by All4eyes and Specs4everPart 5: The Myodisc Club
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times-it was the school days of The Myodisc Club's children. It was the best of times for Mike and Nancy Anderson's daughter Kaylee, a third grader with a sunny smile and only one fear in the world-for obvious reasons, she dreaded being separated from her -22D glasses, so much so she even slept in them, starting a trend amongst all the Myodisc Club children, even though some of them were not yet in myodiscs themselves, of wearing prescription goggles (which were more comfortable and wouldn't come off or break when one rolled over) to bed. Kaylee had started wearing glasses with a -20 prescription by the time she was 6 months old, and while her current -2D increase over a 4 year period was relatively small considering the strength she started with, her parents did wonder if her prescription might experience a larger leap once Kaylee reached her teens.
Beth and Jamie's children, 8-year-old Jarred with his flat-front -9 glasses, and 6 1/2-year-old Laura with her biconcave -16's, were having a good year as well. As for Josh and Lana's daughters, Andrea and Terri, Andrea was having a wonderful time in fourth grade and looking forward to her final year at Dubya Elementary next year, in spite of her -19 myodiscs, and Terri's -17.25 glasses didn't stop her from enjoying her second grade class (Terri's teacher, Sherry, a former student of Peter's mother Nancy's, was now engaged to her sweetheart Jason, and was 27 years old, the same age Nancy was when she first met Lana, the Myopia Fairy at that time, and began her journey into the world of high myopia). But alas, all was not so well for Kaylee's brother and Terri's classmate Peter, nor for Amanda and Blair's daughter 6-year-old Sheila.
Peter's problem was that everywhere he looked, he was surrounded by bespectacled faces: the other kids at school, their parents, the teachers (Sherry, or Miss Blaine, as her students knew her, wore an rx of OD -25.50 x -2.50 x 50 and OS -25.00 x -2.00 x 85, with 20 degrees of prism in each eye, and she would often show up at gatherings of the extended family of myodisc wearers (where the children would return to calling her Aunt Sherry) with her -12D wearing fiancé), even his own mother and sister, but whenever Peter looked in the mirror, a plain, bare little boy's face peered back at him. By now the world-wide myopia rate had gone up so much, that about the only people Peter had ever seen without glasses (besides very young babies, and even in this category it wasn't at all unusual to see a less than year-old child in glasses) were his father and a couple of the more sports-oriented, miniature jock type boys at school. But it was all right for those boys to be bare-faced; they were big and strong enough to defend themselves! But some of the older boys had begun picking on the more puny Peter, calling him names like "Two eyes!" and "No-frames!" and yelling things like, "Hey, what's the matter, Peter? You break your windows or something?" "Yeah, I bet Peter's a wimp-he probably can't even see across the room through a -2!"
One day Peter came home all bruised and bloodied from a fight at school. After the usual band-aids and hugs and kissing of boo-boos, Peter's parents asked him what happened and he replied "A bunch of kids beat me up cause they said I was a just a stupid dork who didn't wear glasses! Why can't I just be like everybody else?" "But Peter, lots of people don't wear glasses! I don't!" said Mike. "Yeah, but you're a grown-up, Dad! All the kids at my school wear glasses. If you're a kid and you don't wear glasses people call you names and pick on you!" "Don't worry, dear. We'll think of something." Nancy reassured her son, who sobbed his way upstairs as his parents tried to figure out what to do.
In the end they decided they would take Peter to see Blair and get some planos, so that Peter could look like his classmates and not be bullied anymore. But they were surprised when Blair insisted that Peter's vision be checked first "just in case" and it was found that he really was ever so slightly nearsighted. You never saw a child as happy as Peter was with those little -.50's on his nose. Unfortunately, this didn't stop the teasing, since the kids at school thought he was wearing "fakes", and would not believe him, no matter how much he tried to tell them they really were prescription.
Nancy was discussing the problem with Lana one day, and asked "Since you used to be the Myopia Fairy, I suppose you would know; might it be a good idea to have Peter wear glasses with a bit more minus in them? I mean, I've heard that this can make a child's myopia progress more quickly, and while I don't mind wearing glasses and having my children wear them, I'd hate to see his myopia progress to the point where he couldn't see well even with glasses, or started having retinal problems, like Amanda has had." Lana answered "Well, it is possible that bumping his rx could increase his myopia somewhat, but it's usually only the people who were born with high myopia who end up with retinal problems (which is why you and I have healthy retinas, since our myopia is magical, rather than natural), and if you're worried about him becoming dependant on glasses, you might as well get used to the idea, because any child who is nearsighted at his age, even as mildly as he is, is probably going to be dependant on glasses as an adult. Remember, his eyeballs are going to keep growing for the next 10 years or so, regardless of what kind of lenses they have in front of them! But I suppose the safest thing to do would be for me to just ask the new Myopia Fairy to give him a little more myopia. If the stronger lenses are no stronger than he needs, then he won't have to accommodate to them, so they shouldn't speed up his progression any faster than the weak ones he has now." So a few days later when Peter (much to his delight) discovered things were still a blur with his glasses on, his parents took him back to the optician and had him fitted with -3's this time, so it was now clear that his glasses were truly corrective.
But just as Peter was having problems from not being very myopic, Sheila was having problems because she was very myopic, specifically it seemed that lately she was always breaking or misplacing her glasses and while her father was an optician and thus had no real difficulty in providing her with new pairs whenever necessary, her parents were more than a little upset that she seemed to be so irresponsible. In reality she wasn't irresponsible at all, she was clumsy and uncoordinated, as sometimes happens when children have very poor vision from an early age. Finally, in their frustration, Sheila's parents had her wear her indestructible nighttime safety goggles during the day as well. This made her look a bit strange, but she did not protest, since it frightened her to suddenly be left stranded on the playground in her -18.50 blur when her glasses got knocked off.
As for the older "kids", Sherry of course was now all grown up and engaged to Jason, Carrie was 25, in her second year of teaching kindergarten (Laura and Sheila had been in her class the year before, her first year teaching), had a -29.50 and -29.25 rx, and was also engaged to Lucas (Josh's son from his first marriage), who was 23, in his final year of college to get his teaching degree, and had a slightly more modest OD -23.75 x 2.50 x 85 and OS -23.50 x -3.00 x 95 rx. They planned to marry in the summer as soon as Lucas graduated, and were considering having a double wedding with Sherry and Jason.
Things were going well for the first generation of the Club, too, now in their mid-30's to early 40's in age and with prescriptions in the -20's to low -30's. Faith was having a ball dating a variety of different men who all had one thing in common-they loved girls who wore myodiscs, which Faith now did (-22.50, to be exact). During her brief stint as Lana's replacement working for The Department of Vengeance as The Myopia Fairy, Faith had had access to The Department's "Little Black Book" that listed the names of men who were OOs or optic-obsessive, and were interested in finding a myopic female (of course, there were also men looking for myopic men, women looking for myopic men or women, and men and women looking for hyperopes, but that wasn't what Faith was interested in).
And now, working as an optician, she had plenty of opportunities for meeting them; some were genuine high myopes themselves (her favorite kind, though she didn't mind if they weren't quite myopic enough for myodiscs, as long as they were fully dependant on their glasses), others did GOC (and she knew which ones, even if they didn't say anything, because this information too was written in "The Book"), some came along with their current myopic girlfriends, to "offer moral support" (though Faith knew their main reason was that they enjoyed watching their girl and others try on different frames, the discussions about glasses and vision that frequently came up in this setting, and simply the thrill of being in this place; indeed, these things were a far greater compensation for her work than any amount of money ever could be), and a few of the shier ones just hung around outside, walking past the door every few minutes while pretending they were going someplace else, occasionally stopping briefly in front of the window for a furtive glance inside, maybe pondering going in for a split-second before losing the nerve and walking off again.
Jamie eventually adjusted to his glasses, now +6 with a +3 add, though he was shocked the first time he removed them and realized he could no longer focus on his own, no matter how hard he tried. And Beth was finding she rather enjoyed the way her husband's gorgeous eyes were magnified behind his lenses, and even the fact that he was now dependant on glasses just like she was. "Now you know how I've felt all this time" she'd tease him. "Yes, but with you being nearsighted, at least you can see the tip of your nose clearly without glasses. I'm so farsighted I can't see anything uncorrected, no matter how far away it is! And I get a terrible headache if I try!" She had to admit, he had a point, so she very graciously decided to let him wear his glasses while they made love, so he could see her (Beth had always worn her glasses to bed).
Meanwhile Blair was enjoying his work at the optical shop with Faith, and his home life with Amanda and their daughter Sheila. Sheila was a good girl, pretty and sweet, but she was accident-prone, breaking, dropping and bumping into everything you can imagine, and of course she was no good at games at recess. She also seemed to be having trouble in school; Carrie (who had been Sheila's teacher and also happened to be her half-sister, as she was Amanda's daughter) remembered that the year before she had trouble learning her letters in kindergarten, and this year she was having trouble learning to read.
Sherry had suggested to Carrie at the time that Sheila might have problems using both her eyes together and might need prism in her glasses, but Carrie had dismissed it is as something Sherry said just because she had prisms and thought they changed the world for her, and never mentioned it to Sheila's parents, but now she was beginning to wonder herself. So she brought up the idea to her mother, who said "You know, Sherry could be right! I hadn't thought of that, but it would explain Sheila's problems. We'll have to take her to see an ophthalmologist who specializes in working with children and see what happens." When Sheila was examined, it was revealed that she did indeed need 10 degrees of prism in each eye, just like Sherry started with, as well as an extra -1.50 in each eye. Once Sheila's need for prism was taken care of, she no longer had so many accidents and was able to return to wearing regular myodisc glasses, instead of her nighttime goggles, and her ability to read improved dramatically.
Then summer came and Lucas graduated from college, with plans to begin teaching in the fall. But first, there was a wedding to be celebrated! Well, two weddings, actually, since Lucas and Carrie and Sherry and Jason had decided to have a double wedding. And what a wedding it was- Blair walked Carrie down the aisle, and since Sherry didn't have a father or stepfather, her mother Donna was there to give her away, and there were friends of the bridal couples' serving as Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. The kids were not to be left out, so there were also two Junior Bridesmaids (Andrea and Kaylee), 3 Flower girls (Terri, Laura and Sheila) and a Ring bearer (Peter; Jarred felt that "weddings are girl-stuff" and so he wanted no part in it)! The brides were beautiful in their ivory lace gowns, and the lifting of their veils for the first kiss revealed their lovely silver oval myodiscs. The other girls were also pretty in the deep rose red dresses the brides selected, and those who were in the Myodisc Club also wore matching myodiscs in oval metal frames.
Two years later, Sherry and Jason had their first child, a son they named Daniel. By the time Danny was 3, he was in -6 glasses and his little sister Amy had just been born. Carrie and Lucas were still trying for baby number one, but tests revealed that they were both in excellent health, aside from Carrie's ever-increasing myopia, which had now reached -37D, and the doctor encouraged them to just keep trying. By now all of the younger kids were in Junior High. Andrea was 14 and in her last year of Junior High in Nancy's class, Kaylee and Jarred were 13, Terri and Peter were 12, and Laura and Sheila were 11 and just starting Jr. High.
Puberty had brought about galloping myopia for the two older girls, with Andrea's rx now being -23 and Kaylee's a stunning -27.75. Jarred's was a less impressive -15.50, while Terri's and Laura's prescriptions at around -21 were virtually identical, allowing them to trade glasses back and forth, essentially doubling their frame choices. Sheila's rx was only slightly stronger than Andrea's, but they couldn't trade glasses because Sheila now required 15 degrees of prism. And, in spite of starting out with glasses that were -2.50 stronger than he actually needed, poor Peter still dragged behind with only a meager -13D. Aside from that, the only bad news was the death of Furball, the Anderson's cat. It made everyone a little sad, since Nancy had adopted him as a tiny kitten the year before she and Mike got together, and Peter and Kaylee had grown up with him, but they weren't little kids anymore, and Furball had lived to be 19, which is a ripe old age for a cat. And besides, Beth and Jamie and Lana and Josh both had dogs.
Josh's and Lucas' myopia continued to remain stable, and Sherry's appeared to finally level off, having peaked at -30D, along with -3D of astigmatism and the 20 degrees of prism, but Amanda and Carrie were not so lucky. Amanda's rx had risen to -34.50 x -1.75 and -34.00 x -2.50. Carrie had finally succeeded in getting pregnant and at the age of 34 had her daughter Marsha (named after Lucas' grandmother), and within two years of this blessed event, Carrie had a son, Eric, as well. But Carrie's two pregnancies had taken a toll on her eyes, which now required lenses of -40 and -41 to see clearly, well, not perfectly clearly, but as clearly as they could considering the lenses extreme minification.
Meanwhile, Nancy, Lana, Beth and Blair all had, in their mid-forties, mysteriously begun developing some more myopia, ironically this happened at the very same time that presbyopia set in for them. At first Nancy and Beth panicked, thinking what a tiny little reading segment they'd get with myodisc bifocals, but then Blair and Lana showed them the trick of lowering their glasses slightly on their noses, to effectively reduce their power slightly. Since the Myopia Fairy had given all of them all of their myopia, except for Beth, who'd started with a relatively slight natural -5, they asked Lana if this recent coincidence of myopic increase and presbyopia could be related somehow to the magic she used to cause their initial myopia. Lana replied "I honestly don't know. I've never really continued following anyone I'd given myopia to into their presbyopia years before. I never got to be such good friends with anyone on Earth before I met you guys." But since the increases were happening at a fairly slow and stable rate of 1 diopter a year, the friends were not overly concerned.
Jamie, being a hyperope to begin with (albeit a long-time latent one), was hit particularly hard by presbyopia. His glasses, which had been bifocals from the time he started wearing them at age 32, became trifocals when he was 45. During his 13 years as a bifocal wearer, he'd found himself becoming more and more fond of the idea of himself as a hyperope, he liked the way his glasses magnified his eyes, and thought the "hyper halos" of light his lenses caught were stunning, not to mention the effect they had on his wife! He also liked the sharp, glittering line that marked his bifocal segment, so now he opted for regular lined trifocals, rather than progressives. He was even beginning to enjoy the blind, helpless feeling he got when he removed his glasses, now +8, with a +10 middle distance segment and a +12 reading segment (his vision was now so blurred his eyes didn't even bother trying to focus, so he no longer got headaches from going bare-eyed). It was strange, Jamie had always been attracted to girls with glasses, but he had never really thought of how enjoyable being dependant on glasses himself could be until it happened to him.
Mike had become presbyopic by his late forties, as well, and could have done well with cheap drugstore reading glasses, but took advantage of the opportunity to visit Blair and Faith's optical shop to get some really nice designer frames (or at least, this was what he told Nancy), and, more importantly, to check out the other customers. Not that he was even thinking of doing more than looking, mind you, he still loved Nancy very much, but there was something exciting about a girl being fitted with her first glasses, or her first pair of noticeably strong glasses, that he enjoyed, but he knew Nancy wouldn't understand and would get upset if she discovered his true reason for visiting Blair's shop. Blair recognized right away what was really going on there, but he didn't want to hurt Nancy either, and he understood where Mike was coming from (or rather, what he was coming for), because Blair had the same attraction. Blair loved his wife Amanda very much, as well, but he did love his job, too. The difference was, Blair's wife understood about the extra "perks" Blair got from his job. In fact, sometimes if he seemed particularly "excited" upon returning home from work, she would playfully ask him "Did you have an "interesting" customer at work again today or have you suddenly developed a fetish for old ragged sweatshirts (or whatever she happened to be lounging around the house in)?"
Faith was in for some excitement at the optical shop as well, in the form of one Kevin Durlow, esquire (yes, a lawyer!), who was led into the shop one day by his girlfriend after developing a sudden intolerance to his contact lenses and needed to have new glasses made in a rush, since he was one of these dedicated contact wearers who hadn't even gotten back-up glasses since several diopters ago. His beautiful face with deep brown eyes staring myopically off into nothing caught Faith's attention, but his equally beautiful companion snuffed out any fantasies he might otherwise have inspired before they had a chance to start. Strangely enough, what didn't make him any less attractive to Faith was the fact that he was nearly hysterical about the prospect of wearing glasses again.
He said to his girlfriend "You won't want to be with me anymore once you see me in glasses, I know you won't! I'll look awful!" She tried to reassure him "Oh, Kevin, honey, of course I'll still want to be with you! How much difference could a silly little pair of glasses possibly make?" "But, Marcie, you don't understand, I'm REALLY nearsighted, my glasses will be coke-bottles! You've seen how thick my old pair are, and my prescription has gone up 5 times since then!" At this point Faith interrupted, "May I see your prescription, Sir?" She looked at the paper he handed her: OD -10.50 -2.25 x 32 OS -9.75 -1.50 x 57, not much by the Myodisc Club's standards, but still it could be enough to make a girl bolt, especially a girl like Marcie, with her surgically perfect DD's and high-dollar designer clothes, especially if the lenses weren't high-index...and a deliciously wicked smile appeared on Faith's face as she said "Well, let's pick out some frames for you and see what we can do". They picked out a pair of professionally understated gold ovals and Faith informed them the glasses would be ready in a few days.
A couple days later Kevin was back in the optical shop, still accompanied by his girlfriend, since the old -6.75 and -5.75 glasses he was now wearing were only of limited use to him. Faith brought out Kevin's new glasses (the lenses of which had been made from regular low-index plastic and were -.50D more than Kevin's actual prescription, may the All-Departments Head forgive Faith). When Kevin put them on he said "How strange! I can see everything really sharp, but everything is so tiny-looking through these lenses! I wonder how they look?" Then when Kevin looked in the mirror, he had an absolute meltdown-"Oh my God, these things are hideous!!! I knew they were going to be thick, but this is insane! I'm not sure I'll even be able to fold the arms, the lenses are so thick!" "Oh, don't worry about that" Faith assured him "I made sure the arms were set back far enough you can close them with no trouble."
Turning to Marcie, Kevin asked "Honey, what do you think?" She answered "I think those are the ugliest things I've ever seen! You told me you wore glasses, not aids for the visually impaired! Do you know how those glasses will make me look? Do you?" she asked irritably. "Well, I hardly think it matters how you'd look in them, Marcie. They are Kevin's glasses, not yours, you know." Faith replied, but as Marcie had directed her question towards Kevin, she wasn't listening to Faith. "People will see us together and think I'm your Seeing Eye dog, that's what! They'll think "Why is that beautiful girl going with some half-blind guy who probably can't even see what he's got?"!" This was the last straw for Kevin, who said "You know, that's a really good question, Marcie! Why are you going with me? I'm sure a nice, smart, successful guy like me (who just happens to need thick glasses) has nothing to offer a vain, selfish, stuck-up spoiled brat like you! Maybe you should look for someone you have more in common with." "Maybe I will!" Marcie shouted and stormed out of the shop.
"I'm sorry about that. I don't know what her problem is." Kevin told Faith. "I know" she answered incredulously. "Here she's got this great guy, who gets this nice pair of glasses that make him look even more gorgeous, and she lets him go because she doesn't want to be seen with him! I'd love being seen with you in your glasses! Some people are really shortsighted, not the kind we can fix, either!" "Hey, you really think my glasses make me look "gorgeous"?" Kevin asked. "I sure do." "And you really wouldn't mind being seen out with me?" ""Wouldn't mind?!" I told you, I'd LOVE being seen with you! In fact, why don't we go to a movie tonight and show everybody what a cute glasses-wearing couple we are?" "Great!" he said. And so it begins...
Faith and Kevin were caught up in a whirlwind romance and in less than a year they were married. In keeping with Faith's impetuous spirit, they decided on the spur of the moment to fly out to Vegas for a quick First United Church of Elvis wedding. The girls in The Myodisc Club were a bit upset that they had chosen to elope and only announced their marriage after the fact, but eventually they decided that since they had attended a lot of myodisc weddings, and with the kids growing up, would likely attend many more in the future, they shouldn't feel too bad about missing this one; although once they saw the wedding photos they were sorry they missed meeting the minister who presided over the ceremony. They thought he was the best Elvis impersonator they'd ever seen, and that was before they found out "his" real name was Rhonda!
Both Carrie and Lucas, and Sherry and Jason, had decided that since they had one of each, a boy and a girl, they were satisfied that they didn't want anymore children, and began planning accordingly. So when Danny and Amy were 13 and 10, and -21D and -17D, respectively, and their mother Sherry was 42, it came as a complete shock to everyone when Sherry announced she was expecting again. They didn't quite believe her at first, but she explained that her doctor had said that sometimes when women are approaching the change of life, their hormones get a little out of whack, and this can cause the Pill to not work as well. So, just when the oldest kids in the junior generation were graduating college, and the youngest were in elementary school, leaving everyone to think they were done with babies until the grandchildren began arriving, along came "little Leah", as everyone called her, since she was the baby of the whole extended family by a good 4 years.
The year that Leah was born, three very important things happened to Kaylee: Her prescription reached the -30 mark, she graduated from university, and she married a guy she met there named Chris. Chris did look a bit out of place, since his glasses were only -8 (the next weakest glasses, besides Mike's +2.50 readers, were Kevin's -10's (closer to -12, if you count the astigmatism, though), followed by Jason's -12's), but the group accepted him, since he and Kaylee were obviously very fond of each other. It was a good thing too, because a year later they gave Mike and Nancy their first grandchild, Michele. Kaylee thought it was really neat that she and her "Aunt Sherry" were raising baby girls together. Andrea (who was now -26) had found love at university as well. Her boyfriend Steven was around -12, like Jason and Kevin were, no match at all for Andrea's -27, but since he had plenty of company he didn't feel to bad, in fact he, Kevin, Jason and Chris, joked about having a little sub-club of their own, calling it The Moderately Myopic Men Married to Myodisc Women Club, or MMMMMWoC for short.
Love was also in the air for the other grown myodisc club "children". Jarred (who's age of 24 now matched his -24 rx), and Terri and Laura (who still had matching prescriptions, of -25, but they never traded with Jarred, because his glasses were too weak for them (they were both very keen on having absolutely the clearest vision possible), and theirs were too girly for Jarred) were never at a loss for dates, and Peter (still dragging behind the pack at -18) and Sheila (now -26, plus 15 degrees of prism) had begun dating each other, as well. Blair and Amanda and Mike and Nancy were rather bemused at the thought of becoming related through their children's possible marriage. Nancy would soon have more time to reflect on this, as she was planning to retire next year. It seemed the best and worst of times was over and the golden years were approaching for The Myodisc Club.
By All 4 Eyes, with editing by Specs4ever