Everyone had something in their formative years that leads them towards what they will become, and what they will be attracted to when they get older. Most of the time if someone is asked why he or she likes a certain piece of music, or a certain ladies appearance, they will not be able to immediately make the connection to early childhood.
Such is not the case with me. I know exactly why I fall in love with every severely nearsighted lady I see. It goes back to the fall I was 8 years old. My mother had returned to the nursing profession after I was 5 and my younger brother was 3 and old enough to leave with a babysitter. Our first sitter was Mrs. Strathmore, and she was with us for 3 years before her husband had a serious heart attack, and she had to stay home to look after him. That is when I first met Mary Anne Van Der Veldt. Mary Anne was 14, and she was going to come to our house every day after school to look after Johnny and I. Since we were now both in school ourselves, no one needed to be there during the day.
I thought Mary Anne was the prettiest girl in the world. She had brownish blond hair, and she really looked attractive to me. Her thick glasses that she wore tight to the bridge of her nose fascinated me. These were very stylish glasses. The frame was clear plastic, and the temples were pink with a pattern of a rose on a vine etched into them. Matching metal was attached to the front of the frames, at the top of the lenses, and the style was at the time, known as cat eye. When I looked at her face from the front, I could see her eyes behind the lenses, perfectly clear, but extremely tiny, and shrunken way back into her head. When I looked at Mary Anne from the side, I could see the lenses sticking way back behind the plastic, and even a little bit in front. And, if I looked at her from an angle, I could see all sorts of neat looking rings in the lenses. But the best part for me was being behind her, and looking through the backside of one lens of her glasses at an object in front of her. I could see it perfectly clearly, but it was very, very tiny.
I learned that Mary Anne and her parents had come to the USA from Holland. Mary Anne told me that she remembered being able to see perfectly well at her old farm in Holland before they left. But, they were on a ship for almost 2 weeks crossing the Atlantic, and Mary Anne was very sick on the boat. She remembers her parents taking her to see the statue of Liberty when they arrived, but she couldn’t see the statue clearly. Then, when her father settled in the part of Michigan in which I was born, Mary Anne was taken to see an eye doctor, and ever since then she had to wear glasses.
Mary Anne was our sitter for around 4 years. I was in love with her from the first day she appeared at our house. In the part of Michigan that we lived, winter brings lots of snow, blowing in from over Lake Michigan. Every day Mary Anne would walk Johnny and I home from school, and the second that we entered our warm house, Mary Anne’s glasses would completely frost over, and she would be helpless. Her eyesight was so poor she couldn’t see anything with them off, but now she couldn’t see anything with them on. So, as she stood right inside the door in the warm kitchen, I was the one chosen to carefully take her glasses over to the warm air register, and let the heat defrost the lenses. Then I would take a soft cloth, and carefully caress the lenses, rubbing them until they were clean. I loved to feel the flat front of the thick glass on one side, and I was thrilled to feel the deep curvature on the other side.
Sometimes Mary Anne would let me put her glasses on when we were sitting on the couch watching cartoons. The blur was amazing, and I thought that she must have awfully bad eyes to not be able to see any better than this without glasses. She told me that she was extremely nearsighted, which she explained mean that she couldn’t see anything in the distance without glasses. And, one day she took off her glasses, and put her face right up to the pages of a book to show me how close she had to get to things to be able to see without glasses.
And, every year it seemed that Mary Anne would need new glasses. Johnny and I would be walking home with her, and she would start off by asking how far away from the street sign we had to be in order to read it. Of course, Johnny and I could see it from quite a way away, and when she got up to where she could see the name of the street, I was surprised that she had to get so close. Then a few weeks later she would have a new pair of glasses, and she could see the street signs almost as soon as Johnny and I could. The glasses that took the place of the pink ones were an identical pair of blue ones. They were supposed to be stronger lenses, but I really couldn’t tell that they were just by looking at them. Then the following year the blue gave way to an almost silvery white pair. These lenses did look a little bit stronger. And, the last year that Mary Anne looked after us saw her get a pair that had a brown tortoiseshell frame. These glasses had plastic lenses, and I guess that they were so thick that they had to flatten the backside of the plastic off, so that Mary Anne’s lenses now had what looked like circles in the lens inside the frame
I loved Mary Anne, and I told her that I was going to grow up and marry her, but when she was 18, and I was 12, she no longer needed to come after school and look after Johnny and I. I was now old enough that I could look after Johnny until Mom or Dad got home. It didn’t feel right, not being with her every day. And, when she left school, and got married, I was crushed. We were all invited to her wedding, and I remember standing in the church, watching the ceremony and telling myself I hated her for getting married.
Then when I was in High School, a pretty young teacher just out of college was our homeroom teacher. Ms. McKinley was slim, and attractive, and she wore glasses that I thought were just beautiful. They were cutting edge 1978. They were drop temple facetted frameless glasses, and Ms. McKinley’s prescription must have been absolutely the strongest prescription that these glasses could have been made in. I remember the edges of the lenses looking like they were very close to ¾” thick. It was fortunate that she was the home economics teacher, because if she had taught math or science or any other subject that I took, I am sure I would have spent the entire class staring at her glasses.
I suppose it wouldn’t have mattered though, because I was a lousy student. As soon as I was 18, and had my graduation diploma I was out of school. My friend Kenny’s dad had a trucking company, and while Kenny and I were not old enough to drive on the highway, we were able to move the trailers from around the yard to the loading docks. Kenny worked in the maintenance shop most of the time, but I worked the docks, and one day his dad noticed that I could place a trailer wherever I wanted to with ease. So, I was sent on the highway with another driver for a few weeks, and within a month I was traveling around Michigan. Most of the hauling was fruits and vegetables, and flowers, and I went to the food terminal in Detroit a lot.
I was having trouble finding a girlfriend. Oh, there were lots of girls around, but I was being selective. I wanted a very nearsighted girlfriend. I went to church, I went to dances in all the surrounding towns and I even looked at all the waitresses in the various coffee shops and restaurants that I stopped at with the truck. But I did not find anyone with strong enough glasses that caught my eye.
I drove around Michigan until my 21’st birthday. The day I turned 21, and could legally drive long haul over the road, Kenny’s dad presented me with the keys to a brand new Peterbilt long nose with a big walk in sleeper. This was the truck that every other driver on the road would have died for. And I also now had a run that was probably the envy of most drivers. I left Monday with a load of office furniture going to a distributor in Bakersfield, Ca. I delivered first thing Wednesday, then I would load produce around Bakersfield, and head for home. Monday morning I would deliver my load first thing, switch trailers, and head out again.
I did this for April, and May, and developed a routine. I had certain places that I stopped and ate and other places that I fueled and showered. I could, if everything went right, be home Saturday morning, and not even be all that tired. I had been in the habit of stopping to fuel, eat and shower every Friday in the late afternoon at one truck stop on the East side of Des Moines Iowa. The third week of June I stopped, and after my shower I walked into the restaurant. I knew what I wanted to order, and I slid into an open booth. The waitress walked over, and I took one look at her. This was my girl. This was the girl I was going to marry.
Glasses of the early 80’s were quite often what are called drop temple glasses. Those are the ones where the earpieces come from the bottom of the frame, and then gently curve up to go straight back over the ear. The pretty dark haired waitress that walked over to my booth to pass me the menu, and take my order was wearing a pair of drop temple glasses in a plastic frame that had a reddish tinge to it. And, the lens sizes back then were not too flattering to those who needed a strong prescription. With the old type of CR39 plastic, anything that was much stronger than a –6D prescription was a pretty thick lens. This young lady definitely had a stronger prescription than –6D. Her lenses were flat on the front, and they were a good ¾” thick, sticking well behind the edge of the frame. She appeared to be between 18 and 20, and she had nice ruby red lips, and a winning smile, revealing a row of straight white teeth. Her dark hair was shoulder length, and was tied back in a ponytail. I am 6’3, and pretty lanky, so I didn’t want a really short girl, but she looked to be reasonably tall. I am not a breast man, nor am I a butt man. I am a glasses man. She fit the bill 100% of the way. I looked at her name tag and read Katy
“ Katy, I’ll have the hamburger steak, medium well, fries, and a black coffee. And, after you are off work tonight I am going to kidnap you, and take you to the nearest church, and marry you, if that’s all right with you.” I said with a smile, both on my face and in my voice.
Katy blushed and said, “ Well, my Daddy told me not to marry a long haul truck driver. Are you a long haul driver?”
“I am afraid so, but if you marry me I will give up the long haul.” I replied.
“I believe that you are serious about that.” Katy said.
“I have never been more serious about anything in my life.” I replied.
“Well sir, I don’t even know your name. I would have to know you a whole lot longer than I have known you before I would agree to that proposal.” Katy told me.
“My name is Justin, and I am willing to take whatever time I need to get to know you.” I said.
“Well, let me get your order, and I will chat with you later.” Katy replied, and went off to order my supper.
I watched her bounce away to place my order. She did have a nicely formed butt, and her walk was darned sexy. After I finished my meal, I found out that Katy was off work at 9:00 pm, so I went out to my truck for a nap. After I woke up I went inside, and waited for her to finish work. She came back out to my truck with me, and we just sat and talked. I told her that I was there every Friday night, and that I didn’t have to be back in Michigan until Monday morning at 7:00am. So, she agreed to pick me up in the morning, and we could spend the morning together. She worked from 1:00pm to 9:00 pm 6 days a week, so her morning was free.
The next morning Katy picked me up, and we spent some time at a mall in Des Moines. The 3 hours that we spent together was wonderful, and when she went back to work, I went in and had lunch. Then I left to go back to Michigan. I got home late that evening, and I spent all day Sunday moping around, wishing I had stayed another night there.
I stopped at the truck stop on my way back out, but Katy was off, so I didn’t hang around. But, when I came back on Friday night I made sure I had gotten some sleep. So when Katy got off work we went to a movie. Sure, we missed the first half hour or so, but I was with her, and it didn’t matter. That evening as we talked I found out that Katy had just turned 18 and she was considering either going to be a teacher, or a nurse. She just hadn’t made up her mind.
“How would you like to be a mother and a housewife?” I asked.
“Justin, you are rushing me. I think I like you a lot, but we have only known each other for a couple of weeks now. You said you would quit driving over the road if I agreed to marry you didn’t you?” Katy asked.
“Yes, and I meant it. The only thing about over the road, especially the run I am on is that it does give me very regular hours. And, I make excellent money. I make enough money so that we could have a house, and you would not have to work.” I told her.
I stayed in my truck at the truck stop Friday night, and again Saturday night. We spent the days together, and then after Katy finished work we would sit in my truck and talk. I almost choked that Saturday night when Katy told me that she was saving her money so that she could get the new type of soft contact lenses that were now on the market to replace her awful glasses. But, I recovered in time to realize that if she wanted contact lenses I would be foolish to try to stop her. And, if I did say anything, she might catch on that it was her glasses more than her that first attracted me. Also, I wanted to take Katy home to meet my parents and my brother John. She definitely would look more attractive to others if she weren’t wearing her glasses. And, this would keep my mother happy. If she saw Katy in glasses mom would probably have some unpleasant things to say to me about her. At least, I knew she always belittled Mary Anne’s poor eyesight, so I had no doubt that she would have some unkind words to say about Katy’s thick glasses.
Sunday morning Katy picked me up and we went for breakfast with her parents, and her younger brother. Her older sister was staying at university and working there this summer, so I couldn’t meet her. I liked Katy’s dad. We had a lot in common, as he was a local delivery driver for a well-known nationwide carrier. That is why he had cautioned his daughters not to marry a long haul truck driver. He knew first hand what some of the long haul drivers went through. But, he was impressed with my truck, and with the fact that I had a pretty regular schedule. Neither Katy’s mom nor dad wore glasses, so I was a little mystified as to why Katy had such poor eyesight. But, I was certainly happy that she did, as that is what attracted me to her.
Soon Katy had her contact lenses. I missed not seeing her wear her glasses anymore, but I was secure in the knowledge that once we were married, and we were living together in the same house, I would be able to see her in her glasses again. And, while I was dying to know what Katy’s prescription was, I was afraid to talk about her glasses and her poor vision too much. I knew from being around Mary Anne that her poor eyesight was not a subject that she wanted to discuss, and I assumed that Katy would have the same feelings.
We had been going together for about 6 months. Katy was very comfortable with her contact lenses, and I thought it was finally time to take her back to Michigan to meet my parents. I had a simple plan. If Katy and I left after she got off work on a Friday evening, we could be in Michigan early Saturday morning. Then on Monday, if I could get away from the plant by 5 or 6 am, I could have Katy back at work by 1:00 central time. She would only miss 2 days of work, and I wouldn’t miss any. However, there was one major obstacle to overcome. Our company had a pretty strict no rider’s policy.
So, I phoned Kenny’s dad, my boss. I asked for a week off, starting the following weekend. I told him that I would be in Friday night, and would drop the truck and trailer in the yard. Then I was going to go back to Des Moines, pick up my girlfriend, and come back to Michigan for a couple of days, and then I would be taking her back before I could go back to work. I could hear the wheels spinning as he thought about the cost to him of having a truck parked for a whole week, and when he asked me if I could bring my girlfriend back from Iowa in the truck on Friday night, and take her back with me Monday, I knew that I had conned him.
Kenny and I shared a 2-bedroom apartment. I knew that during the week Kenny’s little sister Linda often used my bedroom. And I didn’t really care. But, this time as payback, Linda was going to have to clean the apartment. And, Kenny was going to have to find another place to bunk for the weekend. Katy had this thing about sleeping with a guy without being married, and I was not going to spoil our relationship by trying to convince her to sleep with me.
We had a wonderful weekend. Katy wowed my parents, and I think my brother John fell in love with her as well. And the best part of the weekend was when Katy wore her new glasses around the apartment. She hadn’t told me, but she had gotten a new, stronger prescription when she got her contact lenses. Her latest pair of glasses was a gold wire frame with round John Lennon type lenses. These smaller lenses didn’t look as thick as her other ones did, but I could tell from the cut in, and the minification of her eyes that the prescription had increased.
Finally, with parental approval on both sides, we set a wedding date. Since the wedding was going to be at Katy’s family church in Des Moines, we had a lot of long distance arrangements to make for the wedding and the reception. But, everything went well. Kenny was my best man and my brother John was an usher, along with Katy’s brother Brad. Katy’s older sister Amelia was the maid of honor, and 2 of her closest friends were bridesmaids. Everything went as smoothly as any wedding can, and that evening Katy and I were man and wife.
During the week I had taken off for the honeymoon, Katy and I looked around for a house. I had considered buying one in Des Moines, so that Katy could be closer to her family, but since my job base was Michigan, Katy rightfully suggested that we should live there. So, we ended up with a nice 3-bedroom house, not too far from my parents.
By the time we had been married a year Katy gave birth to our daughter Amber. Then 2 years later Kyle, our son was born. With each pregnancy Katy had to have her prescription increased slightly. Now I finally knew what her prescription was. Her prescription after Amber was born was –14.50D for her glasses, and –12.00D for her contacts. After Kyle was born her prescription jumped to –15.50D for her glasses, and –13.00D for her contacts. I had spent a lot of my spare time at the local library doing research on myopia, and everything that concerned myopia. I had it pretty well figured out that in Katy’s genealogical background there had been someone who was very nearsighted. And, I was pretty sure that Amber would inherit her mother’s myopia. This did not bother me at all. If I had had 2 daughters I would have wanted them both to be very nearsighted.
All my research taught me the proper terminology to use to write out prescriptions. So, using one of Katy’s old prescription forms, and some white out, I managed to write myself a prescription for a pair of glasses with –2.00D in each lens. I thought if I wore these glasses, I could make myself nearsighted. And, it did seem to work, as I was readily able to tolerate the glasses, and I passed my eye test for my driver’s license wearing them. I tried to get another pair with stronger lenses, but while I had made up a prescription for –6.00D, I really could not force my eyes to accept them, so I had to be satisfied with a new pair that I bought of –3.00D. Although, I did wear the –6.00D glasses as often as I possibly could.
One day I went to our optician to pick up a new pair of contact lenses for Katy. I paid for them, and headed to the car with a paper bag containing the lenses. The invoice was stapled to the bag, and I looked at it. The name was wrong. I was about to take it back, but I noticed that both the lenses inside were +11.00D. I knew that a plus cancelled out a minus. But, I also had discovered that contact lenses, worn directly on the eye, were weaker than the corresponding glasses. Theoretically, if a person put in these plus lenses, and put on a corresponding pair of minus glasses, the powers could cancel each other out.
I went into the nearby drugstore, purchased a new case for lenses, and a bottle of solution. Then I dampened a corner of the bag with water, and pushed the 2 vials of lenses out through the damp bag. I took my pocketknife, and smashed the first vial open. I carefully located the contact lens, and after rinsing it thoroughly with the solution I immediately put it in the case in solution. Then I did the same with the other lens. Carrying the bag, with the broken vials, and the shards of glass back inside, I returned to the opticians, and told my woeful tale of dropping the lenses. They had noticed the mistake, and had tried to call our house. They were not even too upset. They just gave me the proper bag with Katy’s new lenses, and told me that it was too bad, but accidents happen.
Then, when I was alone in the house one day, I put the lenses in and tried Katy’s old glasses on over them. The new pair that she had gotten after Amber was born was the pair that gave me the best vision. And, fortunately, the frames were pretty much unisex. I didn’t look all that out of place wearing them. So, I had the glasses duplicated, and from then on when I was off in my truck, in area’s where I deemed it safe to do so, I wore glasses over contacts. This gave me a feeling of euphoria – pretending to be very nearsighted.
A lot of things change over time. Kenny’s father had passed away from a sudden heart attack, and the company was sold. I was no longer the favored driver, and they began messing around with my runs. My mom had died a couple of years earlier, and dad remarried, and moved to Florida. There was really nothing to keep us in this part of Michigan, where it snowed from September until June. So, since my favorite part of the country was to the west – out in the Mohave Desert, Katy and I talked about moving. When Amber was 10 years old, just after she had been prescribed her first pair of glasses, we moved to a small city on the Colorado River, and I went to work as driver for a concrete delivery company, hauling the cement powder from a plant in California. I did have a sleeper cab, but I had things worked out so I was home every night.
Amber took to wearing glasses like her mom had. By the time she was 13 Amber had a prescription of around –6.50D. We had promised Amber that she could get contact lenses for her birthday, and we did get them for her. Amber’s first contact lenses were OD –6.00D and OS –5.75D. Amber had been wearing her new contacts for a few weeks when I took the brand name and the size off the bottle, and ordered a pair of lenses that were –6.50D and –6.25D from one of the original mail order contact lens suppliers. I just called them, and they shipped the lenses without even checking for a legitimate prescription. I watched Amber carefully. As soon as I saw the least little sign of a myopic squint to see anything in the distance I went to the bathroom where she kept her lenses. I threw away the weaker left lens, and moved the right lens to the left side of the case. Then I took the –6.25D lens, and put it in the right side. The following morning I wondered if anything would be said, but Amber didn’t mention a word. So, in less than 3 months I had moved her prescription up –0.25D.
Again I watched carefully for the sign of a squint. As soon as I saw her scrunch up her eyes to see something clearer in the distance, I immediately changed the lenses as I had done previously. This time it was under 2 months. Now I placed another order for contacts. Rather than make my wife suspicious, I had used a mailbox address, and had sent a money order. When the next pair of –7.00D and –6.75D lenses came in, I thought that I would have to wait a while. But, after only another 2 months with Amber wearing the second set of lenses, she was now ready for –6.75D and –6.50D. This meant that she had now gained 0.75D of myopia in 7 months.
Another 3 months went by before I switched her for the –7.00D and the –6.75D lenses. Now in only 10 months she had gained a whole –1.00D in her contact lens prescription. I was worried that she might notice that her glasses were way too weak. I was almost afraid to pull another switch. So the next time I noticed her squint, I insisted that she have her eyes checked. When we left the doctor’s office I was surprised. Not only had Amber adapted to all the extra myopia that I had added to her prescription, she also required an additional - 0.50D. This was an increase of –1.50D to the doctor though.
Her new contacts were going to be-7.50D and –7.25D. Her new glasses were going to be –8.50D and –8.25D.
I carried this on until Amber turned 16. By now she was wearing glasses of OD–12.00D and OS –11.75. Her contacts were –10.50D and –10.25D. Katy was a bit upset that Amber’s vision was worse at age 16 than hers had been when she was 18, and she had met me. But Katy had a few increases herself during the past few years since Kyle was born, and was now wearing –17.50D glasses. Her contacts were only –14.50D though. And Katy could still see quite well with either glasses or contacts, so she really wasn’t all that worried about Amber’s eyesight.
We had been living in our house for 7 years now, and we were fairly content. My job had been going well, but the company had just changed hands, and I knew from experience that the new owners would want to change everything around – just to show me that they were the boss. And, just 3 months later I was proven correct. Now they wanted me to run to different places, and I would no longer be home every night. When I had the extra time before I had taken a few runs to a concrete plant over in Paradise Valley, in the low desert of California, and I had met Harry the manager, a really nice guy my age. He had suggested that there would be a job working there if I ever wanted to relocate.
So, I called Harry, and I asked him if his job offer was still open. It was. Katy, Amber Kyle and I all drove over to Paradise Valley on Saturday. I filled out all the necessary forms, and I told them that I would have to give at least 2 weeks notice to my present employer. They liked that, and they agreed that I would start in 2 weeks.
Then we looked for a house. I was sort of interested in looking in a nearby little town called Desert Paradise. I had ulterior motives. One Sunday about 3 years earlier, I had been by myself down near the tourist shops on the water. I had spotted 2 ladies walking from store to store. One of the ladies wore a pretty strong pair of high minus glasses. She wasn’t really that attractive. She had very red hair, and the pale coloring of a redhead. She also had a lot of freckles. She was pretty skinny, and she appeared to be a chain smoker. But, her strong glasses definitely captured my attention. As she moved from store to store, and I followed along trying to look disinterested she was joined by 2 young girls. I assumed that they were her daughter’s because they asked her for money for an ice cream. The one daughter was probably Amber’s age, with dark hair worn fairly short, and a pair of black framed glasses with a prescription of around –2D or maybe –3D. The other girl was thinner, and a bit smaller build, but she was a good couple of years younger. It is really hard to tell the prescription of a pair of children’s glasses. If they are not hi index, a –8D looks about as strong as a –12D in hi index. And even a –8D can look like a –6D if the frame size is small enough. I couldn’t tell the youngest girl’s prescription at all. The cut in and the minification tended to make me guess –12D, but I wasn’t sure. I managed to look at the same object as the other one of the two ladies did, and I casually asked if they lived in town, or if they were just visiting. She told me that they were just visiting, that they came from Desert Paradise for an afternoon on the river. And, she volunteered that her friend, the one with the high minus glasses who was outside having another smoke, was a teacher there.
So, I had an ulterior motive for looking around Desert Paradise. I knew that I had absolutely no romantic interest in a skinny chain-smoking redhead, but I sure do like looking at ladies who wear strong glasses. She would definitely make parent teacher conferences more interesting.
We found a house there that really came close to what we wanted. While we were looking over the house the neighbor to our immediate north came over and introduced himself. He worked as a driver for the same company I was going to be working for. Pat told me that he had a wife Judy, who was a teacher at the local high school. He had a daughter about Amber’s age named Shannon, and a younger daughter Brittany, who was 6 months younger than Kyle. Brittany was home with her father, and he called her out to meet us. I could see Kyle take an interest in Brittany right away. She was pretty, with long dark hair, nice breasts, and a tight little butt. If only she wore glasses, I thought she would be a perfect girl for my son.
I don’t think my company really thought they would loose as many drivers as they did. I was the 6th driver to give my notice that Monday morning. I told them I would be gone in 2 weeks, but if they wanted to take me off my regular run, I could be gone sooner. They were a bit flustered, and they tried to tell me that they were not really planning to change my run, and they asked what it would take to keep me there. But, they had their chance, and they lost me.
Houses had been selling fairly fast in the town we lived in. We were quite pleased to find that we were in escrow within less than 2 weeks. I had already arranged bridge financing for our new home, which was a less expensive house, and we were almost ready to move. I had to stay by myself in a motel for a couple of weeks, but that was a much shorter stay than I thought it would have to be.
During the first week, my new neighbor Pat showed me the ropes. He also drove an end dump, so we traveled everywhere together. The job was really pretty simple, and I could tell that it might get a little boring. But, it was better money that I had previously been making, so I could put up with the boredom. I went home on the weekend. Katy, and the kids had been busy packing. All I had left to do was pack all my stuff from the garage, and my clothing. Pat had lined up 2 trailers that we could tow behind our pickups, and he and I were going to come back on the following weekend and move everything – in one trip we hoped. Since I was going back to work with my pickup anyway I took a large load back with me on the Sunday night.
On Tuesday night Pat invited me over for dinner. When I met his wife Judy, I recognized her immediately. She was the skinny chain smoking highly myopic redhead that I had met 3 years earlier. Judy had quit smoking, and she wasn’t quite as skinny. She had also gotten a new pair of glasses that did not look as thick as her other ones, but I was pretty sure they were a bit stronger. They were probably hi index plastic. I made a guess of around –15D, and I wondered if I would ever get to know for sure. Now that I knew that Judy was Pat’s wife, I surmised that Brittany was the highly myopic young lady I saw that day. This could be prefect for my plans.
Brittany must have really liked Kyle, as she volunteered to come with Pat on Saturday to help us move. Now that I knew that she was nearsighted, it was easy for me to spot the contact lenses on her corneas. I wondered if it was going to require any parental assistance to get a romance going, or would it happen on it’s own. And if it did happen, how could I push them towards marriage?
The move went well, and soon we were set up in the new house. I found that my job was really not boring, because they now sent me to a number of different places. Amber had left for University. Kyle and Brittany were definitely an item. Katy and Judy had become good friends. Pat and I found that we had a number of things in common, and we attended a couple of hot rod car shows together. None of us regretted the move.
Judy and Katy had talked a lot about being very nearsighted. For the last few years Katy had worn glasses a lot more than contact lenses, so of course she and Judy had a few discussions about their eyesight. I was close for a guess on Judy’s prescription. She was OD -15.50 x –0.50 x 180 and OS –15.25 x –0.75 x 120. But I was surprised when Katy told me that Brittany had a stronger prescription than her mother had. Apparently she had been using accutane to clear up a bad case of acne. One of the side effects of this drug is a possibility of decreased vision, and it had jumped Brittany’s already substantial prescription by almost –5D. Now Brittany was wearing contacts that at –14D were almost as strong as my wife Katy’s.
Brittany had just turned 16 when Kyle came out to the garage to talk with me on Saturday afternoon.
“Dad, can I have a word with you?” Kyle asked.
“Sure, son, what do you want?” I replied.
“You gotta promise you won’t freak out first.” Kyle said.
“Well, I will try not to. So spit it out.” I said.
“Brittany is pregnant.” Kyle said.
YES! I wanted to shout out, but instead I said, “Well, that wasn’t too smart son. However it isn’t the end of the world. If you and Brittany want, you can get married, and as long as you stay in school, I will support you. And I feel fairly confident that your mom will look after the baby.”
“Oh man, I don’t believe it. I thought you would kill me.” Kyle said. “Thanks Dad, for being so cool about it.”
“Does Pat know?” I asked.
“Not yet, I wanted to tell you first. You are the only one who knows except for us.” Kyle said.
So, Kyle and I went off to find Pat, and tell him the news. I was surprised. Pat took it reasonably well also. Then we had to break it to Katy, and Judy. But, finally it was decided that since this had already happened, there was no sense being upset about it.
We had a small wedding. Amber came home from university, and she brought her new boyfriend Kevin. Kevin was 4 years older than Amber, who was now in her second year. Kevin was in medical school, and was in training to be an ophthalmologist. He had met Amber when she had problems with her contact lenses, and had to go to the university optical clinic. I liked Kevin, and they seemed well suited to each other.
After the wedding Brittany and Kyle moved into our house with Katy and I. We had a split floor plan, so Kyle and Brit had the one end of the house. It really wasn’t any problem. It was good that Katy was home to help Brittany, as Brittany was not having an easy pregnancy. She was a small girl to begin with, and she was gaining weight fast. It was a treat for me, because now Brittany was wearing glasses almost all the time. She only put her contact lenses in when she and Kyle went out occasionally. Now I had Katy, Judy and Brittany to look at whenever I wished.
Brittany and Kyle became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. Brittany’s grandmother had been named Gail, so the kids chose Gail for the baby’s name. Gail was a wonderful baby. I had to get to bed early, and get up early, and Gail never woke me from my sleep.
Katy looked after Gail, and Brittany returned to school to get her graduation diploma. Kyle was doing well in school and I expected that he would go on to college in the fall. Brittany had lost a semester with her pregnancy, but she was doing her best to make this up. I was a bit surprised when Kyle came to me and told me that he wanted to apprentice as a carpenter, but I told him that until he got his papers, they were welcome to live with us.
But Pat and Judy had a different idea. They put in an offer on a house nearby, and when Katy and I found out, we agreed to match their down payment, and help the kids with the mortgage payments for a while. So, Kyle and Brittany and Gail were now living in their own house. Gail was 18 months old when Brittany became pregnant again. I was a bit disappointed that they hadn’t waited a while longer, as I could see that Brittany was possibly regretting the fact that she had rushed from her mid teens right into motherhood.
I am sure that she was even more disappointed when the doctor told them that they were going to have twins. Brittany was barely 19, and she was going to be the mother of 3 children before she was 20.
Again Katy helped as much as possible. Brittany’s pregnancy was a bit easier than the earlier one, but she still went through some tough times, even with Katy looking after Gail most of the time. And, I could tell that Brittany’s eyesight had gotten much worse. She was always squinting and asking what something on the television was. So, it was not a big surprise when Brittany had to get new glasses that were very close to a –20D prescription.
The twins were born, and they were healthy babies. We already knew that they would be girls, and Brit and Kyle had picked Megan and Tessa as their names. Amber and Kevin had returned to Paradise Valley, where Kevin was in his final year as an intern. Amber had completed her 4-year Bachelor of Science degree, and was going to teach at the high school. They had obviously been living together for a while, and they bought a house together.
Brittany was very depressed after the birth of the twins. Her doctor put her on an anti depressant called topiramate, and she seemed to be coming out of her depression. But, her eyesight was getting worse, and worse. In the 4 months after the birth of the twins, she had required 2 prescription changes. She was now wearing myodiscs, and Kyle told me that her last prescription was around –25D.
Kevin and Amber announced that they would be getting married as soon as Kevin became a licensed Ophthalmologist, which would be within a few months. Pat, Kyle, Kevin and myself were all in Pat’s garage one afternoon discussing our ladies. Kyle had told Kevin that Brittany had been prescribed topiramate for depression, and Kevin came unglued.
“One of the things we were told about is that topiramate can possibly cause 6 to 8 diopters of myopia in people with no previous myopia. What is her doctor doing to her? In someone as nearsighted as Brittany is she could gain –10 to –15 diopters of myopia. She has to stop taking this drug immediately.” Kevin angrily explained.
“But what about her depression? She has been much better since she started taking this.” Kyle replied.
“If she gains that much more myopia she might be really depressed. Also, in someone as nearsighted as our ladies are, a sudden increase of myopia like this might lead to retinal detachments. This in turn could lead to blindness.” Kevin said.
Kevin’s choice of the words “as nearsighted as our ladies are’ gave me a sudden insight. Was Kevin attracted to Amber because Amber was a high myope? As a trusted family member, and an ophthalmologist, Kevin could be the answer to a prayer. Judy, and Katy had recently been talking about having some form of eye surgery. Kevin was the logical choice for them to have him examine their eyes, and either perform surgery himself, or refer them to someone else.
“Kevin, my future son in law.” I said. ‘You may not know this yet, but my wife, your future mother in law has been talking about looking into having her eyesight surgically corrected. Personally I am not for this at all, as I chose to marry Katy knowing full well that she wore strong glasses. She will probably ask you what her options are at dinner tonight. If you value our relationship, you will talk about her options as much as you want, but I really, really would appreciate it if nothing would come to pass.”
“Judy has been talking about it also, so that request goes for me as well Kevin.” Pat spoke up.
I was a bit shocked. I really hadn’t thought that Pat was a girl with glasses lover. I mean, he had married a high myope, but I hadn’t known.
“I didn’t realize that you felt that way too Pat.” I said.
“Well, Justin, I have known for a long time that you couldn’t keep your eyes off Judy. I knew she wasn’t as pretty as Katy, so I figured it must be the glasses. I am surprised that you didn’t clue in that I was staring at Katy though.
“To Nearsighted Women Everywhere.” Kyle said as he lifted his beer bottle for a toast.
“To our respective nearsighted ladies.” Kevin answered.
“Here, here.” Pat and I chorused together.