I’ve had my first pair of glasses now for a few weeks. I’m getting used to them, but it’s definitely a lifestyle change.
Apparently what I have is astigmatism. The eye doctor informed me
that astigmatism isn’t something that occurs with age, and that I
probably always had it and should have been wearing glasses forever.
Something isn’t quite right about that or I wouldn’t have just recently
decided something was off about my vision and I needed to get it
checked. In the past couple of years I noticed that I could see objects
clearly at closer distances with my right eye than with my left by
about five inches. I’ve also felt myself heavily favoring my right eye
in general, and that small type was blurrier with my left eye when I
used it alone. All those things seemed like good reasons to go to an
My unaided vision isn’t bad, just a little blurry. The biggest
difference I notice with my glasses on is that dark things are darker.
Since the contrast is better, and the lighter areas aren’t bleeding into
the darker ones, there is more dark to see. I didn’t realize how much
clearer all the details around me could be. Some days when I don’t
remember to put my glasses on in the morning I wonder again why I have
them, but if I’ve had them on all day and take them off I’m surprised by
just how fuzzy the world looks.
The super nice woman who helped me pick out my first pair of glasses
said I should not go with anything too bold to start. I like what she
picked. They are light, I don’t notice them much, and supposedly they
are hard to break although I hope we don’t get to test that anytime
soon. People who know me best have remarked on them right away and said
they look nice (except for my daughters who don’t like them). Some
people have said nothing, and then there is a surprisingly large group
of acquaintances who seem to remember me always wearing glasses and
don’t know what the fuss is about. Ian feels like I have a whole Tina
Fey thing going, so I’m not going to complain about that.
I thought I would mind how I looked in them, but they’re kind of
nice. I don’t wear makeup or have pierced ears, so by just putting
glasses on it’s like I’m making some kind of effort with my face for a
change. I’ve also started really noticing just how many other people
wear glasses too. There are so many types and styles and it’s a whole
world I never really paid any attention to before. I check out other
people’s eyewear all the time now.
There are weird things, though, that come with wearing glasses. Some
of these are normal weird that anyone who wears glasses will relate to
that I’m just discovering, and some might just be me.
Having the edges of the glasses in my periphery is hard to get used
to. That, and the way things bend around the edges. That bit of
distortion happening just to the side of everything I’m looking at is
strange. It’s a shock to open the oven and have my glasses steam up. I
haven’t figured out yet if there is a way to change my shirt without
taking the glasses off first. I had no idea my eyelashes were so
dirty–I can smudge up the lenses with them pretty fast. I’ve already
gotten into such a habit of adjusting my glasses that I’ve found myself
reaching to push them up on my nose when I’m not wearing them.
With the new crisper edges to everything, I’ve also had a return to
seeing the red and blue lines next to bright objects. My brother the
brain researcher specializes in vision and has done work in holography,
so he was able to give me a term for the red and blue edges. It’s
called ‘chromatic aberration,’ and he termed it ‘not desirable.’ I
loved the red and blue edges next to things as a kid and I used to amuse
myself by shutting one eye and lining up the sight of the edge of my
nose against the sides of bright things across the room to make them
stand out more–blue on the right, red on the left. My brother’s
concerned that my glasses aren’t adequately doing everything they are
supposed to do if I’m seeing all that red and blue, but I think they’re
fine. It’s subtle, and it’s pretty.
I’ve already been warned that someday a small child will elbow me in
the glasses and it will hurt. I have been told that coming indoors with
them on in the winter will take getting used to. I’m already annoyed
with the way they slip as I tilt my head down all the time to do my
work. I have been told that dependence on them will be frustrating at
times, espeically as they get lost or misplaced.
But you know what? The first thing I saw with my new glasses was
Aden’s sweet face looking up at me. I slipped them on, and every strand
of honey blonde hair on her head was suddenly clear in a way I’d never
seen before, and her impossibly blue eyes had sparkly blue rays in them
that I find amazing. She laughed as I kept looking at her over the tops
of my glasses, and then nudging them into place so I could enjoy the
contrast again. Who knew I could enjoy looking at my kids any more than
I already did? Glasses are cool.