I kept them on for a minute, and I handed her mine.
“Try these, see how you like them.” I said.
“They won’t be strong enough.” She stated.
“They are a bit stronger.” I replied.
“You are right, they are.” Marianne answered.
“So, what’s up? Your dad is an optometrist. He should know about the newest thin lenses for you. Why are you wearing these really thick coke bottles?” I asked.
Marianne giggled. “Daddy calls these glasses my chastity glasses. He figures that if a guy can accept me wearing these thick glasses he must really love me. ”
“I do accept you, and I do love you.” I replied.
“Yes, I think you do. You are the first man I have felt this way about. I had an eye exam a couple of weeks ago when I went home, and I asked Daddy to order me a new, nicer pair of glasses. I should have them in a few days. I really like your glasses. They seem to be around the right power for me as well. I ordered a pair of blended myodiscs, because I am so used to myodiscs.” Marianne told me.
And, then the story all came out. Marianne was 13 when she got her first pair of glasses. The following year, her eyes had gotten a lot worse, and her body had started to blossom into womanhood. So, with a lot of talking, her dad had convinced Marianne to allow him to make her a pair of glasses that would make most men walk away from her. According to her dad, only the most special men would want to take her out if she had to wear such thick glasses. And, as her eyes got more myopic, her dad made her glasses thicker and thicker. And, all the guys looked, but didn’t come closer, so she began to feel that her dad was right – at least until I came along.
Marianne got her new glasses a few days later, and she looks fabulous wearing them. She also got a nice ring from me to wear on her left hand until we get married nest year. The only ice I will be looking at will be that of the hockey rink, because my ice queen has been thawed.