Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The eyes have it. (part 1)

(from here)

Or in other words my eyes have had it.

Until recently I had the worst eyesight of anyone I’d ever known. I’m not sure why this seemed to be a sense of achievement but there was always an edge competitiveness when someone would say to me “Oh my eyesight is really bad” – oh you think so do you? Come on then tell me you stats – “-3.25” hahah I laugh at your good eyesight. I have won every single time I’ve played this game to the point where I’ve become a little cocky! Which is why I acted like a total tw*t with the one person who beat me. It isn't an achievement to have bad eyesight and I'm obviously not a nice person.

In my dim and distant past I can vaguely remember the day that changed my eyes and me forever. I was about 8, my family and I were sat in the kitchen having lunch when my Mum got up to get something from another room. As she returned to the kitchen she glanced sharply at me. “Look at me” she said, “I am looking at you” I replied, “look into my eyes”, “I’m looking into your eyes”, “look straight ahead” “ok”, “hmm, think we need to get that looked at”, “get what looked at?”, “its probably nothing”, “WHAT??”.

What my Mum had picked up was a very minor squint in my right eye, following a referral to the hospital I was put through my paces at regular appointments. The culmination of all these tests was an overnight stay in hospital, a general anaesthetic for an operation to tighten the muscle behind my eye. I then had to wear an eye patch (or a big sticking plaster) over my left eye to try to strengthen the right eye and make it work harder.

Some time after the operation I moved seats in the classroom, instead of being right beside the blackboard I was now much further away and things were getting a little fuzzy. In assembly I was responsible for putting the song words on the projector so sat right at the front of the hall. Following a disagreement with the friend who sat on the opposite side of the projector, I gave up my role and went to sit at the back of the class with my other classmates. As we were the oldest class, we were at the back (these were in the days when the whole school came together for assembly every single day). I couldn’t see the words. What with squinting at the blackboard, not being able to see the song words in assembly and the headaches that had started it was back to the optician where I was prescribed my first pair of glasses. Any child who wore glasses in the 80s will know that the choice was hideous, the glasses were huge and you honestly couldn’t get any more colour on to one pair of glasses if there had been an explosion in a paint factory – in fact it looked like there had been a paint explosion in the glasses factory.

I remember the first day in school wearing my new glasses, it happened to be my first day back at school after breaking my wrist. I was sat in the corridor while my Mum spoke to my teacher about how I couldn’t write with my right (broken) arm when a boy from my class came out into the corridor and saw me with new massive glasses and my arm in a sling – his response “what happened to you?!!”. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one in my class with paint explosion wacky glasses there were two other girls, who happened to be my best friends – I don’t think we’d have made it in a bigger school but back in the late 1980s we were there for each other with our hideous glasses.

As I got older and was given a bigger budget and more control over my choice of glasses I came firmly down on the side that my glasses should disappear - that is still my aim when I buy new glasses. Yes ok, they had to be on my face but they had to be as invisible as possible. So I got smaller frames, I got subtle tones that suited me, I eventually after some persuasion graduated onto rimless glasses – which I adored.
My problem is that my eyesight continues to get worse, I fail the test every single time and the number on my prescription keeps getting bigger. This means a lot of different pairs of glasses and a huge amount of money. In the last three years I’ve finally had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t have rimless glasses anymore, they just can’t thin the lenses any further to make them look good in a rimless frame – I cannot afford to pay for them to thin the lenses any further to put them in a rimless frame. I’ve therefore graduated onto a semi-rimless frame. 

I HATE shopping for glasses, I have to try on every single frame in the shop at least twice. I’ve learnt that I have to have teenager glasses or petite frames because the adult frames are just too wide for my face to cope with – this is quite a revelation because I have a very large head and can often not find hats to fit. I’m not sure how I’ve got such a big head and such a small face (I don’t think I look like an alien?!). I can also not take advantage of all these wonderful offers that opticians like to shove down your throat (yes I’m bitter), “oh you’d get a pair free with that”. No I wouldn’t, “oh but you would, we’ve got this fantastic offer on at the moment” no I can’t, I have to pay a LOT of money to get thin enough lenses for one pair of glasses and you think throwing in a free frame is going to make me want to pay that twice? Erm no I’ll not bother with your “free” pair. I don’t wear my glasses as a fashion accessory I wear them to be able to see.

I’ve married a man who is only just behind me in the short-sightedness race – blind leading the blind is perfect for us.


  1. I love it, the blind leading the blind!

  2. That photo could not go any better with this post! I've been with two friends buying glasses recently, it's such a hard task. The husband wears glasses and has done since he was little, about maybe 3 or 4? But he too had the NHS issue prescription glasses. But yours actually sound better than his believe it or not! He had proper old man brown fade to clear glasses, which look pretty special on a little boy.

    Looking forward to part 2! X

  3. Ha, am I the person who beat you?! :) I don't remember you being a t@&t, although it was only about an hour after we met, I think I was just glad ou weren't a perv...

  4. *serious face* Dude, you are A) lovely and B) not a twat. It's a defence thing I think. If you have to be the person with the bad eyesight, might as well feel some sort of achievement for it. I do it too (-3.5 in one eye -4.0 in the other).

    I spent a very long time trying to make my glasses disappear too. As you will have noticed I've now decided If I have to wear them, I might as well have awesome ones.

    I second being glad you both weren't pervs...

  5. Ahh Bean and "eye" are both sight challenged.

    Although my brother is far worse at +8 and had those hideous monstrosities!

    I only had to start wearing glasses at 16.

  6. Oooh now I want to know how bad your eyes are?

    Mine are -6 & my contacts -5.75, they have progressively got worse in the last 5 years since I started working since I draw lines on a computer all day every day!

    Ive wore glasses since the start of high school too and had purple coloures speckle glasses to start with until I grew up and got some decent ones before my 18th birthday party!

    Ive probably only ever had contacts when Ive met you all but I have half rimless ones just now, altho they are still thick at the bottom even with the thinning!

    Im in desperate need of new ones but im seriously considering laser eye surgery before they get too bad as Graham got his done before the wedding last year and loves it; what I would give to get out of bed in the morning without having to reach for my glasses or not have to worry about taking extra contacts everywhere etc!

  7. Oh yeah how annoying is the extra free pair; once I did get them and got them made in sunglasses.

    Of course as you say I couldnt get both sets of lenses thinned so they are now totally laughable!

    I got myself a fancy pair of oakleys for our honeymoon and I just wear my contacts with them!

  8. I am like you totally blind. My other half still finds it funny that I can't see things far away without my glasses or contacts.

    All I can say to you is the cloud glasses that took up most of my face at the age of six really could compete with your paint explosion wacky glasses!

  9. Aww I love that last bit about the blind leading the blind... I must admit turning up with a broken arm and new glasses would have caused a stir at our school too! I've apparently got 'perfect' vision which means I live in fear of being told otherwise... even though everyone I know either has contacts or glasses!

    p.s. were the paint explosion glasses like the ones timmy mallet had? ;)

  10. I am also the most eyesight challenged of all my friends. my husband on the other hand has perfect vision. my prescription is all way too intense for rimless or even maybe semi rimless. I totally feel your pain!


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