I stood on my front porch, trying with all my might to strain to see if I could identify the vehicle that was making the cloud of dust way down the road that lead only to the long driveway to her isolated ranch house. I hoped it wasn’t Buster yet, although Buster had been ever so nice to me since Dave had been killed. But I just didn’t have any romantic feelings towards Buster, and it was going to be a long enough ride into town with him anyway. Nor did I want it to be Lloyd. Lloyd had worked under Dave, and on Dave’s death had been promoted to Sheriff. I knew that Lloyd would also like to comfort me over my loss in a romantic way, but I just couldn’t see myself with Lloyd either.
Since Dave had been killed in a car crash when he was on duty chasing a fleeing robbery suspect I had been doing my best to sell off all the cattle, and the horses on the ranch. Now only Blue, Dave’s ancient hound, and I remained. The ranch had been sold, and I was going to move into the city to be closer to my university-aged daughter. I would have liked to stay on the ranch, but that darned Sid Price had reported to the MVD that my visual acuity had dropped below the required 20/40 minimum for the state drivers license, so living on an isolated ranch miles from town was no longer an option. I really couldn’t blame Sid too much though. When my acuity with glasses had dropped to 20/50 Sid had fitted me with contact lenses, and with the contact lenses I had been able to see well enough to maintain my license for a few more years, although I hadn’t worn the contact lenses again after passing the test. Now my best vision with glasses was only 20/70, and Sid, who knew I hadn’t worn my contacts for driving, would not give me the pass I needed to keep my license.
The car drew closer, and I was now able to narrow my eyes enough into the myopic squint I so often used to recognize it. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was Linda Sloan, my real estate agent, probably with some more papers to sign before the deal could close tomorrow. With the money from the ranch, along with the payout from Dave’s accidental death policy and his pension I would not have any financial worries, and I would not have to sell any of my holdings of mutual funds to purchase a nice condominium.
Linda’s visit was brief, and as I had suspected there were a couple of documents to sign. I watched the cloud of dust turn into a blur off in the distance, and then I turned around to go back in and have a last look around before movers came. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror Dave had installed for me on the closet door where the coats were kept. I still liked what I saw. My tall, willowy body, with my ample breasts looked amazingly good for a 45 year old lady. My blond hair, which I still wore shoulder length was beginning to bother me, but I couldn’t decide what style to have it cut into. My present style was more suitable to a girl in her 30’s, and the bangs were definitely passé. Dave had liked my hair this way, and it had been easier to leave it this way for him. The light bounced off the biconcave front of my –36D myodiscs, and I looked closer at the wrinkles I was getting at the edges of my eyes. I knew I shouldn’t squint so much – that was the cause of the wrinkles, but ever since my prescription climbed above –30D the minification from the strong lenses had lowered my visual acuity to a point where I was forced to squint to see.
Sid Price, my eye doctor had wanted me to have lens implants. It had been a week before Dave was killed, and I could remember my last visit to Sid like it was yesterday. Sid was very thorough, and he explained everything to me, to the point where I sometimes just wanted to tell Sid to just give me my new prescription and let me go on my way. But I didn’t want to hurt Sid’s feelings. So I listened.
“You know Ginny, I have never had a patient as myopic as you are. Your eyeball is shaped like an egg, instead of being round like a golf ball. And when I look into your eye through the retinascope it looks as deep as a well in there. But, you are very lucky. You have absolutely no retinal problems – not a trace of lattice degeneration. And I see no evidence of myopic macular degeneration. Your only problem is that you need such strong lenses that you can no longer see any better than 20/70. I bet if you weren’t so stubborn with your refusal to wear contact lenses that you could still pass the MVD eye exam. Your biggest problem is the minification from the strong minus lens in your glasses.” Sid said.
“I just don’t like wearing contacts Sid. I like my glasses.” I said.
“Have you thought about the lens implants I was telling you about the last time you were here Ginny?” Sid asked.
“Didn’t you say that you couldn’t get them strong enough to correct me Sid?” I asked.
“That is true. But the ones they have out now are –15D. This would give you the equivalent of –20D of your glasses prescription. If you had this much of your myopia corrected with implants you would still have to wear glasses that are around –15D or –16D. And with the new high index lenses that are available now you wouldn’t have to wear myodiscs any more.” Sid told me.
“I will mention that to Dave, and see what he says.” I replied.
“I bet you would be able to drive again Ginny. Although if you wanted to have a complete lens removal I bet we could get you completely away from wearing glasses.” Sid said.
“I know it is hard for you to understand this Doctor Price, but ever since I was a little girl I have enjoyed wearing glasses.” I replied, and with that I left the office.
And this was true. I did like wearing glasses. I felt I had started my eyes down the path of high myopia by my own actions, and I wasn’t willing to undergo any sort of surgery to undo my hard work. My sister Louise was 5 years older than I was, and at the age of 8 she had just gotten a new pair of glasses. Louise was one of those people who needed glasses at the age of 6, and she was on her third prescription by the time she turned 8. Looking back on it I would venture a guess that Louise had a first prescription of around –1.50D. Then a year later she went up to around –2.50D, and by the time she was 8 I am sure her prescription was –3.50D. I was only 3 years old at the time, but I remember going to the top drawer in Louise’s bureau, and taking out her old glasses, and wearing them as much as I could. And this was the second pair, the –2.50D ones.
Of course my mom eventually caught me wearing Louise’s old glasses. She took them away from me, and I made quite a fuss that I couldn’t see without them. And, to be truthful, I really can’t remember if I could or not. I quite likely really needed them to see. I remember that mom tried to give me Louise’s oldest pair of glasses, but I wanted her to give me the stronger ones. I suppose if we had any money mom would have taken me to have my eyes examined, but we were pretty poor. So, finally mom gave in and let me wear Louise’s old glasses. Then the following year when Louise again got new glasses I was able to get her –3.50D ones. For some strange reason Louise didn’t rush rapidly into the same high myopia that I ended up with. When she was in high school she did have a number of small increases, and when her prescription stopped climbing by the age of 25 she ended up with glasses that have a prescription of around –10D. So, after the –3.50D ones I could no longer get my hands on any more pairs of her old glasses. But that didn’t matter. I read a lot, and I could always be found with my nose buried between the covers of a book. And, when I was 5 and ready to start school, I was taken for my own vision exam. I came away from the doctor’s office with a prescription of –5D, and for the next few years I managed a –1D increase every year. My glasses prescription matched my age, although by age 14 my prescription was –14.25D. At 15 I was –15.50D and by 16 I was –16.75D. At the age of 12, with a –12D prescription my glasses had biconcave lenses. By the time I was 15 I was wearing myodiscs, and from then on my lenses have always been myodiscs.
By the time I was 16, and mom allowed me to date I had no trouble finding a boyfriend. I am tall, around 5’9, and slim, with a size 40 chest. And if I do say so myself, I had a pretty trim butt, and really nice legs. I had always heard that guys were not interested in girls who wore glasses, but in my sister and my case this certainly wasn’t true. Louise always had her pick of boyfriends, although she didn’t always choose wisely. And I had every guy in the school attempting to date me. So, my myodiscs were no hindrance to my love life.
I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after I finished high school. I hung around town for a while, and worked as a waitress until I got tired of being hit on by every guy who walked through the door. My biconcave myodiscs certainly were not a turn off to any of those men, and in some cases I thought they were more like a magnet, drawing the men to me.
By the time I was 20, I was wearing double myodiscs with a prescription of around –25D. It was around that time that I made the mistake of falling for Jack Harper, the good-looking son of the richest man in town. I also made the fatal mistake of getting pregnant, which is how I found out that Jack’s father was so much against his marrying the blind girl that he was willing to pay for an abortion for me, and give me a sizable sum of money to leave town forever. Mom and I discussed this. She was a little upset with me for becoming pregnant, but having an abortion was against our religion, so we decided that I should just take the money, and leave town. So, this is what I did.
I carried Kimberly for what seemed to be an eternity, but was really only a couple of weeks past my due date. She was a healthy, almost 8 lb baby. Fortunately, the money that Mr. Harper had given me for the abortion was sufficient to pay for Kim’s hospital costs, and I still had a pretty good chunk in the bank. And, I had met another guy. Paul was a budding photographer. We met when I was as big as an elephant, and he started snapping pictures of me to record the pending birth. After Kim was born Paul still stuck around, unnerving me with the constant flashing of his camera. Once in a while Paul would ask me to take my glasses off for a shot, and more often than not I would do as he wished.
“How would you feel about selling this picture Virginia?” Paul asked as he showed me a very flattering picture of me.
“I guess it would be all right. How much money can you get for that picture?” I asked.
“I have been offered $2,000.00 for it. I think I can bump him up to $2,500.00 though.” Paul said.
I almost choked. “That much for a picture of me? Who would be crazy to pay that much?” I asked.
“A very wealthy man. He also wants you to consider modeling clothing for him for his catalogue.” Paul replied.
“Well, that picture is one of me with my glasses off. Let me tell you right now that if I am doing any modeling it will be with my glasses on.” I replied.
“I showed him some pictures of you wearing your glasses, and I told him just that, and he agreed that you could wear your glasses for about 90% of the shots. He does want some shots with you bare eyed, as he feels that your extreme myopia gives your eyes a very seductive look. You don’t realize it yourself, but when you have your glasses off your eyes have an unfocused look that is very alluring.” Paul told me.
So, I became a model. I had not realized that models made as much money as they do. Of course, it is a high-pressure type of business for most of them, but I didn’t need a lot of money, nor was I after the fame. I was satisfied if I didn’t have to dip into my capitol. By the end of the first year I was astonished with the amount of money I had managed to save. One of the reasons for my success was that I really didn’t care if I got the job or not. But Paul was becoming very well known in his field, and he was able to have his pick of jobs, and his choice of models. He always chose me. Because of my refusal to wear contact lenses I suppose there were a number of jobs that I didn’t get. But I did a lot of modeling for some of the better-known European eyeglass frame designers. I really liked it when I got to keep a really attractive pair of glasses with my ultra strong myodisc lenses as part of my perks.
The modeling work lasted until Kimberley was 9 years old. It could have gone on longer, but I had enough money. I couldn’t travel because of Kimmie, nor did I want to. She needed me around. Kim was a pretty child. She had inherited my genes, and she looked like she was going to be a tall, attractive extremely nearsighted blonde. She was already wearing a –10D prescription at the age of 9, so her eyes could eventually end up needing a stronger prescription than mine. She didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that she was very nearsighted, and just accepted it as a fact of life.
Paul wanted me to marry him, but while I liked Paul, I didn’t feel I loved him enough to marry him. It probably wouldn’t have worked out anyway, because I couldn’t move around this city without someone hitting on me, and Paul was the jealous type. I was flattered, of course, but I was also surprised that so many men went for a girl who wore strong thick myodiscs. My glasses enthralled Paul, I knew that. But it seemed that other men, some good looking, some rich, and some that were both good looking and rich surrounded me at every party I went to. But I didn’t need or want any of the shallow self-important men that I met. I wanted a real man, and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less.
I guess that my looking for a real man was why I bought the ranch. Most people thought I was crazy to leave the southern California life style for the wilds of Utah. But Kim and I loved it here. Of course, when I first moved here, I was able to drive. My prescription had reached –30D for both eyes, but when I exchanged my California license for my Utah one, I passed the MVD eye test without a problem. Kim was the one who was inconvenienced the most. She had to ride the school bus for almost an hour every morning, and the same in the afternoon to get her to her new school. And, she had to leave all her friends behind. But I bought her a horse, and she learned to take care of horses, and dogs, and even a few head of cattle.
I didn’t expect to find my prince charming out here in the boondocks. Sure, I knew if I met a man he would likely be a down to earth type guy, but most of the men in the area were already taken. So I was a little surprised when Dave Underwood, the local sheriff started calling on me. I fell hard for Dave, and I am sure he fell just as hard for me. We had only been in the area for 6 months when Dave asked me to marry him, and to my surprise I accepted immediately. Dave didn’t seem to be overly interested in my strong glasses and my poor uncorrected vision, and he just seemed to accept me as I was.
We lead a peaceful, quiet life. Kim had never met her grandparents because they would not come from Long Island to Los Angeles, and I couldn’t very well show up in the sleepy little town where I grew up with Jack Harper’s daughter in tow. And, yes, she would have been recognized. There were enough of the Harper good looks in Kim that she wouldn’t have been able to hide it. I could have given Mr. Harper back the money he gave me for the abortion, but mom had written me that Jack had been killed, so I am sure that the Harpers would have done their best to fight me for custody of Kim if they ever found out that a child of Jack’s existed. Kim was very excited when I told her that my parents and her Aunt Louise and Uncle Eric and her 2 cousins were coming to visit us.
And we had a fantastic time. Both Kim and I were sorry to see everyone leave, but they promised to come back again the following year, and this was the start of a family tradition. After Dad passed away Mom continued coming with Eric and Louise and the boys. Then when Mom passed on, Eric and Louise came, with the boys for the first few years, and then by themselves after the boys got summer jobs. Of course by that time Kim had started university herself, and she wasn’t too anxious to return to the ranch for the summer and leave all the excitement of the city behind, so there was just Eric and Louise visiting Dave and myself.
When Dave was killed Eric and Louise had just returned home, but they immediately flew out to be with me for the funeral, and I was happy to have their support. Dave’s death had been quite a blow to me, as I thought we would grow old together here on the ranch. Now everything was boxed up, and I was waiting for the moving van to arrive.
The next cloud of dust I saw was the moving van. I didn’t even have to squint to see it this time, as the dust trail that was following it was so thick it could only be from a large vehicle. It pulled into the yard, and 3 men got out. The middle guy was pretty darned good looking, and he knew it. He cased me up and down, his eyes finally stopping at my face, where his piercing dark eyes bored a hole through my myodiscs directly into my eyes. I told them that everything that had to be loaded was inside, and I turned my back on them, and walked down to the barn for one last look around. When I got to the barn memories came flooding though my mind and soon I had tears streaming down my face.
My crying jag was over, and I dried my tears, and walked back up to the house. The three men were almost finished. When I showed up again the good looking one gave me an insolent stare, as if to tell me he was available, as he walked past me to get his last load. They carried the last of my belongings out, and they drove off. Now I was ready for either Buster or Lloyd to show up. Buster had said he would come by and get me, but I wouldn’t have put it past Lloyd to try to make one last stab at keeping me around. I was still thinking about the looks the one moving guy had given me. Oh, it was nothing new to me, this being stared at. Paul had expressed it best when he explained to me that I was so beautiful that men would have shied away from me, afraid that I wouldn’t give them the time of day. But with my severe myopia and my thick myodiscs I became perfection flawed, and now I was available to them. It was because of my severe myopia that I was a magnet to men.
The dust trail from the moving van had hidden the fact that there was another car approaching down the dirt road. I didn’t see it until it pulled into my laneway, and I was pleased to see that Buster was driving instead of Lloyd. I could handle Buster easier today. Lloyd had a hard time taking no for an answer. Buster was going to take care of Blue, so we loaded Blue in the back seat. The ride to town was a quiet one. I know Buster wanted to talk, but I also knew he was afraid to say anything that might drive me further away from him. I had made it quite clear to both Buster and Lloyd that I was not interested in being any more than friends with either one of them. We pulled up in front of the bus station, and Buster got out to bring my overnighter inside.
“Thanks for everything Buster. You are a sweet man. I will send you my address when I get settled, and if you are ever over my way please give me a call.” I said as I pecked him on the cheek.
“You don’t have to go Ginny. I would be more than happy to look after you.” Buster replied.
“Yes, I do Buster. We have been through this far too many times to start again. Lets leave it alone, and we will still be friends.” I replied as I walked inside.
I bought my ticket to Salt Lake, and waited for the bus to load. I probably should have gotten a ticket to Vegas, and flown from there, but I didn’t care for Vegas. Too much glitter to suit me. Not only that, but the flight from Vegas was always loaded with jerks that had lost more than they could afford. The bus was a little late, but we finally pulled out of the station, and I took a last look at the town that had been my shopping center for the past 16 years. It made me sad to be leaving. The bus ride took a couple of hours, but we finally arrived in Salty. I took a cab to a motel Dave and I had stayed at before, and I checked in. My plane left fairly early the next morning, so I asked for a wake up call.
The flight to Los Angeles didn’t take too long, and the plane landed on time. Kim was there to meet me, and I glanced at her with surprise. She was wearing glasses. When Kim was 15 she had wanted contact lenses, and she had not worn glasses in public since. I wondered what had gone wrong, but I surmised she would tell me soon enough.
We retrieved Kim’s new Mustang convertible from short term, and as we drove along Century heading for 405 I looked carefully at Kim’s new glasses. They were the thick black plastic frames with the wide temples. The inside was an orangey yellow color. Her lenses were myodiscs of course, because with a –24.50D prescription Kim really didn’t have any more choices than I did. I could tell that the front of the lenses were biconcave just like mine are. Kim didn’t say a word about her glasses, and I couldn’t stand it any longer.
“Are you having trouble with your contacts Kim?’ I asked.
“Oh, I forgot I was wearing my glasses. No, I am still wearing them a lot of the time. But I had a photo shoot with Paul this morning, and he wanted me to wear my glasses.” Kim replied.
“Paul? You are modeling for Paul?” I asked amazed.
“Hey, don’t knock it Mom. Modeling pays very well. I think it pays better than being a lawyer.” Kim replied.
“I know, but it can be such a demanding job. Anyway, Paul told me that he wouldn’t be doing any more photo shoots. He said that he had retired.” I replied.
“Well, about 2 months ago I ordered a couple of pairs of cheap glasses in my current prescription from one of those online places. When they arrived I had been having a little trouble with my contact lenses, so I went out to dinner with Paul wearing my new glasses, and he immediately wanted me to model for him. He told me he hadn’t had a decent highly myopic model since you quit.” Kim said.
“So, have you gotten any good modeling jobs?” I asked.
“Tons of offers, but Paul is being pretty picky about the ones he accepts. I have a couple of shoots coming out in this months Glamour Girl magazine, and he expects to sell our most recent one to another magazine this week. He had a commission of course, but the final price is dependant on them seeing the final workups.” Kim replied.
“And is all this with you wearing your glasses?” I asked.
“Over 90% of the shots are, but Paul always wants a few shots of me bare eyed. He says the public loves the vacant unfocused look in a high myopes eyes when they remove their glasses.” Kim said.
“Well, he always said that to me as well, and he was proven to be right. But you have an advantage over me in that you are willing to wear contact lenses.” I replied.
“Not really. Paul tells me that with my strong myodiscs I am one model in a million. With my contact lenses I am just one of the throng. He claims that my severe myopia is a magnet for men. Without glasses I am so beautiful that most men will not approach me, but the glasses somehow tell men that I am not perfect, so they are not as afraid of approaching me.” Kim said.
“And what is your experience?” I asked.
“He seems to be right. Before I started wearing my glasses again I didn’t have a lot of dates, but once I started going out wearing my glasses I became very popular. And Paul told me that you always had men hanging around you. Why didn’t you marry Paul Mom?’ Kim asked.
“He was too jealous Kim. Every time another man approached me, if I spent any time at all with him Paul would go into a sulk. I couldn’t live that way. And Paul was correct when he says that I always had men hanging around me. But all these men were so superficial that I couldn’t bear the thoughts of hooking up with any of them. So that’s why I quit modeling, and we moved.” I replied.
“Well, Paul wants you to do some more modeling if you are willing. He feels the market demographics are changing and older models will be in demand.” Kim replied.
We pulled up to the gated ramp to Kim’s apartment, and she drove her car down the ramp and into her parking stall. She parked, and we rode the elevator to her apartment. I was going to stay with her until I found another place to buy.
“You don’t seem to have any problems seeing well enough to drive with your glasses. I always heard that with strong prescriptions like ours if you wore contacts all the time you had a hard time getting used to wearing glasses. I was the other way around, and just couldn’t seem to get used to seeing with contacts.” I said.
“It’s true Mom. Actually I am wearing my glasses most of the time now. There is quite a difference in how you see with glasses. Everything seems so much smaller, but I have gotten used to it now. Here, let me show you my other pair.” Kim replied.
Kim went to her room and came out wearing another pair. These glasses also looked extremely good. The lens shapes were very similar, but this pair was more of a maroon color with much thinner pink temples. I looked at the lenses, and they were not proper myodiscs. The bowls were more oval than round. I asked Kim about that.
“These glasses are just really cheap regular index plastic lenses. I think in China that if the lenses are too thick for the temples to close that they just grind off the back of the lenses and polish them. But I got 2 pairs in my –24.50D prescription for under a hundred bucks. I didn’t believe I would be able to see well wearing them, but it surprised me how well I do see through them. I’m thinking of ordering a couple more pairs.” Kim told me.
“Two pairs for less than a hundred!! I paid around $800.00 for this pair. How can they do that?” I asked.
“Well, I am sure that you know that there is a high markup on optical goods. They need it because some customers are very picky, but if you have a simple prescription, and don’t need or expect a lot of after service you can get away a lot cheaper online.” Kim responded.
“But you don’t have a simple prescription?” I queried.
“Well, really, I do. My eyes are exactly the same distance apart, and they both require the same –24.50D prescription. I have no cylinder either. So other than my prescription being extremely strong, it is a simple one.” Kim told me.
“So I wouldn’t be a good candidate then I guess. I am now –36.50D in my right eye, and –36.00D in my left. I don’t have any cylinder either, but I need a monocular pd, since my eyes are not the same distance from the center of my nose. Anyway, once I get used to wearing one pair of glasses I hate the thoughts of changing to another pair. Doctor Price always told me I was a millimeter job, and that everything had to be very precisely measured to ensure that I had the best vision possible.” I replied.
“Well, I guess I just got lucky. Come on, I’ll show you your room.” Kim said.
I settled in, but I wasn’t planning to stay long. The moving company was going to hold my things for a few days, but any longer than a week would mean that I would incur extra charges. So the next day I went looking for a condominium in the vicinity. I wanted to be able to walk to Kim’s place, and I wanted to be close enough to shopping that I could walk there as well. It didn’t take long before I found a perfect location, but I ended up spending a bit more money that I had wanted to.
So, soon I was settled into my new home. I missed the silence of the country, but I soon got used to life in the city again. Paul was a frequent visitor, and with his help and advice I was able to choose a new, more flattering hairstyle. Now I looked more like a middle-aged lady who was satisfied with where she was in life. And, Paul convinced me to go for another eye examination, and purchase a new pair of glasses, which he insisted on picking out for me. I was pleased that my prescription hadn’t changed, and I had to admit that the glasses Paul had chosen looked very good on me. The next thing Paul did was to attempt to convince me to return to modeling.
I was amazed at the number of jobs Kim and I were getting. I didn’t need the work, nor did I care about the money, but I wasn’t going to turn it down. And, there were a lot of parties to attend as well. I began to like the admiration of the various executives who were bumping into each other in their attempts to date me. And I did accept quite a few of these invitations. Of course, as the years went by, and I drew closer to my 50th birthday the jobs started to drop off, as did the attention, but Paul still assured me that I was still a myopia magnet, and so was Kim.