On Glasses

On Glasses

Posted under Guest Blogger

I should really be wearing glasses. And yet, I don’t.

I used to wear them. From the time I was very little to the time I left elementary school, I wore glasses every day of my life. Then I became a self-conscious, pubescent monster as I entered junior high, at which point I refused to wear glasses because they made me look like Steve Urkel. I’d be okay, I insisted. There were magnifiers and large print to get me by. I didn’t need glasses, especially if they made me look like a four-eyed freak. I knew my vision would be worse for it, but I didn’t care. The needs of my ego trumped the needs of my body.

Fast-forward about 17 years and I’m still reluctant to wear glasses, even against my much better, 31-year-old judgment. I still don’t like how glasses look on me, but the rationale I like to use is that glasses won’t make me see markedly better. See, I had cataract surgery when I was 17, and the doctors said the choice was mine whether to continue wearing glasses. Their explanation was that my vision had reached a point where it wouldn’t get any better nor worse. They said glasses may help a little, but that I’d effectively be wearing them as a fashion statement. So, I decided to forego the glasses. Why bother if the improvement was going to be neglible at best? How I felt then is exactly the way I feel now.

My family and friends all think I’m stubborn and stupid in my steadfast refusal to wear glasses. They say the miniscule gain is better than no gain at all. Realistically, that’s probably true, but I just don’t care. For better or worse, the 13-year-old me lives on in my subsconscious, needling me from within. He gets the best of me, and he likes it too. But with every squint and piece of paper held an inch from my face, I know I should be an adult and get glasses.

I just don’t want to look like a thirty-something Urkel.