Over the past few years I have spent way too much time fantasizing about meeting an attractive lady who wears reasonably strong minus lensed glasses. I would like to blame this on the fact that my wife had laser surgery a few years ago, but the fact of the matter is that I started thinking about this long before the surgery happened. Her surgery became more of a catalyst, and my search intensified, as did my dreams and fantasies. Finally it came to a head about a year ago. I realized once again that I loved my wife, and I was never going to find anyone that I could possibly like better. My searches to this point had failed to unearth even one attractive myope with a decent enough prescription to interest me. Sure, over the years I had spotted a large number of attractive myopes, but these were all fleeting glances, stolen as I walked past them in a mall, or as I pulled up beside them in a car. A person can’t really do much in this type of situation. I needed to walk into a retail establishment and be waited on by the lady of my dreams, or some other situation where I could come back a few times and get to know the lady.
Over the past year I slowly began to realize that I had run out of time. I was past my prime, and my own expiry date was coming up. I no longer had anything to offer the lady of my dreams. So, I slowly began to stop searching. I knew there were lots of highly myopic ladies out there, but meeting one was just not in the cards I had been dealt.
One morning when I headed off to work I stopped at a local gas station and convenience store to get a coffee refill. I had stopped there before, but I was usually about 30 minutes earlier. The young lady that was behind the counter was not a familiar face to me, but I knew I was going to be making this a regular stop from now on. She was a child to me, no older than my youngest daughter, and I was captivated by the pair of black heavy framed glasses she wore. I am a sucker for long blond hair and a pretty face, and if you throw in a pair of strong minus lensed black-framed glasses I become weak in the knees and have a hard time talking without stuttering. I managed to flash her a big smile, and I got the word “Thanks” out of my mouth without making a fool of myself before I walked out the door. The rest of the day I reflected on my bad luck. No, not bad luck to meet her, but bad luck that the girl I had been looking for over the past 12 to 15 years was within reach, and I was now next best thing to an old man.
The following morning found me returning to the store for another coffee. I was there a few minutes before 4:00 am, and the other cashier was just closing out her register. She went to ring me up, but I insisted I would wait, as I wasn’t in a real hurry. This morning my vision of loveliness was wearing a nametag, and as I placed my money in her outstretched hand I managed to say; “Good morning Erin. My name is Dave, and I am pleased to be your first customer this morning.” She smiled, and replied, “Hi Dave.”
Before Erin a morning coffee had been a sporadic thing. Some mornings I stopped, other mornings I didn’t. But now, every morning at 4:00am I was buying my coffee from Erin.
I knew that employees didn’t often last long at this store, so I wanted to quickly find out as much information about her as I possibly could. Every chance I had I quizzed her about her life. Of course I had to tell her a bit about myself, and my family to set her mind at ease, so I told her about my 3 children, and my wife. Before long we were quite comfortable speaking with each other. I discovered that she had recently left her boyfriend, who she had lived with for 7 years, and had 2 children with. Her daughter Michele was 6 and would be 7 in a few months. Her son Eric was 5, and she showed me some pictures of them that she had saved to her mobile phone. Of course I told her they were very cute children. And, I also found out that Erin was, at age 28, 2 years younger than my youngest daughter.
Gleaning all this information took time. I suppose that almost 5 months had gone by before I discovered that her ex had been a meth addict, and she had left him because he had hit her, as well as Eric. Her father was dead, and she was alone in the world, trying to raise her children on a wage that wouldn’t even support her in a decent manner, so I told her jokingly on a couple of occasions that I would adopt her. One morning when I stopped by Erin seemed a little down. Her eyes usually sparkled behind the strong lenses of her glasses, but this day they were dull and lifeless. She didn’t seem to want to chat and when I handed her the dollar for my coffee I clasped my hand around hers, and placed my other hand on top of her hand, so that my hands held her loosely.
“Come on kid. Tell your dad what’s wrong, and maybe I can help make it right.” I said.
“I’m behind on my car payment, and they are telling me I have to either bring it back, or they will come and get it.” Erin said.
I knew she had a 20-minute drive from where she lived. “You can’t do without a car. If you don’t have a car you can’t get to work and if you don’t work the kids will suffer.” I said.
She just looked at me as if to say, “You don’t think I realize that?”
“How much do you need?” I asked as I let go of her hand.
“I pay $150.00 a month, and I am behind a couple of months.” Erin told me.
I reached for my wallet. “Here is $100.00. I will get you the other $200.00 tomorrow.”
“You can’t do that. You don’t even know me.” Erin said.
“I can do anything I want. Haven’t I told you that I have adopted you as a 3rd daughter?” I asked.
“I thought you were just kidding.” Erin replied, and I could see the tears in her eyes behind the thick lenses.
“Well, I didn’t plan this, but I can’t think of anyone I would like to have more as another daughter as you.” I replied.
Erin came out from behind the counter, and gave me a great big hug. “Thank you so much. You know I probably can’t repay you though.”
“Did I say a word about repayment? Will you be working tomorrow? “I asked.
“Yes, I am here at my usual time.” Erin replied.
“Well, I will be here as well. You had better phone the finance company and tell them that you will have the payment for them tomorrow.’ I told her.
“You are really going to do that for me?” Erin asked.
“When I tell anyone I will do something, I do it. Just expect me in the morning with another $200.00.” I said.
As I left the store my mind was reeling. I had no real need for the $100.00 bill I had given Erin, but to get another $200.00 without any questions from my wife was going to be a little difficult. Later that afternoon I stopped by the bank and took $500.00 from the ATM. I still didn’t know what I was going to use as an explanation, but I figured that I would put $300.00 back, along with my paycheck deposit, and my wife would have a harder time figuring out what I had done.
The following morning I stopped and gave Erin the other $200.00. She was a little wary about taking it, so I knew I had to put her mind at ease. I told her that there were absolutely no strings attached, and finally I saw the fear in her eyes recede. Again she gave me a big hug, and thanked me very much. I went off to work wondering if I was crazy. I really had no intention of treating Erin in any way other than that of a daughter, and I had just paid out $300.00 for a couple of hugs.
The following 2 days were Erin’s days off, so I didn’t stop for my coffee those mornings. When I went back in on Friday I was pleased to see Erin’s eyes light up when she saw me. And from then on, when I went in for coffee, Erin now became a chatterbox, telling me everything she and her kids had done the night before. I was at the point where sometimes I almost wished for another customer to come in, so that I could gracefully leave and be on my way to work. But I still loved looking at her. Every once in a while her glasses would slide down her nose, revealing her large eyes, and I waited in anticipation for her to place her index finger of her left hand on the bridge of her glasses, and slide them tight to her nose. Then her eyes would be minified behind the lenses, a look I loved.
One Saturday mid-morning I came in to find Erin putting away an order. Every time she looked down at the boxes on the floor her glasses would slide down her nose, and she would have to push them up. I had noticed that her glasses seemed to be getting looser and looser, but I hadn’t wanted to say anything about the subject that most attracted me to her.
“Stupid glasses won’t stay up anymore.” Erin said as she pushed them into place again.
“Maybe you should stop by an optical store and have them adjusted.” I replied.
“And if they accidentally break them like what happened with my last pair I am totally helpless.” Erin replied.
“Well, if they fall off can you see well enough to find them?” I asked.
“I can’t see a thing without them. I am totally helpless.” Erin replied.
“Do you know your last prescription?” I asked in anticipation.
“Both eyes are 11 something.” Erin replied.
“When did you have your last eye examination?” I then asked.
“I think it was about 3 years ago.” Erin replied.
I didn’t know if I should be disappointed or not. I had figured that Erin had a prescription of around –15D. It did bother me a little that my guess had been so far off, but by then I realized that Erin probably had not had the extra money to buy anything other than regular low index plastic lenses. That was why her glasses looked so thick.
“Do you have a spare pair?” I asked.
“No, and I know I should, but I just can’t afford a pair. I can’t even afford to wear contact lenses because they would cost me $175.00 every 6 months.” Erin replied.
“When is your next day off?” I asked.
“I am off Tuesday and Wednesday this coming week.” Erin replied. She worked 4 days on and 2 days off, so she could sometimes have weekends off.
“All right. I will try to set up an appointment with an eye doctor for around 2 pm this week on one of those 2 days. Maybe we should get Michele and Eric in for an exam as well.” I said.
“I can’t afford it Dave.” Erin replied.
“I can.” I said. There was no more said.
I managed to get 3 appointments on Tuesday. Erin met me at the doctor’s office, and we went inside together. Michele went in first. Then Eric went in. Erin was going to have to wait another 15 minutes, because I couldn’t get 3 appointments back to back, but that was all right because she went in with Michele while I waited with Eric. Then Michele and Erin came out, and Erin went back in with Eric while I waited with Michelle.
“How were your eyes Michele?” I asked.
“He said I needed glasses. So now I will look just like mommy.” Michele said happily.
Erin came back out with Eric. “At least Eric doesn’t need glasses yet.” Erin said.
“Yes, I heard that Michele needed them. How strong is her prescription?” I asked.
Erin handed me the slip. Michele required –0.75D for both eyes. “That’s not too strong.” I said.
“But she isn’t even 7 yet. I didn’t start wearing glasses until I was about 11, and look at how bad my eyes are now.” Erin said.
Then it was time for Erin to go in for her exam. When she came out I asked her if her eyes had changed much. She said that had only changed a little bit, and I asked to see the prescription slip. I felt a little better about my earlier guess when I saw the numbers. Erin now needed –12.25 x –2.50 x 80 for her right eye, and –11.75 x –2.75 x 90 for her left eye. The vertical astigmatism made the outer edges of her lenses thicker, and I could forgive myself for thinking she was around –15D.
I convinced Erin to bring the kids over to my house for supper. I had introduced Erin and her kids to my wife a few weeks earlier, and although my wife still wasn’t comfortable with the idea that I had taken Erin and her 2 kids under my wing, she accepted it as something I wanted to do.
After supper I took Erin and Michele into the computer room, and I went on the internet. I found one of the online eyewear sites, and I showed Erin the selection of glasses they had available. Erin selected a couple of frames that she liked, and Michele selected a pair she liked from the children’s frames. Then I measured their pd’s and I supposedly placed an order for 3 pairs of glasses.
Later, after Erin and the children had left I went back to the saved order, and I increased both Erin and Michele’s prescription by –0.25D in each eye. I also ordered an extra pair for Erin that were tinted fairly dark for her to use as sunglasses. I paid for all 4 pairs, and I had them shipped to Erin’s mailing address. The total cost to me was under $250.00. I could have gotten away with a little less, but I ordered the nicer looking frame for Erin in a high index lens.
Nothing was said about glasses for the next couple of weeks. Then one morning I went in at 4 am, and Erin was wearing the new pair with the thinner lenses. She ran over to me and gave me another hug, and thanked me so very much.
“They look pretty good on you. How is your vision?” I asked.
“Great. I can see things so much sharper now. And Michele is really happy with her glasses as well. And thanks for getting me a pair of sunglasses. Now I won’t have to go around squinting at the sun.” Erin said.
“Did I waste my money on the other pair of black framed ones with the standard lenses?”
“Oh no, I will wear them for you tomorrow. These glasses look a bit nicer, and that is why I chose to wear them first.” Erin replied.
And, the next morning when I went in for my coffee, Erin was wearing the other pair. They looked a bit thicker, but they did look very nice on her, so I was pleased with our selection.
Nothing much happened for the next few months. I was able to see Erin most mornings that she worked, and that pretty well satisfied my need to look at a pair of myopic eyes through the lenses of her glasses. I had suggested that perhaps it might be a good idea to have Michele’s eyes checked every 6 months so that we could be sure that she had the proper prescription, and that she didn’t fall behind in school because she wasn’t able to see properly. Erin didn’t think this was necessary, but I kept up a bit of gentle pressure, and as the 6-month mark approached Erin finally relented. I arranged an appointment, and Erin and I accompanied Michele to the eye doctor. I was relieved. I had been proven correct in my thinking that Michele might need an eye exam this soon, because her new prescription was going to be –1.75D for each eye. And, no one had discovered that I had added an extra –0.25D to Michele’s first prescription. I had since resolved that I would not ever do this again. So we allowed Michele to choose her new frames from the online optical site, and this time her lenses were ordered in her prescribed prescription.
My wife had warmed slightly to the presence of Erin, Michele and Eric in my life. We were at the point where Erin could drop the kids off at the house and we would look after them for a few hours every once in a while. And, Erin was also made to feel more at home when she dropped by. I liked this a lot. I was very fond of Erin by now.
My wife and I have 3 children of our own. Katherine is the oldest, and she had become an attorney for a fairly prestigious law firm in a city quite a distance away. She had been nearsighted as a young lady, but after she completed her articling, she had the same surgery as her mother had a few years earlier. My wife had a prescription of around –6.25D when she was operated on, and Katie had a little stronger prescription – around –8.50D. Katie showed no inclination towards getting married, so I didn’t have any hopes for any grandchildren from her. Mike, who was 2 years younger than Katie was a police detective here in our city. Mike had done fairly well for himself since he had joined the force. He was quite a ladies man, but had not yet settled on a girl he wanted to marry. So, the potential for grandchildren was there, but I wondered if the will was there to provide them. Our youngest daughter, Sherry, was 2 years younger than Mike, and was almost 2 years older than Erin. Sherry had gone off to university when she was 17, and had ended up marrying Pete a couple of years later. Pete was a really nice guy, and I wished they had decided to live closer to us. They had both graduated as teachers, and they had signed up to teach around the world. Every couple of years they were posted to a different country, and while the experience was probably wonderful, I missed Sherry. When they had left to go to their first posting I knew that Sherry had a prescription very similar to the prescription my wife had prior to her surgery. Sherry and Pete had been home for brief visits over the years, but I hadn’t seen Sherry wearing glasses since she and Pete had married. She was 21 at the time, so I really didn’t think she would have had her myopia increase much.
My wife was very pleased. She had gotten a letter from Sherry, and Sherry and Pete were coming home. They had left Teachers Without Borders, and they were both going to be teaching at schools in the city the following year. I could read between the lines. They wanted to start a family. Now the potential was there for grandchildren of our own, and in my wife’s eyes Erin would be hung out to dry. I didn’t want that to happen, and I was actually sorry that Sherry and Pete hadn’t waited a couple more years to return. But they hadn’t, so somehow I was going to have to make the best of the situation.
My wife and I met Sherry and Pete at the airport. One look at Sherry and I knew that the situation had gotten much worse for Erin. Sherry was about 6 or 7 months along. Now my adopted daughter, and my adopted grandkids were going to have an insurmountable barrier to climb, and I wasn’t sure if my love for them would be enough to tear it down.
We spent a pleasant evening visiting, and talking about the impending birth. Finally Pete and Sherry went off to bed, so my wife and I went to bed also. My wife was excited – too darned excited for me. The next morning I got up early, and walked into the kitchen. Sherry was sitting at the kitchen table, eating her breakfast. Her back was towards me, and when I walked around to the counter I glanced at her glasses. Sherry was wearing glasses that were every bit as strong as Erin’s, maybe even stronger. I couldn’t believe it.
Sherry looked up from her book, and I saw her eyes narrow as she squinted at me. I knew instantly that the glasses she was wearing were not even strong enough for her eyes.
“Morning Kiddo. You look like you need new glasses from the way you are squinting.” I said.
“No, I have my new ones in my room. My last doctor told me to wear my old ones when I was doing a lot of reading, since my eyes are so bad now, and they don’t seem to stop getting worse.” Sherry replied.
“Those look pretty strong. How strong are your new ones?” I asked.
“These are around –13D. My new ones are –16D.” Sherry replied.
“I thought you were only around –6D or –7D when you and Pete were married?” I queried.
“I think I was –8D then. By the time I finished university and Pete and I left for Africa I was right around –10D. I stayed right there for a few years until I was pregnant for the first time, and during my pregnancy I went up to –13D. When I lost the baby my myopia stopped increasing. Now during this pregnancy I have already had another –3D increase.” Sherry told me.
“I have heard of that happening, but it is very rare. Does this mean if you want a second child you might risk getting even more nearsighted?” I asked.
“I have to go see a specialist to check this out. But I don’t care how bad my eyes get. We are having at least 2 children.” Sherry told me.
Once my wife got over the shock of seeing Sherry wearing her full strength glasses Sherry became more comfortable wearing glasses, and she seemed to be wearing her contact lenses less and less. I introduced Sherry to Erin, Michele and Eric, and Sherry immediately fell in love with them also. So, it was a little easier than I had hoped to maintain my relationship with Erin.
Unfortunately working overseas had not allowed Pete and Sherry to save much money. Their pay scale had been a lot lower than it would have been if they had stayed home, but fortunately they had paid off their student loans. They didn’t have much money saved, just enough for rent and food. And, since they hadn’t built a credit rating, a home loan was out of the question. I had an idea.
I suggested to my wife that we should take some of our retirement savings and buy Pete and Sherry a house to help them get started. We would own it, and the house would remain a part of our assets, so the other 2 kids wouldn’t really be left out. She agreed we could do that, so I bought a duplex that wasn’t too far from our own home. Most duplexes were 2 bedroom ones, but this one had 3 bedrooms on each side. They were not large duplexes, and the bedrooms were small, but they looked to be quite comfortable. Sherry and Pete were very pleased. Everyone thought we would rent out the other side, but I had a plan.
“Sherry, would you and Pete mind if Erin and the kids lived in the other side of the duplex?” I asked.
“Would you charge them rent?” Sherry asked.
“I would make Erin the same deal I am making with you and Pete. You would each pay half the taxes, and your own utilities.” I replied.
“It’s fine with me. What will mom say?” Sherry asked.
“Well, you will have to help me sell it to her.” I answered.
And that is how Erin and her 2 children moved into the other side of our duplex. Michelle had just turned 8, and the idea of having her own room thrilled her. They had been living in an old run down singlewide mobile, so the duplex was heaven to them. Since both my highly myopic girls were under the same roof now I was able to stop by and have a myopic viewing anytime I wanted to. I liked that a lot.
Sherry wasn’t going to be able to begin teaching in September, since the baby was due the first week. The first week of September came along, and now my wife and I were proud grandparents of our own grandson. I probably wouldn’t have picked the name Chase, but that is what Sherry and Pete wanted to name him. My wife and I were just around to love and spoil the kid anyway.
When Thanksgiving rolled around Katie came home for the long weekend. I had not been comfortable around Katie for a while. I have an aversion towards lawyers, and I had given Katie all my reasons for my dislike of the legal profession prior to her attending law school. Maybe it was just me, but I felt that Katie was no longer the same person she had been as a young girl. She seemed cool and aloof for the entire weekend. I did enjoy being with Mike. His hours were very demanding, and it was fortunate that he was able to have the time off to be with us for the holiday. Even though Mike worked in the same small city we lived in, we very seldom got to see him. Sherry and Pete were, of course, the center of attention for the entire weekend, and everyone was thrilled with Chase. Erin, Michele and Eric had also been invited, and I was pleased to see that Mike was very pleasant towards Erin. Katie didn’t say more than a couple of words to her all evening, so I had no idea what her feelings towards Erin were. But, Mike seemed to have accepted her, and Pete and Sherry were very close to Erin, so I really didn’t care how Katie felt towards her.
“Hey dad, what’s the story with Erin and her kids?” Mike asked as he was leaving.
“Oh, she is just a waif that I have taken a liking towards. I had given up on you guys giving me any grandkids, and Erin had a couple to spare, so I adopted her. Do you have a problem with that?” I asked with a laugh.
“I sure don’t. She and the kids seem very nice. I think Katie has a bee in her bonnet though.” Mike replied.
“Katie was in a shitty mood from the time she arrived last night Mike. I don’t think Erin had anything to do with it, but I suppose the fact that Erin was here as a member of the family has now ticked her off royally. It sure was nice to see you son. I know you can’t get by very often because of your work, but try not to make yourself so scarce.” I said.
“I will try. I won’t make you any promises though dad.” Mike replied.
I watched Mike drive off before I turned and walked back into the house. Katie was just inside the door, and I knew she had wanted to say goodbye to Mike before he left, but hadn’t gotten the chance.
“Is there something bothering you this weekend Katie Kat?” I asked, using my pet name for her from childhood, forgetting that the name bothered her now.
‘No, should there be?” Katie snapped as she walked away. I heard her go upstairs to her bedroom, and I went back into the living room to join the crowd. Soon Sherry, Pete and Chase had to leave, and Erin and the kids left right behind them. My wife and I sat and talked for a few minutes.
“I am changing my will Monday, and I hope you will go along with my wishes.” I said.
“What do you mean?” Beth asked.
“I am leaving Erin 25% of the duplex. Pete and Sherry will get their 25%, Mike will get his 25%, and Katie will get her 25%. The rest of our assets will remain the same, divided equally between the 3 kids. I just want to make sure that Erin and the kids get a little something.” I replied.
“I will go along with you on that. Erin and her kids make a nice addition to our family, and I think she will appreciate that.” Beth replied.
“What is the matter with Katie? I have tried my best not to tell any of my bad lawyer jokes.” I said.
“I don’t know. She hasn’t told me anything yet. If I do find out though you will be the first person I tell. Now I am off to bed.” Beth replied.
“I’m right behind you.” I told her.
That night I laid in bed thinking. Beth had gone along with my wishes easier than I thought she would. Maybe she really did like Erin. If that was the case I was very happy.
Katie went back east without telling her mother or me what it was that had put her in such a foul mood for the weekend. I couldn’t imagine that it was anything we had done, but at this point I really didn’t care.
Sherry and Chase stopped by on Sunday. Sherry said that Mike and Pete were watching a game together and that when the game was over Erin and the kids were going to come over to join them for dinner. That was a real shock to me, because Mike had always been to busy chasing girls to spend any of his free time with family. Then it came to me. Girls, Erin was a girl, and a fairly pretty one at that. Was it possible that Mike was interested in Erin?
It appeared that this was the case. Mike was spending a lot of his free time with Erin and the kids. A couple of times Mike and Erin asked Beth and I to stay with Michele and Eric, and we were pleased to do so. I had been after Erin to take Michele for another eye exam just before she turned 8, but Erin resisted. But now both Beth and I could tell that Michelle needed new glasses, as she was going very close to the television screen, and she was bringing her reading material up quite close to her eyes. When Mike and Erin stopped by to pick Michele and Eric up that evening I insisted that if Erin didn’t take Michele to the eye doctor, I would. Erin was busy working for the next few days, so she agreed that I could take Michele for her exam if I could get her an appointment.
I called the doctor first thing Monday. Fortunately he had a cancellation the next day, and it was right after school. I picked Michele and Eric up, and I dropped Eric with Sherry, who looked after Michele and Eric after school. Michele and I went on to the eye doctors.
When the doctor was finished he came back out with Michele.
“Your granddaughter’s prescription has increased significantly here. We have a choice. I can give her the full prescription she requires, or I can cut it back a little bit. The lower prescription will not really hurt her, but they have found through research that children who were given their full correction when required didn’t have as much myopia in later life as the children who were under corrected.” Doctor Jones said.
“I think it would be better if Michele had the best possible prescription.” I replied.
The doctor wrote out the new prescription, and I looked at it. Michele now required –3.50D for both eyes. That was double her previous prescription, and I knew Erin would be a bit upset with the numbers. But there was nothing I could do. I spoke to the receptionist, and I set up 3 appointments for eye exams for Erin, Michele and Eric in another 6 months. This would be 2 years since Eric and Erin had exams, and I knew I had been correct in my thinking that Michele should have 6-month exams.
Michele liked her existing frames and wanted to keep them, so we went by the mall, and had new lenses placed in her existing frames. Michele and I killed an hour while we were waiting, but I knew that Michele wasn’t having any fun. She wasn’t able to see much of anything until we got her glasses back, and then she was amazed that she could see so well. And I was right. Erin wasn’t happy that Michele had such a large increase, but there was nothing she could do about it. I suggested that Erin bring Michele over to the house and we could order her a pair of spare glasses from one of the cheaper online places, but Erin didn’t want to do it right then and said they would be over later, so I left. As I was driving away I saw Mike’s car pull up and park where I had just pulled out. This was getting serious. Was it possible that Mike also had a thing for girls who wore glasses? I was going to have to ask him.
“Hi Dad. I was wondering if you could do me a favor.” Sherry asked me a few days later as I answered the phone.
“Sure, what do you need?” I asked.
“I need mom to look after Chase for a while tomorrow, and I need to ask you to drive me to see Doctor Jones. Can you do it?” Sherry asked.
“Sure, I can do that. But why are you not driving yourself?” I asked.
“Since Chase was born my eyes have gone a lot worse. I can’t see the road signs properly anymore, so Pete doesn’t want me driving until I get new glasses.” Sherry explained.
So, the following day I took Sherry to see the doctor. Her new prescription was –17.50D. She didn’t seem too upset that her vision had deteriorated even further, and when I asked her if she and Pete still planned to have another child she told me that as soon as Chase was 6 months old they were going to try for the second one. I questioned her about the possibility that her eyes might get even worse, and she simply told me that it was a chance she was going to have to take. Then I went to the opticians with Sherry, and I helped her choose a new pair of glasses, a job that always gives me a thrill.
As I was driving Sherry home I asked Sherry if Mike was seeing Erin, and she confirmed that they had been dating since they met at Thanksgiving. I resolved to have a conversation with Mike as soon as possible, so that I could ensure that Mike knew that I would be very disappointed if he were to hurt Erin in any way. I did ask Sherry how serious the relationship had become, and Sherry told me that in her opinion Mike was very interested in Erin, as he seemed to have given up his other girlfriends. I decided to let the relationship mature a little, since Sherry and Mike would be at our house for Christmas soon and of course Erin and the kids would be invited as well.
Katie used the excuse that she had just been home for Thanksgiving as the reason that she wasn’t going to show for Christmas, and I wasn’t that disappointed. Christmas turned out to be a much pleasanter time with her not there. As hurt as Beth was about Katie not coming, she did admit that Katie’s foul mood had thrown a damper on our previous celebration. And Mike and Erin seemed to be a natural couple. Erin had a glow on her face that wasn’t just from the glass of wine she had with dinner. After dinner I cornered Mike.
“You and Erin seem to be getting along quite well. Sherry tells me that you have been seeing quite a lot of Erin recently.” I stated.
“I have been dating her. Is that a problem?” Mike asked.
“Not to me, as long as you don’t leave her with a broken heart. However, if you hurt that girl I will be very disappointed in you.” I replied.
“I like Erin a lot Dad. She is a very nice girl, and she is quite attractive. I like Michele and Eric; however I realize that they are another man’s children. I know that if I marry Erin I will want a child, or maybe 2 of my own. I also realize that I will have to support Michele and Eric as well. So, it would be a pretty big commitment if I were to marry Erin.” Mike replied.
“Are you prepared to make this commitment?” I asked.
“Getting there.” Mike replied.
“Ok, just don’t hurt her, that’s all I ask. And, on another subject, Erin is due an eye exam in a few months. I was thinking of surprising her by buying her new contact lenses. How do you feel about that?” I asked.
“Don’t do it for me. I like Erin just fine the way she is. I had no problem with Mom and Katie wearing glasses when I was growing up, and I couldn’t see why they thought that it was so awful that they wore glasses.” Mike replied.
This man was truly my son. I hugged him, and told him that if he and Erin decided to marry, I would support them to the best of my ability.
Katie called while Mike and I were talking about his relationship with Erin, and when we went inside she was still conversing with Beth. So we took our turn talking to Katie. That night after all the visitors had left Beth told me that she now knew what has been bothering Katie.
“It’s that eye surgery she had Dave. Mine went fine, and I can see quite well. I don’t have dry eyes, and I don’t have any vision problems. But Katie ended up with very dry eyes, and she has to be constantly putting in special drops. And her vision, which supposedly is 20/20 on an eye chart, is giving her a lot of trouble. She sees ghost images and all sorts of weird things. She has been to a number of specialists, and the end result seems to be that there is nothing that she can do. She is suing the laser clinic, but as a lawyer she realizes that her options are limited because of all the waivers she had to sign.” Beth told me.
“Oh, I am so sorry for her. Why wouldn’t she tell us that at Thanksgiving?” I asked.
“You were so much against me, and then Katie having the surgery that I think she felt you would have told her that you told her so. And, I guess she was angry with me because my surgery worked out well, and hers didn’t. She had also just found out that the doctor felt there was nothing further that could be done.” Beth replied.
“Well, she is likely right. I didn’t want you to take the chance, and I didn’t want Katie to either. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel bad for her.” I said.
I did feel very sorry for Katie. But her problems meant that Sherry, Erin and Michele would probably never take a chance on any form of eye surgery. So I was going to have my own highly myopic ladies around for the rest of my life. And Michele was heading towards the lower range of high myopia, so I would have 3 myopes to look at.
When I took Erin and the kids for their eye exam in the spring Erin didn’t need any further increase. Michelle needed another –0.75D. Mike had asked Erin to marry him, and Michelle was going to be the flower girl, so I bought both Michelle and Erin new identical framed glasses. I asked Erin if she wanted to wear contact lenses for the wedding. But she told me that since Sherry, her maid of honor, and Michelle were going to be wearing glasses she saw no reason for her to wear contact lenses.
It was a great wedding. I got to foot the bill, but the kids kept it as reasonable as they could. It isn’t too often that a father gets to stand up as father of the bride at his son’s wedding, but I was pleased to do the job. Katie came home and was a bridesmaid. She had found a new eye doctor who was helping her with her botched laser surgery, and she was now in a lot less pain. I didn’t say anything to Katie, other than to express my sympathy for her troubles, and I think she was happy about that.
I hadn’t expected that my quest for a high myope would end up this way, but I was certainly happy to have both my daughter and my daughter in law as high myopes.