The Contest

by Specs4ever

“Duke, James E., please report to examination room 4!” barked the soldier’s voice.

Jim gathered his papers together, and walked towards room 4.  Inside he saw a portly older gentleman, wearing a white coat customary for a doctor. 

The doctor said, “Pretty thick glasses you wear Mr. Duke.  Let us try the vision exam first, and if you fail it, as I suspect you may, we can dispense with the rest of the exam. Stand here please, and remove your glasses.  Ok, what can you see on the chart in front of you.”

“Doctor, I can’t even see the chart.  I am totally blind without my glasses,” James E. Duke told the doctor.

“I suspected as much.  Do you know your prescription?”

“I am around –18D in both eyes with a bit of astigmatism,” Jim replied.

Well, you won’t be going to Viet Nam.  Here is your 4F classification.” The doctor stamped the medical form, and handed it to Jim. “You will have to take it to office 103, down the hall to obtain your release.”

Jim was pleased that he wasn’t going to have to serve in ‘Nam’.  For once his lousy eyesight had been of value to him. He walked down the hall to room 103 and went inside.  There was a row of chairs against the one wall, all occupied but one.  He went to the vacant chair and sat down next to a fellow his age, who also was wearing glasses that looked to be at least as strong as his own.

“I take it you flunked the vision test as well?” the guy with the strong glasses said.

“Yep, they didn’t seem to want my –18D vision.  I guess I would have had to be able to see the wall that the chart was on for them to take me.  Name is Duke, Jim Duke.” Jim told the other man.

“Well, you are a bit worse off than my –16D.  I haven’t met anyone worse than me before. I’m Larry Barber, commonly known as “Blind Larry” around Stanton,” Larry replied.

When Larry and Jim had obtained their release forms from office 103, they were both relieved that the ordeal was over.  In 1975, almost every available male over 18 was being drafted into the US military forces.  And a lot of the ones that went were not coming back.

Larry and Jim went off to have lunch and a coffee together.  During their conversation, it came out that both of them had finished university, and Jim intended to go on to medical school to become an optometrist.  They talked about the work of an optometrist for a while, and Larry finally told Jim that he had been undecided as to what he wanted to do, he had majored in “business” but that optometry maybe sounded pretty good as a career.  So, Larry decided to register for optometry school the following morning with Jim.  And since Jim lived one town closer to the city than Larry did, Larry suggested that he could pick Jim up the next morning.

Jim and Larry registered for the 3-year course.  During the following 3 years, Jim worked hard at his studies, and graduated near the top of his class.  Larry just managed to get through, but he also graduated.  Since Larry and Jim had become good friends, they decided to start their own optometry business together.

Contact lenses were in their infancy at the time, mid 70’s, and Larry hated his glasses.   So, while Jim was content to look at the world through the thick lenses that he needed to see, Larry became very interested in contact lenses.  It was not much fun wearing contacts back then.  The lenses themselves were small, hard plastic discs.   They required all sorts of treatments to sterilize them, they were mostly uncomfortable, and every once in a while one of the lenses would decide to do a shimmy off the surface of the wearer’s eyeball, resulting in mass panic until the owner, or someone with good enough eyesight was able to locate the escaping lens.  But Larry had been teased unmercifully about his thick glasses all through school, so the trouble that the contacts caused him were worth it to him to allow him to appear to be a normally sighted person. Jim, it seemed had escaped the teasing that went on at Larry’s school.  Oh, he had felt picked on a few times because of his poor eyesight, but his feelings towards glasses were those of gratitude that they allowed him to see more than an inch past the end of his nose.

After graduation Larry and Jim decided to borrow some money, and set up a practice together in the city.  At this time, the city was the main community in a large farming area, and there were around 500,000 inhabitants.  Industry was coming to the city, and the population was growing, drawing young people from the surrounding small towns like a magnet.   So, Jim and Larry set up shop together.  Jim was going to be the man who specialized in glasses, and Larry was going to be the contact lens specialist.

Things went well for the first year.  I don’t know when the trouble started, but I suspect that it might have been the day that Helen came in to see Larry to be fitted for contact lenses.  Larry fell head over heels for Helen.  But, no matter how much he liked Helen, he couldn’t get a contact lens fitted that Helen could wear.  Finally Larry gave up, and Jim fitted Helen with a new pair of glasses with myodisc lenses.  Helen was very nearsighted, even more so than either Jim or Larry were, with a prescription of around –22D, and still climbing.  Larry didn’t want to go out with a girl wearing such thick glasses, so when she couldn’t wear contacts, he stopped calling Helen.  But when Jim and Helen started dating, I think Larry became upset.

Even so, Larry was the best man at Jim and Helen’s wedding, and he seemed to keep his feelings to himself.  Larry then met Marie, who was mildly shortsighted, around –5D and who wore contact lenses so well, it was like she was born with them.  So, after a period of courtship, Marie and Larry wed, and Jim was Larry’s best man.

Larry had been after Jim to allow the store to specialize in contact lenses.  The extra capitol they could raise by selling off their lens making equipment, stock of lens blanks, frames, and displays would go a long way in buying more contact lenses, and supplies.  Larry did have a point, a very good point.  The profit margin in contact lenses was fantastic.  And by getting in on the ground floor, the two partners could become the biggest contact lens lab and retail outlet in the area.  Jim wasn’t enthusiastic.  It probably was that Jim actually was a lover of ladies wearing very high minus glasses and realized that many people with high scripts could not tolerate contacts.   Further, he hated it anytime Larry converted a girl with very high minus script over to a contact lens wearer.  Jim wasn’t stupid.  He could see the handwriting on the wall, but he couldn’t see himself as part of it.

So, in 1983, Jim and Larry decided to go their separate ways.  Jim bought out Larry’s share, according to the shotgun agreement they had originally devised. If one partner wanted to get rid of the other partner, both of the partners had to agree on a fair price. The amount that was decided upon could be paid to whichever partner wished to leave. Larry didn’t want much of the equipment, so it was in his best interest to take the money.

It was difficult for Jim to carry on without Larry, but Jim specialized in very high prescriptions, as well as children’s vision problems.  Jim had built a fairly well equipped optical lab, and now he started doing outside work as well.  It took a while, but finally he had his head above water again.

Larry also didn’t have an easy time of it.  But, the new soft contact lenses were just hitting the market, and Larry began stocking lenses from all of the various manufacturers.  Eventually Larry’s company ended up as the primary contact lens distributor for the whole city, and his warehouse was making a healthy profit.

Larry and Marie had a baby girl they called Andrea in the early part of 1984.  The previous year, Jim and Helen had given birth to their son, Paul.  But, neither Larry, nor Jim had any desire, or reason to contact each other.  Jim was a little hurt that Larry’s firm had been running adds on television that Jim knew were hurting his business.  They would have a plain, ordinary girl, wearing fairly strong glasses surrounded by books in a library, appear in one shot, followed by another appearance of the same girl, all dolled up and wearing contact lenses in a night club setting, being fawned over by a bunch of good looking guys.  This advertising was hurting Jim’s glasses business.  Jim didn’t really mind the loss of a little bit of income, but rather he detested the illusion that simply wearing contact lenses would make an ordinary girl into a doll that was a magnet for guys.  And Jim also was a bit upset that the world was loosing so many nice looking girls with very high minus glasses to the seductive effects of contacts.

As the years past, Larry became quite rich from his contact lens business.  Jim and Helen didn’t even travel in the same circles anymore.  The only times Jim had seen Marie in the past few years was when she brought Andrea in to be fitted for a pair of glasses. Jim was surprised that Larry didn’t even sell glasses, not even for his own daughter, who was not surprisingly, with a highly myopic father and a mother who was myopic as well, a –10D myope by the age of 3.  After the first fitting, Andrea was back for even stronger glasses at age 5.  But the last time Jim saw Marie was when Andrea got her new -13D glasses at the age of 7.  Andrea was already a high myope.

Jim and Helen were surprised when Paul had reached the age of 16 without needing glasses.  Jim knew that there was better than an 80% chance that Paul should be highly myopic.  But, every year when Jim tested his son’s eyes, he found Paul to have better than 20/15 vision.  This, Jim felt, was incredible. Paul was so fortunate not to have to wear the thick glasses that his father and mother wore.

Since the age of 13, Paul had spent the summer’s working in his father’s laboratory at the lens manufacturing company.  He had become friends with the foreman Ben, an old German technician that had the ability to make even the strongest prescriptions into works of art.   Paul and Ben often discussed the topic of optics, and Ben would show Paul every finished pair of high minus glasses he made.  Even during the winter, when Paul was in school, Ben would not ship out a finished pair of strong prescription glasses unless Paul saw them first when he came in on the weekend.  Ben knew, and understood Paul’s love of the high minus lens, because Ben felt the same way.  He had taken Paul under his wing as an apprentice, and Paul was so interested that Ben was sure that he was going to be a master lens craftsman.

When Paul graduated from high school, he was not interested in going to college, so he immediately started to work in the lab with Ben, making beautiful glasses.

Paul was very intelligent.  When he was not at work, Paul was at the library, reading everything he could get his hands on about vision, and vision problems and how they could be treated, especially with glasses.  While his parents were thrilled about Paul’s excellent eyesight, Paul actually wanted to be extremely myopic.  He loved the myodisc lenses that his mother had to wear.  But Paul realized that there was no way he could become nearsighted. He had, according to the books on myopia he was reading, passed the age where he was likely to develop myopia.  And if he did manage to make himself myopic, it would only be a little bit.  Paul felt that unless he could wear the very strong glasses that his father and his mother had to wear, he would rather have the perfect eyesight that he was blessed with.

At first Paul didn’t show a lot of interest in girls, but one day when he was at the library, he met a girl named Andrea, who was reading the exact same book on myopia that he was reading.  She told Paul that she was very nearsighted, and that she wore strong contact lenses, and she was just looking for some information to help her understand her poor eyesight.  Paul and Andrea exchanged phone numbers, but Paul never got around to calling Andrea.

Ben and Paul talked all the time about Paul’s desire to wear very thick glasses. One day Ben showed Paul a lens he had made. It had a pretty steep convex curve in the front, and a concave curve in the back and it was very thick.  Paul looked through the lens as Ben instructed him to, and was surprised that he could see so well through such a thick, strong looking lens.  

“It is a zero power lens, Paul,” Ben explained.  “I have made a pair of them for you to fit in a frame.  They will appear very thick, but they have no optical power and you will be able to see perfectly wearing them.”

So Paul put the lenses into a frame, and he would wear these glasses whenever he could.  The weight was not too bad, the appearance looked fine, but they really didn’t seem to do anything much for Paul.  He told Ben that.  Ben then suggested that Paul buy a pair of high plus contact lenses that fitted his eyes well, and then Ben would make Paul a real pair of glasses, with enough strength to compensate for his plus contacts and qualify as something that would be necessary for a very nearsighted person.

Paul went to one of Larry’s discount contact lens super stores, and was fitted with a pair of wild eyes contact lenses, supposedly for a Halloween party.  But, in reality all Paul wanted was the correct sizes to fit his eyes.   Armed with this information, Paul ordered a pair of +16D contact lenses from an internet site.  When the contact lenses came in, he took them on a Sunday afternoon to Ben, who took him into his father’s examination room, where Ben worked the phoropter to determine what prescription Paul needed when he put the contacts on.

“Well Paul, we need –24D for each eye,” Ben told him.

Ben and Paul went back to the lab, where they made a pair of –24D lenses.  First, Ben showed Paul a new pair of women’s glasses that he had just finished with a –22D prescription.  Paul loved the looks of the lenses, so they made the exact same myodisc lenses in the prescription that Paul needed when he was wearing the +16D contacts. When the lenses were finished, Paul lovingly put them into a frame.  Once the pair of glasses was complete, Paul put the +16D contact lenses onto his eyes, and put on the glasses.  It took him a few minutes to get used to the minification, and the distortion, but he loved the feeling and appearance of the myodisc glasses.  Once he felt he could see properly, Paul took another look at the girl’s glasses with the –22D prescription.  Andrea Barber was the name on the slip.

“Where do I know that name from?” Paul mused.

But Paul was too intrigued with his own glasses over contacts to spend any time thinking about this.

Early the following week, a young lady came into the store.

“Hi Mr. Duke. You called my cell phone to say my new glasses were ready.”

“Hi Andrea, yes, I did.  Ben did a wonderful job on them.  It is almost impossible for the average person to tell how powerful your myodiscs are.” Jim asked her, “How are Larry and Marie?”

“Oh, they are fine. You know, both are healthy, and no time for me, because they are so busy.  If you talk to them, please don’t tell my dad that I got new glasses.  He hates it when I tell him I want to get a pair of glasses.  He says that the daughter of the contact lens King shouldn’t ever be seen wearing glasses, as it would destroy his image.”

“Well I am glad that you are smart enough to know that someone as nearsighted as you are should have a pair of glasses to wear.  It really isn’t healthy for your corneas’ to wear contacts all the time.  And, don’t worry about me talking to your dad.  I haven’t said more than a quick hello to him since 1983. That is almost 20 years ago now.  How old are you Andrea?” Jim asked.

“I was born in 1984, so I am 18 now,” Andrea answered as she tried on her new glasses.

“If you want, you can take your contact lenses out, and see if you can see OK with your new glasses.  Our son Paul is a year older than you are. He was born in 1983,” Jim told Andrea.

“No, I had better leave my contacts in.  I just want the glasses to wear when I am alone at home to rest my eyes.  I never minded wearing glasses when I was a kid, but daddy was so much against it that I have been wearing nothing but contacts ever since I was 9,” Andrea replied.

Jim fitted the glasses to Andrea’s face, and put them in a case.  Andrea left the store, and Jim couldn’t help but think what a gorgeous girl she had grown up to be.

When Andrea got home her parents were out, so she went up to her room, went to her private bathroom, and removed her contacts.  She was used to blindly feeling her way to her bed, but tonight she put on her new glasses, and took pleasure in the fact that she could see so well with them. She lay in bed, with her glasses on watching the television, and reading a glamour magazine.   She was surprised to find a model in the magazine wearing the same frames she had just purchased.  “Glasses must be making a comeback,” she thought.

The following day Andrea slept late. She reached out to her bedside table and felt for her new glasses.  She took her glasses and put them on. She was thrilled that she could see without having to stumble to the bathroom, and to put in her contacts.  Andrea dressed, and went quietly downstairs.  Her mom should be out playing golf, and of course dad was at the lens factory.  Andrea was correct.  She was alone in the big house.  So, she made herself a quick breakfast, and she dressed in a very smart and somewhat sexy outfit.  She was determined that she was going to wear her glasses to class today.   She wanted to see if any of the guys that were constantly hitting on her would still go after her, if they saw she was wearing glasses, with thick, strong myodisc lenses.

Andrea was pleased by her reception. All but one of the guys that had been trying to date her still seemed to be extremely interested in her.  And she didn’t mind the loss of one admirer anyway, because there were still 5 others to choose from.  Oh, sure, her classmates were a little surprised when they saw how strong her glasses were, but there were no unkind remarks made to her face.  Now her only problem was going to convince her father to let her wear glasses.  As so often happens with children, the more Andrea had been forced into wearing contact lenses, the more she wanted to wear glasses.  Now, she finally had taken the step that she had long wanted.

Andrea thought about her problem for a while.  If she put a drop of a mild acidic solution in her eye along with her one contact lens, and went directly to her dad’s office, she probably could see Doctor Adams. Hopefully Doctor Adams would, upon seeing the red eye, forbid Andrea from wearing her contacts for a few days.  That way she could wear her glasses, and everyone, including her parents would get used to her in glasses.

“Bleach is hydrochlorous acid,” Andrea thought to herself.  “A little drop of bleach should do the trick.”  When she put the contact with the bleach on her eye, it really hurt.  “Maybe I should have used more water,” Andrea thought as she removed the lens, and rinsed it in lens solution and reinserted it, but her eye still burned and hurt.

With tears coming from her left eye, Andrea drove herself to her father’s contact lens superstore.  The receptionist took one look at Andrea’s red left eye, and hurried her into Doctor Adams office, where she helped Andrea remove her contacts.  Everyone at the store knew how nearsighted Andrea was, and while no one dared say it to her father, they all thought that he was quite wrong not to allow Andrea to have a pair of glasses. The doctor hurried in to see Andrea.  He was between patients, but daddy signed his paycheck, so he knew what he had to do.  He examined Andrea carefully, and thoroughly.

“Well, I don’t know the reason for this inflammation of your cornea Andrea, but you are not to wear contacts for at least a week.  Use these drops, and if it doesn’t clear up in a week, we will try something else,” Doctor Adams told Andrea. “Oh, I just remembered, your father forbids you to have glasses.  You can’t go around blind for a whole week.”

“Fortunately Doctor, I went against my father’s wishes a few weeks ago and ordered myself a pair of glasses. I don’t have them with me, but they are in my bathroom at home,” Andrea told the doctor.

“I will contact your dad, and he will have to give you a ride home when he leaves in a little while.” Susan, the nurse, told Andrea, as she led Andrea out into the waiting room.

Andrea sat there quietly, unable to see more than smears and blurs.  It was frustrating being without correction, but it would be worth it, if she could get her own way, and be allowed to wear glasses whenever she felt like it.

“Adams tells me you can’t wear contacts for at least a week.  I don’t know what we can do to get you a pair of glasses in the meantime.  I put a call in to Jim Duke.  I expect he will help me out for old times sake,” Andrea’s dad said in his take-charge manner.

“It’s all right daddy.  I bought a pair of glasses from Mr. Duke a while ago, just after my last prescription change.  They are in my bathroom at home. All I need is a ride home, and a ride back tomorrow so I can pick up my car,” Andrea told her dad.

Now that the emergency was over, Andrea was going to be able to wear her glasses for at least a week and hopefully whenever she felt like it.   She was so pleased that her little subterfuge had worked so well.

That weekend Andrea went to one of the favorite hang outs for the locals.  She noticed that a few of the guys seemed put off a bit by her strong myodisc glasses, but there were a number of really cute guys who seemed to keep staring at her.  One really gorgeous hunk of a guy came over and asked her to dance. She accepted, and after the dance was over he introduced himself as Paul Duke.  She was about to tell him her name when he told her that he already knew she was Andrea Barber.

“How did you know?” Andrea asked.

“I helped make your beautiful new glasses.  But I never realized that they would grace the eyes of such a gorgeous girl.  You look fabulous wearing them,” Paul said.

“Do you like girls that wear glasses?” Andrea asked.

“Not any glasses, only the very strong ones like you wear,” Paul replied.

Paul and Andrea spent the rest of the evening together.  As the evening was over, Andrea looked at Paul through the strong myodisc lenses that she was wearing and said, “You are the guy from the library, aren’t you?  We were both reading the same book on myopia.  I gave you my number. Why didn’t you call me?”

“You weren’t wearing glasses then,” Paul replied.

“But I told you, I was very nearsighted, and wore contact lenses,” Andrea said.

“Yes, I know, but now that I see you wearing your glasses with my own eyes, I realize how very cute you really are,” Paul told her. “Your dad, and his contact lens superstores have destroyed the pleasure of seeing girls with very high minus glasses. You girls will hardly ever wear your beautiful glasses out in public.”

Andrea giggled and she told Paul, “I put a drop of bleach in my left contact lens and made my eye all red and inflamed so that I could wear these lovely glasses that you made for me.  My dad would freak out if he knew that I love wearing my glasses.”

Meanwhile, Paul’s father was on the internet conversing with a friend of his from Russia who he had met through a discussion group that spoke about glasses.  Yuri was a very rich Russian businessman, who had made a fortune in oil after the collapse of the old Soviet Union.  Yuri had a fixation over girls with very high minus glasses, and when Jim had been on the internet a few weeks back looking for information that might possibly help his wife, Helen, Yuri had been very upset that Jim had been searching for something to lessen Helen’s myopia, and her condition of near legal blindness, even with her very strong myodisc glasses.  But finally, Jim had been able to convince Yuri that he absolutely loved women with very high minus glasses.  But unfortunately, Helen had been having so many problems with her eyes, and she was now approaching a prescription of –40D in her glasses, and her corrected vision was very poor.   There was nothing further that Jim could do to improve his wife’s vision with glasses, and he had heard of a new procedure that was being used in Russia that could safely reduce the degree of myopia that a very high myope had.  Yuri understood, and agreed with Jim that a high myope with poor corrected vision deserved the chance to be able to see better, so Yuri was speaking with the Russian doctor on Jim and Helen’s behalf.

Yuri and Jim had both been lamenting the widespread use of contact lenses among the very high minus ladies in the world.  Apparently there had been as substantial reduction in Yuri’s viewing pleasure, as there had been in Jim’s.  So Yuri, who was an extremely wealthy man, was wanting to find a solution that would make the girls with high minus glasses want to wear their glasses.   Jim had that evening suggested a contest.  Yuri couldn’t understand what Jim meant.  They were in a chat room that was associated with the main internet site where they had met.

“Yes, a contest.  An around the world contest, with the winner being given a certain number of points for their beauty, and points for the strength of their glasses, the stronger the glasses, the more the points” Jim typed.  So, it was to be a contest of beautiful girls wearing strong glasses.

In other words, the most beautiful women with the highest amount of myopia would be the winner?” Yuri asked in type.

“We could have a number of different age groups, and a number of ranges of myopia.  But basically you are right in your thinking, Yuri.”

“I would be willing to put up one million dollars in US money for the prizes,” Yuri replied.

“So that would make 10 prizes of $100,000 each,” Jim typed.

“Make that 2 million dollars, and we can have 8 different groups, with each prize being a quarter of a million.  And the winners would have to agree to wear their glasses, and model my frames for a one year period after winning,” Yuri suggested.

“I had forgotten that you just bought a frame manufacturing company.  Now you will have the frames and lenses market tied up in all of Russia,” Jim replied.

“What?  My main USA frame distributor has forgotten that.  It is late here in Moscow; I must go to bed now.  Good night Jim,” Yuri signed off.

Jim walked into the living room of their modest 3 bedroom home.  Helen was sitting under a bright light, with a magnifier placed around her neck so that it hung over the book she was trying to read.  Her eyes were almost squeezed shut trying to focus on what she was reading.  Jim loved Helen very much, and it deeply hurt him to see her struggle so hard to see.  Since her myopia had exceeded –30D a few years back, Helen had been having major problems seeing anything in the distance and up close.  If only Yuri could get the Russian doctor to see Helen, and give her some of her vision back.

Yuri was coming to Texas to enter into a marketing deal with a large American oil company.  He was also going to be having dinner with the President of the United States, and he was going to be extremely busy.  But Yuri had managed to figure out how he could disappear from the spotlight, and come to stay with Jim and Helen for a day or two.  Jim was looking forward to Yuri’s visit.

A rattletrap of a taxi pulled up Jim’s driveway, and a tall well-built gentleman got out, and came to the door.

Jim reached the door before the doorbell rang, and the two men hugged each other in the Russian style.  “Yuri, it is great to finally meet you,” Jim said with pleasure.

“I have, how you Americans say, given them the slip. I went in the one door of the restaurant, and went out the back and got the taxi here,” Yuri told Jim, meaning that he had escaped from the two secret service men who were guarding him.

“That isn’t good, Yuri.  I had better call and tell them you are here safe with me, or they will be very angry with both of us,” and Jim went off to call the Secret Service.

Within minutes, a jet-black car that could only be a Secret Service car pulled up, and Jim admitted the two agents.  After examining his identity, and satisfying themselves that their charge would be safe with Jim and Helen, the men left.  After all, the only reason for providing protection to Yuri had been because he was meeting with the President, and the meeting was over, so they were off the hook.

Yuri had good news.  The doctor in Moscow was willing to examine Helen.  Then Jim and Yuri spent a lot of time talking about the contest.  They both agreed that the contest should be for either very high plus, or very high minus girls to enter.  The rules were to be such that a girl who was extremely beautiful with a –11D prescription would have as good a chance of winning as a girl with a –22D prescription, who was not as beautiful, or talented.  And, yes, there was to be a talent contest as well as a beauty contest.  And all the girls had to be wearing glasses from the new frame line that Yuri was to supply Jim with.

Yuri had one more idea.  The winners of all the divisions would then have a final contest for the most beautiful and most talented “Girl With Glasses” in the world, as this contest was going to be open to admission to any GWG in the world.  This winner would take home another half million US dollars.  But first Jim and Yuri had to get the new frame line distributed around the world.  They had to make phone call after phone call, and when Paul came in from his date with Andrea the two of them were still working at the kitchen table.

Paul asked what they were doing, so Jim explained the contest to him.

“Don’t waste your money Dad, I’ve got the winner,” Paul told Jim.

“What do you mean son?” Jim asked.

“Andrea Barber.  She will win hands down.  She is the smartest, most beautiful, most nearsighted GWG I have ever seen,” Paul said.

“So, you are going out with Andrea.  I agree that she would place near the top, maybe at the top of the winner’s circle,” Jim told his son.

“Can I meet this Andrea?” Yuri asked.

“Sure, I will invite her for dinner tomorrow.  But she is my girl,” Paul scowled at Yuri.

“That is why the contest must go on.  You have your beautiful GWG.  I am still looking for mine,” Yuri said.

The contest was to be a yearlong elimination process.  During that year sales of glasses went through the roof.  Larry, the Contact Lens King lost a lot of business because of the contest, but it was hard for him to say too much, as his daughter was one of the 16 most popular contestants.  In the end, he grudgingly admired Jim for figuring out a way to beat him at his own game.

Yuri was in seventh heaven.  So far he had dated 42 very interesting and beautiful girls with very high minus glasses.  Frame and lens sales for his optical company had exceeded all their projections.  The prize money of 2.5 million dollars was peanuts, compared to the profits that they were making.

One little glitch developed as the contestants were reaching the final eliminations.  When the contestants in each group reached the top 5, each of the 5 girls had to have eye examinations done by the contest organizers.  Jim discovered that 2 of the very high minus contestants were wearing high plus contacts to allow them to wear the very thick myodisc glasses that they were competing with.  One of the other girls was found to have had lens implants done to make her a very high minus glasses wearer.  Jim, Yuri, and Paul examined all of the rules that had been made up for the contest.  The rules just said that the contestants had to wear very strong glasses, either for the correction of myopia or hyperopia.   So, while they were more inclined to allow the girl who had the lens implants to remain in the contest, they also had to let the two girls that were doing GOC remain. Paul thought it would be fun to let one of the GOC girls become one of the runner ups, and that way she would be forced to appear as a very high myope in public all over the world, promoting Yuri’s frame and lens lines, but since the judges were noted lovers of girls with glasses, they left it up to Alain, Bobby, Andy, Micha, Konstantin, and Specs4ever to choose the winners. 

Finally the contest was over.  As Paul had predicted, Andrea was the ultimate winner.  She was going to be wearing glasses, and promoting Yuri’s frame line all over the world for the next year.  Larry was mortified that his own daughter was the most beautiful, most nearsighted, most intelligent GWG in the whole world, but he wasn’t mortified for long, because his new contacts bashing glasses advertising got a lot of girls back into contact lenses.  Although, there was also quite an increase in the glasses business, because Yuri announced that the contest would become a bi-annual event.

Helen went to Russia with Yuri and Jim, and she had her –40D prescription reduced as much as was safe to do.  She is now down to around –18D, and wears glasses with glass trifocal lenses the same as her husband, Jim wears, and she sees 20/40, so much better than the 20/200 she had when she was legally blind, so Jim and Helen are very happy.  Helen still wears strong glasses, but she now can again see nearly normally wearing her glasses.

Andrea liked her glasses so much that she wears them over 50% of the time, as her contacts actually did irritate her eyes most of the time.

Yuri has a bevy of beautiful girls that wear very high minus glasses to date from all over the world.  And, he is trying his best to date each and every one of them.

Andrea and Paul married. Paul confessed to Andrea how much he wanted to be very nearsighted himself; so on Sunday, when they are home alone, Paul wears his very strong plus contacts, with his –24D glasses over them.  Andrea used some of her winnings to purchase their house, and she invested the balance wisely, so they would have money to raise their children.  Oh, and did I mention that on Sundays when Paul is wearing his glasses, Andrea wears hers as well, and they spend much of the day in bed practicing the art of making babies. 

Specs4ever, from a plot line suggested by Konstantin, with editing by Aliena

August 2004