A few years before I planned to retire I purchased a new pickup. This was a pretty expensive model, loaded with options, and equipped to pull a decent sized 5th wheel travel trailer. I wanted to have it completely paid off, and with plenty of life left in it on retirement. The day I finalized the deal I had been at the dealership twice, once in the morning, to sign all the documents, and again in the afternoon to bring them the balance of the purchase price, and to pick up my new vehicle.
As I was waiting in reception I noticed a school bus pull up. A young lady, likely about 8 or 9 years old, got off and headed for the door to the waiting room. She threw her backpack on a chair, and headed for the office, where the receptionist/cashier/bookkeeper sat. Now, I am not into young girls. At 55 years of age I was perfectly satisfied with ladies my wifeís age Ė maybe a little younger, but certainly not children. However, I do have an abnormal interest in girls who wear glasses. My preference is slanted towards those who wear minus lenses, and I find that the stronger the lenses are, the more I am attracted. I know, this is not what most people would consider normal, but each and every one of us has a quirk, and this is mine. This child did not wear very strong lenses in her glasses, but I estimated that her glasses were about -2D, a nice start for a child her age.
I assumed that the lady in the inner office was her mother, and I thought that she was the wife of the ownerís son, so this young lady would be the granddaughter of the owner. She probably came to the dealership every day after school, and waited in the lounge for her mom to finish her work. I made a mental note to make sure I booked any warranty work for late afternoon in the future.
When it was time to pick up my paperwork I had to see the cashier. So I commented on how nice her daughter looked in her glasses.
"Thatís her second pair in less than a year. Alysha just started wearing them just before the school year started, and already her prescription has doubled. I have had regular increases in my prescription since I started, but my increases were just small ones." Alyshaís mom replied.
"So I take it you wear contact lenses then." I replied.
"Oh yes, ever since I was 15. I will get Alysha contacts as soon as she wants them also."
As I walked back to the lounge I noticed Alysha reading a book, her glasses pressed right into the pages. When she heard my footsteps drawing closer she looked up, and I saw her give me a pretty good squint to try to bring me into focus. I knew from this look that this youngster would bear closer watching.
Over the next couple of years I managed to get into the dealership for my work late in the afternoon. It was interesting to see Alysha disembark from the school bus, and come back to the lounge where I was waiting. Every once in a while she would talk with me, but usually she was very focused on her schoolwork. I didnít get in all that often, and if the dealership hadnít been offering a pretty good price for grease and oil changes, I likely wouldnít have gotten in more than once a year, because my new pickup was very reliable. Since I was not travelling that many miles I was only there about once every 6 months. Either I was lucky, and managed to come in shortly after Alysha had gotten new glasses again, or else she had been getting new glasses very frequently, because it looked like her lenses had gotten a lot stronger over the past 2 years. By now she was either 10 or 11, and I figured her latest pair of glasses to be at least -5D, and maybe even higher. And now she came with a young boy that I thought must be her younger brother. He was at least 2 years younger, but he didnít wear glasses, and didnít even look like he might need them yet. Alysha spent a lot of her time helping her brother Brandon with his schoolwork, along with doing her own, but instead of sitting quietly Brandon was more interested in wandering around the dealership, which left Alysha alone. I had never really said any more than a quick hello to her, but that day I asked her a question.
"Did you get new glasses recently Alysha? They look different than the ones you used to wear. I actually think they look nicer than your other ones." I said.
"I have only had these glasses for a few weeks now. It seems that I just get a new pair of glasses and before I get used to wearing them I have to get another new pair. My eyes are almost as bad as my moms are now, and I am not going to be 11 until next month." Alysha replied.
"Do you know how strong they are?" I asked.
"I think my doctor told me they were number 6 lenses." Alysha replied.
That confirmed my guess. I took it that number 6 lenses meant they were around -6D. Over the next three years I watched as the lenses in Alyshaís glasses got stronger and stronger. Sometimes she was sitting in the lounge with her brother, and her younger sister, who was about the same age as Alysha was when I first noticed her. But Shannon didnít wear glasses, and like Brandon she didnít show any evidence of needing them. And now often Alysha was in the inner office helping her mother by filing paperwork, and answering the phone.
I was 60 when I retired. At first I had lots to do around the house, repairing things that had been left for me to do after retirement. But after I had spent a few months doing this I was bored. I needed something to do. I spent a lot of time reading, and I was even thinking of becoming a volunteer somewhere. My truck was due for service, and I was pleased to have somewhere to go, to see different people again. And I needed another Alysha fix.
I went into the lounge, and grabbed a coffee. Just then Alisha came in off the school bus with her brother and sister in tow. I smiled, and said hi to them. Alysha was getting close to 15 by now, and her glasses now appeared to be around -13D or -14D. She settled her brother and sister down and got them started on her homework.
"Alysha, when are you going to stop getting new glasses every time I see you?" I asked.
"Maybe when my eyes stop getting worse." Alysha replied with a note of sarcasm.
"Oh, I deserved that. I hadnít realized that your lenses were stronger. Has your doctor given you any idea when that will stop?" I asked.
"No, not really. He told my mom that they could still get a bit worse until I am in my 20ís." Alysha replied.
Just then the kidís father came into the lounge. He said hi to his children, and then he turned to me.
"Al, just the person I wanted to talk to. You have been retired now for what - almost a year?" Dave asked.
"It will be a year next month Dave. Why do you ask?" I queried.
"Oh, just an idea I had. My dad retired about the same time as you, and mom tells me he is driving her crazy. She wants me to put him to work part time, but he doesnít want to go back to selling cars." Dave said.
"I donít blame him. But I sure know how heavy time lies on your hands when you donít have much to do. Did you have an idea?" I asked.
"Yes, I do. I think dad would love to drive the shuttle van, picking up and dropping off customers. But I doubt that he would want to do it for much more than 2 days a week, so I need a couple more people. My regular driver quit last week, and I havenít replaced her." Dave replied.
"Iím interested in at least 2 days." I replied.
"Letís talk some more before you leave." Dave said as he went off to answer a page.
I gave it some quick thought. I was willing to bet that Alysha would be working at the dealership all summer, so one of the benefits would be that I would get to see a lot more of her. She was a very pretty young lady, and I was completely enthralled by her steadily increasing myopia, and her stronger and stronger lenses. I wondered how much longer I would have this eye candy available for my viewing pleasure, because at age 15 I was almost willing to bet that Alysha would soon be getting contact lenses. So before I left for home I sought out Dave, and told him he could count on me.
The next couple of years were great. I had been wrong about Alysha getting contacts. And her glasses did keep getting stronger. By the time she was going into her last year of high school, at age 17, her glasses were -15.50D. Alysha had worked at the dealership every day after school, and for all of the holidays. During this time we had some pretty good conversations, although I had tried my best to keep conversations about glasses to a minimum, as I didnít want to reveal my interest. I had asked Alysha if she was going to get contact lenses, and her answer surprised me a lot. She told me that she couldnít see any reason to get them. Her mom wore them all the time and they seemed to be a real pain. Glasses were a lot easier to wear, and take care of. And, she didnít believe her mom when her mom had told her that guys wouldnít be as interested in her when she was wearing glasses. Alysha told me that she had plenty of boyfriends, and if any guy didnít like her wearing glasses, then she would just send him on his way. That was my kind of girl. Why couldnít I have found a girl like Alysha?
By the time Alysha was 18, and was heading off to university her prescription had increased a little more. I asked about her newest glasses, and she told me that she had only had a small increase during the past year. Her newest prescription was now -16.00D. This was still a pretty strong prescription for her age, but it seemed that her increases were slowing down.
I drove the shuttle van for 2 more years. I had enjoyed working my 2 days every week. And, the money helped as well, but it was now time to do a little travelling. I finally bought my camper, and my wife and I headed out to see the country. We really enjoyed the travelling, but after a year of it we were ready to come back home. Naturally when I came back my first job was to have a service done on my truck. I was hoping that I would be able to see Alysha at the dealership, but wasnít counting on it, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that she was there. She hadnít changed in appearance at all, although she was again wearing new glasses. I complimented her on her choice of frames, and told her that they looked really good on her. I didnít want to ask her prescription, but she volunteered that she was now -17.50D. I thought about it, and realized that that wasnít too bad of an increase. That was only -0.50D for each of the past 3 years. We conversed some more, and I discovered that Alysha was going to be going to teachers college for the next year, and after graduation she would be teaching. I also discovered that she had gone and gotten herself engaged, and that they would be getting married the following year.
"You will be invited Al. I canít think of anyone I would rather have at my wedding." Alysha said.
"It will be an honor for me to attend Alysha. You are one of my favorite people." I replied.
And, when the invitation came in the mail the next spring I was indeed honored. I could hardly wait for the wedding day. Surely Alysha would be wearing contact lenses for that special day.
The wedding day was a gorgeous sunny July day. My wife and I got to the church in plenty of time, and we got good seats on the aisle, and fairly close to the front. The church filled rapidly, and before long the strains of the wedding march could be heard coming from the organ. I turned along with everyone else in the church to watch Alysha being escorted down the aisle by Dave, her dad. I was wrong again. Alysha was wearing glasses. These glasses were as inconspicuous as possible. They were in gold wire frames, with an oval shape for the lenses. The lenses must have been made from the thinnest possible material, because they looked more like a -10D lens than a -18D. They looked really good on her, but then again I had never ever seen Alysha without glasses, so I had no idea how she looked without glasses.
The service was, like any other church service, long and boring for all but the participants, but finally it was over. My wife and I returned home, and we were going to return for the dinner and the reception later. I couldnít stop thinking about Alysha, her new glasses, and her new husband. It was very unusual for a bride to not wear contact lenses, so Alyshaís husband must be very much in love with her, or he must be very much in love with her as well as being a man who likes ladies who wear glasses. Hopefully I would find out someday.
That evening we had a great time at the reception. Dinner was good, the toasts were funny, and the dance music wasnít really to my wife and my taste, but isnít that the way it is supposed to be. Alysha even came over and introduced my wife and I to her new husband.
"I was surprised to see that you hadnít gotten contacts to wear for your wedding Alysha." I said.
"I have never worn them before, so why would you think I would get them just for my wedding Al?" Alysha asked.
"I donít know. It is just something that most girls do. I am glad you didnít though, because as usual you look fabulous wearing glasses." I replied.
"Scott tells me I have a glasses face, and look great with them on. I tell him I have glasses eyes, because I canít see a thing without them." Alysha said.
"Have you hit -20D yet?" I asked her.
"Nope, still got a way to go. These are -19D, and I hope I donít need any stronger lenses." Alysha replied.
"I hope you donít either. We are going now. Thanks for having us, and we hope you two have a wonderful life together." I replied.
With that my wife and I left the reception, and drove home. I havenít had a chance to see Alysha since that night, but I am able to catch up on her life every time I stop in at the dealership. And, every once in a while I meet her grandfather over on main street for coffee. I tell him what a lucky man he is to have such wonderful grandkids, and he agrees with me.