Last week my eight-year-old daughter found out that she needs eyeglasses. My husband and I both wear contact lenses and also got our first eyeglasses about her age, so we were concerned how she might take the news. As we picked out a cute pair of frames, she seemed almost giddy with excitement. When I was her age I begrudgingly wore mine, hating every minute of it. I was amazed that she was taking it so well. “I just want to see better” she said.
Don’t we all? Well, not quite all, but a large number of us do. According to statistics, 225 million Americans wear some kind of corrective lens. Of that number, 64% wear glasses; 11% wear contact lenses.
Although I got my glasses at age nine, I didn’t really wear them until I was in high school. And even then only when necessary to see the blackboard, when watching movies, or when driving. I guess, like most teenagers, I was too self-consious to wear them all the time even though I needed them.
I remember one day on the bus on the way to school, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my glasses at home. My dad (who lived in a different home at the time) was picking me up after school and taking me to the DMV so that I could get my driver’s license. Crap. I knew that I wouldn’t be allowed to take the test without my glasses since my paperwork specified I needed corrective lenses. So what did I do? I turned to my friend, Melissa, who was sitting behind me on the bus and asked to borrow her glasses. That’s right, I got behind the wheel of a car wearing glasses that weren’t mine. Well, needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), I failed. Yep, I failed my driver’s test on my first attempt. It could have had something to do with the way I ran over the cones during my three-point turn. Or, maybe I failed because I couldn’t see where the hell I was going.