Thursday, January 6, 2011

The failed eye exam

Back in the day, say second grade or so, school was a fun place to be. We got to color, go to music class, make projects, have recess, and write our math problems with pencils sharpened to a dangerous, arrow-like point. At lunch time, we filed down to the multi-purpose room, a cavernous room (or so it seemed at the time) that doubled as the gym and the stage. There always seemed to be an odd combination of scrambled odors. Perhaps it was a mixture of smooshed PB&J sandwiches, those yucky green peas the cafeteria workers doled out, and the smell of sweaty children after recess. But, bells and buzzers, announcements over the PA system, and select kids proudly wearing their Safety Patrol sash and badges all made the school a mostly wonderful place to be.

That was the 60's, an era that saw the girls wearing dresses and the boys collared shirts. No jeans. No t-shirts. We said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning and had a time of prayer. And, we had health exams. Notably, a dentist would come check everyone's teeth and the school nurse performed eye exams. Quite often, I noted, a classmate would be sent for a referral for an eye check up. I knew that because they would return to school with those big, dark and disposable sunglasses. I was seriously jealous. I wanted to wear glasses and I knew that was a part of the process.

In fact, so jealous was I that the next time a school eye screening came around, I purposely flunked the exam. I knew it was the only way I would ever have a chance of donning those spectacles. So, when asked, I couldn't tell the difference between one letter and the next. It baffles me that the nurse didn't catch on but I considered myself successful when I walked out with that note to take home to my parents. I had miserably failed the eye test and they were to take me to the doctor. Yippee!

I guess I let my guard down because the doctor could not be fooled. The only thing I got out of that visit was a lecture about how much it cost. And, the only glasses to hang from my ears were the wimpy disposable ones which, by now, had lost their appeal.

Just this morning I went again to the eye doctor. (Not the same one. He's probably long dead.) I didn't even need to carry a note from the school nurse. But this time, I wasn't faking not being able to read all those letters. "Is it better with number 1 or number 2?" he asked over and over again. It was all so confusing. Sometimes the view through those googley-woogley lenses was just a big, blurry mess. But with a few clicks of the knob, the doctor was able to clear things up. I walked out of there with the same big, dark and disposable sunglasses--and a prescription for progressive lenses. I get to wear glasses after all.

I'm really not surprised that my eyesight is no longer perfect. It happens with age. First, we lose focus on  the small things. It's annoying at the beginning but seriously aggravating when we can't read a price tag or a recipe. But, at least I can still see far. Right?

Wrong. I am discovering that even my distance vision is getting a little askew. The only solution seems to be a pair of glasses that will correct for both maladies. Then, I should be good to go.

This process of becoming a presbyope did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process wherein I compensated for my inadequacies as long as possible. I didn't realize just how bad I was, however, until I looked through the proper, correcting lens. Then and only then could I see clearly.

I think we often view our surroundings without the aid of a correcting lens. Rather, we accommodate small variances and get used to the idea that blur is better. . .or at least okay. It's not until we open our eyes to gaze through the correcting lens of the Truth that we clearly see right from wrong, moral from immoral, good from evil.

There is no shame in wearing spiritual glasses.

Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! 
(Psalm 66:5)


Rick Gray said...

Spiritual Glasses! I like the correlation. I have never thought of it in that light, but you are correct. You just always love to give me something to ponder on.

As far as being unable to see, count yourself lucky that this is just now happening to you. I am always a bit slow at things, but it took me a broken ankle to realize that I needed to wear my glasses while trail running. Prior to that I just always thought that dirt trails through the mountains were just as smooth as the roads and there was never a rock or root that I would have to deal with. I think I was mistaken.

Be ready for the price tag as those progressive lenses are not cheap. That is why I have one pair for normal wearing and one pair for running. My running glasses are single vision and the prescription is so that I can see the trail clearly. They are cheap. The lenses are chipped from all of my soft little falls on the trails. Fun past time we have!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

LOL. I've actually had progressive before so I know the cost. But I'm not sure that a single lens could work for me on the trail. I'll have to sort all of that out! Great fun...

Follow the yellow lines

Jack in his younger days "Well, you know I can't live here by myself. I'm moving in with you." I guess he was serious....