What I Should Have Said.
My sister Laurie and I had a secret. I had just turned 9 years old, and Laurie was 10, going on 11. Our secret was that we each had one eye that we couldn’t really see clearly out of. Laurie couldn’t see very well in the distance with her left eye, and I had the same problem with my right eye. We discovered this when Laurie’s best friend Leanne got her first pair of glasses. Of course we all had to try them on, and I remember that when I closed my right eye everything looked blurry through the lenses. But, when I closed my left eye, everything I saw through my right eye was pretty clear. Of course, we had to blabber to each other about this, so Laurie knew that I couldn’t see out of my right eye, and I knew that Laurie couldn’t see out of her left eye. But, after we talked about it for a while, Laurie and I decided that as long as we had one eye that we could see with, we were doing better than Leanne, who couldn’t see out of either eye without glasses. And Laurie and I both knew we didn’t want to have to wear glasses, and suffer the taunting about being four eyed that Leanne had been going through the last few days.
Leanne and Laurie were pretty inseparable in those days. I was just the kid brother who they let tag along. And, I didn’t really care for girls much, but since we lived on the outskirts of town, I didn’t have any choice but to be with them. I noticed that Leanne got new glasses every year, and I noticed that the lenses seemed to be getting thicker and thicker each time. She never took her glasses off, and she always made dramatic statements about how blind she was without her glasses. I was a bit fascinated by her glasses, but I certainly never wanted to wear them.
When Laurie was 14, her good right eye seemed to give up the ghost. She was sent home from school with a note to our parents advising them that Laurie should have her eyes tested. Of course, there was talk about dragging me along, but I protested, and told them my eyes were fine, and I proved I could see everything they pointed out to me to see, so I escaped. Laurie returned home with a pair of glasses; right eye –1.75D, and left eye –4.00D. She was instructed to wear them all the time, and she was to have her left eye patched when reading, and doing close work. Laurie didn’t like this. When she went back for a checkup in 6 months, her right eye had gone to –2.25D, and her left had remained at –4D. After a year of wearing glasses Laurie now wore –2.75D for her right eye, and –4.25D for her left. The following check up saw Laurie’s prescription go to –3.50D for her left eye, and her right eye stayed at –4.25D. I suppose that this satisfied the doctor, because the patching ended.
At 15, Leanne wore pretty thick glasses. I thought they looked great. They looked nicer than Laurie’s, because you could tell that Leanne really, really needed glasses. I liked the way they made her eyes look very tiny behind the lenses, and I liked the rings in the edges of the lenses. I loved the way they shrank the sides of her face in. But, this ended, because Leanne got contact lenses. When she asked me how she looked without glasses, I said. " Oh, I guess you look pretty good."
What I should have said was. " I really liked the way you looked wearing glasses. They made your face more interesting."
I was sweating my eye test for my driver’s license. I didn’t figure I could get out of this without them finding out that I needed glasses. But, that day the machine at the license office broke, so they made us stand 20 feet away from an eye chart on the wall. I covered my good left eye, and peeking through my fingers, I read the 20/20 line. With my left eye I read the 20/20 line, and started on to the 20/15 line. I escaped.
When I was 19 and I was at University I decided that I should get a pair of glasses. A lot of guys wore glasses around campus, and it just seemed to be the thing to do. So, I went for my first eye test. Of course I ended up with glasses. My right eye was –2.25 x 0.50 x 75 and my left eye was +0.50. I got the glasses, but after trying to wear them, I found out that while they made things look nice and clear with my right eye, the darned things made my left eye all blurry, and I couldn’t see nearly as well as I was used to. So much for my idea of wearing glasses to make myself look more intelligent to all the girls.
After I graduated, I went to work for a local construction company. It didn’t take long before I had worked my way up to being a job superintendent. My civil engineering degree was just perfect for the work I was doing.
I had lost track of Laurie’s friend Leanne. I had been dating a lot of girls, and I had noticed that they all had one thing in common. They all wore glasses. But, I wasn’t ready to get tied down, so if any of them seemed to even hint at the M word, I was off and running.
I had an apartment of my own, but I still stopped by for dinner at Mom and Dad’s one evening a week. One night Leanne was there with Laurie, and she stayed for supper. I suppose I made a play for Leanne. I don’t know if it was because she had become a pretty cute chick, or if it was because I remembered her glasses, and my attraction to them. To shorten the story about a really long courtship, we went together for a couple of years, lived together for another year, and then decided to marry. Leanne’s glasses had gotten a whole lot stronger, and while I didn’t understand what she was telling me when she told me that her glasses were –18D, I knew that it was a pretty substantial prescription. After our wedding I occasionally got to see Leanne wearing her glasses around the house, and while she always protested that her glasses looked thick and ugly. I must have been pretty convincing, because I actually convinced her to go out in public with me wearing her glasses.
About this time there were some new advances in plastic lenses. The first lenses that were a little bit thinner were called polycarbonate. But Leanne couldn’t wear polycarbonate. They were biconcave and had really crappy optics, so she just couldn’t see very well. They also were polished around the edges, and the reflections just didn’t look all that great to me. Unfortunately I told Leanne that I didn’t like the appearance.
What I really should have said was: "Honey, they look fantastic on you."
My telling the truth that time made it much harder for me to convince Leanne to try the next generation of hi index plastic lenses. I suppose if Leanne hadn’t been wearing contacts to the point where the contacts were beginning to give her problems I never could have convinced her to try the new lenses. But she was having trouble wearing her contacts, so finally we went to her eye doctor and got her a new prescription for glasses.
Her new prescription was a whole –1.00D stronger than her old prescription. Even in the new high index plastic lens, and a small eye sized plastic frame these –19D lenses were still biconcave, and were pretty thick. But Leanne didn’t have any other choice, as her doctor had told her not to wear contacts except for special occasions.
This time I knew what to say. "Honey, I love how you look in those glasses. You look fabulous."
And I kept this up. Every chance I got I told Leanne how good she looked wearing glasses. I was beginning to believe that she really believed me.
The first sign of trouble was when she went to see a doctor about the possibility of having the new Radial Keratotomy surgery that had just started to be marketed. When she told me about it, I told her that if she wanted to be a guinea pig and possibly go blind from the operation then she shouldn’t count on me to be her guide through life.
What I should have said was: "Honey, if you didn’t look so sexy wearing glasses I would say go for it if it is safe. But you really turn me on when you are wearing your glasses."
Fortunately her prescription was too strong, and her cornea’s were too thin for this operation. But a few years later when lasik came on the market, she went to a lasik information seminar, and was told that she might be a good candidate. She was to go for further testing and she came home and told me about it. I tried every trick in the book. "It isn’t safe." I said. "We don’t have the extra money." I said. "You might end up blind." I said.
What I should have said was: " If it is safe I guess you can do it. But I would be disappointed if you did, because you really look wonderful when you are wearing glasses."
Again the crisis was averted. She was not a candidate at all. Her corneas were too thin, as well as her eye was too large, so they rejected her.
The subject reared its ugly head again when they came out with phakic lens implants for high myopes. Her prescription was a little high, as the implants could only do around –15D of myopia. But Leanne felt that –4.50D glasses were a whole lot better than –19.50D ones. I tried my best to talk her out of this.
What I should have said was; " If you have these implant’s done I will leave you."
Now I am going with a young lady who has a pretty decent prescription. But –15D isn’t as attractive to me as Leanne’s –19.50D was. However, this time I said the right thing as soon as I met her.
What I said was: " I love your appearance wearing your glasses. I left my last wife because she had eye surgery, and I will leave you if you have any form of eye surgery. So if you were even thinking about it, forget it."