I first noticed while I was writing an exam in the gym. Whenever I looked up from my paper, I had a serious problem focusing on anything more than ten feet away from me.
I thought it must have been a combination of the florescent lighting, stress of my Social Studies exam I
I seemed to have been pleased with my self diagnostic abilities and stopped questioning my need for glasses. Later that day I failed to recognize the "Men's" symbol on the upstairs restroom and walked in on my Woodworking Teacher using the facilities. Why was he in the student bathroom? Why did my grade suddenly jump 20% in his class?* These unanswered questions still haunt me sometimes while I lay awake in bed. That and the sordid amount of caffeine I consume on a daily basis.
I began to accept that my eyesight was totally normal. As I began to drive, I noticed a distinct difference between my response time at recognizing signs and pedestrians and my mother's, but figured it was because I needed practice as a 'learning driver' and that she was overly paranoid. I had passed the 'eye test' given at the time of my L test at any rate. Did it help I could see the answer sheet? Maybe.
As Highschool came and went; many exams in brightly lit, overly caffeinated environments came with it. Same thing. Focus too hard on paper, become unable to properly distinguish faces or depth beyond ten feet. Normal.
It was only when I started to work at Starbucks after I turned 18 that I came to terms with the fact that I, indeed, probably needed glasses. My fellow baristas kindly let me know it is a problem when you are unable to distinguish between cuteCaramelFrappuccinoguy and oldcreepyGrandeAmericano man from ten feet away. Hawkward.
Okay, okay. I need glasses. I agreed.
But I should sign up for Starbucks benefits first. Why should I pay full price? Silly.
Three years and countless incidences of failure to recognize family members or curves in the road later, I booked an eye test this last October.
As I stood just outside the examination room in Costco,** massive eye-testing contraption perched on my face - I could see. I could see the glimmer of bulk Heinz three aisles down. I could easily spot my mother perusing the selection of Garth Glasses - fifteen feet away!
I walked out the proper set of doors that afternoon with a newfound sense of self congratulatory pride. Look at me, mom! Look! MOUNTAINSARENTTHEYBEAUTIFUL!
Glasses off. Blurry blue lumps in the distance.
Glasses on. MOUNTAINSMOOMMOM.
Glasses off. Mom? Mom? Where did you
Glasses on. Oh hi mom.
I wore my glasses for about a week.
*just kidding, mom. Please don't call the School Board.
**it turns out that my 'moderate astigmatism could have been fixed at an earlier age if I had been diagnosed and wore corrective lenses throughout my early Highschool years. Oops.