I was just like any other 22-year-old male. My priorities were sports, cars, booze and broads, but not necessarily in that order. My idea of a good time was playing ball with my buddies, and then knocking back a few brewskies afterward. Broads were around, but they didn't really place high on my list most of the time.
I had finished a great ball game, and had driven my friend Bill over to his place so he could grab a dozen cold ones that he had stashed in the fridge in their garage earlier. His younger sister, Lynn, had arrived home from her final year of university that day, and as we walked up to the garage, she came out the front door. I guess I must have stared at her, as she asked me what I was looking at. I had a hard time spitting it out, but finally I managed to tell her that she looked gorgeous. And, that didn't really describe her. Gone were the glasses; gone was the skinny, stick like figure, replaced by curves that I had only seen in magazines. Her short, light brown hair had grown out, and she was wearing it in a most becoming fashion, curled gently around her face. And, the zits that I had remembered were gone, replaced by a milk smooth complexion. I was in love.
Bill saw a lot more of me in the next few days, as I was trying to figure out ways to get close to Lynn. He knew what was going on, and finally he told me just to ask her out, and see what happened. So, I got up the nerve and asked her out to dinner and a movie.
Lynn and I had a great time, and over the next few weeks, we were constantly together. The ball playing, the drinking, and the cars all took second place to Lynn. I still found it hard to believe that the beautiful girl I was spending all my time with was the same girl that I remembered from years past. The only thing I wished was that she hadn't gotten contact lenses, as I have a thing for girls that wear glasses. But, she seemed so self confident, and sure of herself, that I wondered if getting rid of her glasses had helped her in this.
But, knowing that Lynn wore glasses, I was comfortable with the idea that sometime she would wear them in private with me. And, Lynn's mom wore glasses that appeared quite strong, so I guessed that Lynn would probably take after her mom, maybe even needing stronger glasses. I sort of remembered that Lynn's own glasses had lenses that were a bit on the thick side, but I wasn't absolutely sure.
So, it became my second purpose in life to create a situation where Lynn had to wear glasses. But, I was having absolutely no luck. I knew that she and her mom were nearsighted, and I took some time reading everything I could about myopia. The more I learned, the more I wanted to see her wearing her glasses. So, finally I hit upon a scheme.
Since Lynn was the only one in her house that wore contacts, I knew that the bottle of lens solution in the bathroom medicine cabinet must be hers. I bought some of the same stuff, and added a tiny bit of an acidic solution. I didn't want anything to cause any harm, or damage, but just enough to irritate her eyes. After trying it on myself, I was sure that it was weak enough, but would work. So, on the pretext of using the bathroom, I slipped a bit of the acid into her solution bottle.
Sure enough, a couple of days later I went by to pick Lynn up to go to a dance. Neither Lynn nor I smoke, and she had complained that the smoke bothered her eyes at the last dance we went to, so I figured that this would be the icing on the cake for her contacts to become too painful to wear. I had brought a new bottle of lens solution with me so that I could switch with the acidic one. Lynn's mom met me at the door, and told me Lynn wasn't feeling well. I knew what the "not feeling well" was, so I managed to pull it out of Lynn's mother that Lynn had an eye infection, and couldn't wear her contacts. She wouldn't even think of appearing in public wearing her glasses. But I wasn't going to let this stop me, so I persuaded Lynn's mom to let me go up to Lynn's room to console her.
When I entered her bedroom, I saw Lynn lying on her bed, but no glasses were in sight. Then I spotted them, hidden under the book she was reading. We talked for a while, and as hard as I could try, I couldn't seem to make any dent in her resolve not to let me see her wearing glasses. I knew that she was not seeing very well as she was frequently squinting her eyes and had that vague look in her eyes that I had noticed before in other women that needed glasses and were not wearing them. Finally I pulled out all the stops.
"When we get married, I will have to see you wearing glasses at some time won't I?" I asked.
"Are you asking me to marry you?" she replied somewhat incredulously.
"Only if you want to" was my retort. "However, I have thought about this for a while, and I would love to marry you."
Well, finally she relented, and put her glasses on. They were a small brown frame, with slightly oval lenses. Even though the lenses were small, their thickness was evident, but they were nowhere near the strength of her mother's glasses. I told her she looked very nice wearing them, and finally she agreed to go to the dance with me wearing her glasses. I had a hard time keeping myself from staring at her with her glasses on, but I think I did a pretty good job, and she didn't realize that I was attracted to her glasses almost as much as I was to her. But, she did have a fantastic body and an adorable face and personality. As the evening passed, her eyes began to stop stinging, even in the smoky room, so we laughed about the benefits of wearing glasses.
Lynn had a teaching job starting in September, so we decided that we would have our wedding near the end of August. We rented a house, and set up the furniture. Neither of us could believe how fast things were happening. In April, when she returned home, marriage was the last thing from her mind, as it was from mine. But, we got along well together, and I was attracted to Lynn as a person, as well as a girl that wears glasses, so I thought that things should work out.
The wedding was uneventful. I had had a bout of temporary insanity, and I had almost pulled the mild acid in the solution trick again, so that Lynn would have to wear her glasses for the wedding, but I thought that since I had gotten away with it once, it was best that I not push my luck and try again. After a short honeymoon at the beach, we returned to our rented home, and began our married life.
It was driving me crazy that I had a fantastic looking girl with reasonably strong glasses, but she wouldn't wear her glasses at all. She seemed to be addicted to her contacts. Even the last thing at night when she took out her lenses, she would stumble blindly to the bedroom, and stumble back and climb into bed. Sure, her glasses were right there in a case on the table beside the bed, but they never once appeared on her nose. Finally, after Christmas, during the school break, she got up one morning and put on her glasses. I hesitated to make any comment, so all I mentioned was that she looked just as fantastic wearing glasses as she did when she wore her contacts. I think she blushed a little, but then she told me that she had scheduled her annual eye exam in a couple of days, and her doctor wanted her to wear glasses for at least 48 hours before the exam.
I was in heaven for the next 48 hours, and I made sure that I accompanied Lynn to her doctor's appointment. The doctor increased the strength of her contacts by 0.25D, and her glasses by 0.50D. And for the first time, I knew what Lynn's prescription was. Her right eye was slightly weaker than her left eye and required a –9.75 D lens, and her left eye was –9.50 D. I asked where the other numbers were, as any prescription that I had ever seen had a whole bunch of numbers, and the doctor explained that Lynn was unusual and had no astigmatism, just a spherical correction for her myopia. Her contacts were -8.00 D and –8.25 D, and the doctor was good enough to explain to me that because of the distance between the lenses in her glasses and her eye, the glasses had to be a stronger prescription than the contacts. Lynn ordered new contacts, and was going to forgo getting new glasses, but I persisted and suggested she get new glasses too, and finally we picked out a new frame that suited her.
Then we fell back into the old routine of her removing her contacts and blindly stumbling to the bathroom and bed. I really wished that she would wear her glasses, and I reminded her every chance I could that her doctor had told her that she should remove her contacts after supper, and give her eyes a chance to rest. Lynn was one of the early wearers of a new softlens contacts. These lenses were a lot easier to wear than the old, hard plastic lenses, but her doctor still wanted her to take a break from the contacts in the evening.
By this time her stubbornness was getting to me. I hadn't stopped reading about myopia, and optics, and other related things, and I was getting hooked. I got a new job running a forklift in the shipping department of an optical supply distributor. I had wanted the job because of my interest in optics, but as luck would have it, they distributed the same brand of contact lenses that Lynn wore. One day, I helped myself to a –8.50 D lens. I went home, and late that night I moved Lynn's right lens to the left side, and put the new lens in her right side. I had effectively increased her contact lens strength by a quarter diopter. The next morning, I was on pins and needles. It had only been about 4 months since her last increase, and I was afraid that she would notice that her lenses were not as they should be. But, I needn't have worried, as she went off to school without a complaint, and everything seemed normal.
By the following Christmas, I had done the lens-switching trick twice more. I had increased her right eye contact to –9.00, and her left to –8.75. When she went for the two days wearing glasses before her exam, all I heard about was how poorly she saw with glasses compared to her contacts. And sure enough – her new prescription for contacts was –9.00 D for the right eye and –8.75 D for the left eye. We got new lenses put in the frame of her old glasses, and even I was surprised and pleased at the –11.00 D right, and –10.75 D left lenses. They had a pretty substantial amount of thickness on the edges, and I was almost panting with anticipation to see her wearing them. This increase sort of did the trick. To read without her glasses, Lynn now had to close one eye, and hold the book up to within 3 inches from her nose. I caught her doing that one evening when she had gone to bed early, and we had our first major quarrel, but after that she began wearing her glasses to read in bed. Every once in a while, I would come into the room while she was reading, and I would lie beside her, looking intently at her and studying her glasses. I think that it was one of these nights that she became pregnant with our daughter.
I still continued, about every four to six months, to increase the strength of her contact lenses by a quarter of a diopter. By the end of our third year of marriage, Lynn was wearing –10 R and –9.75 L for contacts, and her glasses were –12.25 R and –12.00 L. While she was pregnant she had taken a leave of absence from her teaching job, and I was able to see her wearing her glasses a lot more while she was looking after the baby. I suppose that because she was wearing glasses a lot more, it should have been no surprise that she became pregnant again when our daughter was less than a year old. So, along with the new –12.25 D glasses, we also had a son by the end of our third year of marriage.
Two children were enough for us, so I made sure that no mistakes would happen. The kids were great – both were very healthy, and before long Lynn went back to teaching. I continued my job, and I was still bringing the little increases in contact lens strength home every so often. Actually, I had, in our 4th year of marriage, managed to fit in 4 changes to give her a full diopter increase. Her eye doctor was starting to worry her, as he had no explanation as to why her prescription kept climbing, and he had previously assured her that her eyes would stabilize no later than her mid 20's. I figured that I had best stop doing the increases, so the following year I managed to only bump her up twice. The next couple of years I stuck with the twice a year routine and after 7 years I had increased her prescription by –4.25 diopters in her contacts. She now wore –12.50 R and –12.25 L for contacts, and her glasses were at –15.00 R and –14.75 L.
But, as fabulous as her glasses looked, I wanted her to have even thicker glasses. I had seen a lady on the subway in the city wearing myodiscs, and I had decided that I would love to have Lynn wear the same type of glasses. I had no idea how much stronger her glasses had to get before this would happen, so I went back to my 4 times a year routine. The next year, with her glasses at –16.25 R and –16.00 L, her new glasses came back from the lab with a lens that was curved on both sides. I knew that the term for this was biconcave, and I knew that we still had a way to go. So the next year, I managed to slip in a 5th change, but the new lenses for her glasses ended up biconcave again. If she had ever seemed to have a problem, I would like to think I would have stopped, but she took to the increased lens strength so well that it was almost like the increases were needed, and normal. The following year we did 5 more, and now at the end of our 10th year of marriage, her glasses were –19.25 R and –19.00 L. But, when we picked them up from the optician's, the lenses were biconcave again and very thick, nearly 25 mm. I thought about it, and I decided that the following year we would probably have to increase the eye size in her frame a bit, but after another 5 contact lens switches, we finally reached the point where the doctor said she would have to have different kinds of lenses and her new glasses were myodiscs.
I had gotten what I wanted, so for the next few years I only bumped her a couple of times. One night, as we were nearing our 20th wedding anniversary, I came into the bedroom, and lay down beside her, and gazed lovingly at her wearing her new glasses. She was now wearing a –23.50 R and a –23.25 L. Her glasses were done in a new high index plastic, had a plano front base, and had an antireflective coating, but they were still myodiscs. Lynn put her book down, and came into my arms. We kissed and hugged, and held each other, as we had done so often over the years.
As we were hugging, Lynn said to me, "Do you know why I love you so much after all these years?"
"Tell me," I responded.
"Because no matter how bad my eyes have gotten, or how thick my glasses had to be, you never once said anything nasty about my poor eyesight, and you always tell me how great I look wearing my glasses, and that you would always love me, no matter how bad my eyes are."
Specs4ever: July 2001, with special thanks to A.J. for her competent editing