Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Darcy’s Decision

by Dieter

The continuation of Darcy’s Dilemma

I work part time in an electronics store. Mostly, I assist customers with questions about games, music devices, videos, and computers. It’s the perfect job for me. I’m saving money to buy a scooter which I think will be really handy especially when I go to college. Fortunately, the business district where the store resides is only a few blocks from my house so it is within walking distance. Occasionally my dad stops in. More often I run into neighbours and friends of the family. Before that day, I would have been concerned about the possibility of someone catching me in glasses, and then discussing that fact with my parents. Not any more. I put them on, locked the front door, and headed down the street. I no longer felt constrained. I was duty-bound to complete the mission.

Wearing glasses for the first time at the store was just one of many new experiences that would await me in the coming months. Just as had happened at school, some people felt the need to comment, others didn’t. There was really no difference in the reactions of customers and my fellow employees. Someone who knew me was more likely to make a comment. There was an interesting phenomenon that I noticed. I began to catch people of all ages ‘checking me out’. Glasses seemed to be a bigger draw than any body part I possessed. Just as at school, I enjoyed the attention.
Within the first few days, the realization had become more apparent that little was going to happen to my eyes if I couldn’t wear corrective lenses at all times. Each time I removed the glasses, my eyes eventually would readjust to seeing without them. Granted, it seemed to take longer when based on a longer duration of wear. After more research on the internet, I decided that contact lenses were viable. They had to be. It was the only way I could I wear corrective lenses at times that I couldn’t be seen wearing glasses. Now, how to get contacts without a prescription?
First, I determined that one or two boxes from a web provider are fairly inexpensive. I found several that did not require a confirmation of prescription from a doctor. Just enter your information into their online forms and they did the rest. I decided to choose a brand that was both readily available and popular. My first hurdle was in determining the physical aspects of the lenses themselves. Along with the prescription, measurements for the diameter and base curve were required. Since 14.0 was the only diameter available in the brand I wanted, that was my only option. Simple enough. Base curve was obtainable in either 8.3 or 8.7. I decided to order a box of each and see if I could tell any difference. That was almost as simple. For me, the prescription itself was the main obstacle. Since it seemed to be working well, the script in my sister’s glasses seemed like a good starting point. But, I had no idea what it was.
The next day, I stopped at an optical shop on the way to work. As I perused the selection of frames, an associate came to offer assistance. I told her that I was interested in buying sunglasses and would love to check prices of frames and options. I didn’t have my prescription with me so we would have to estimate any expense associated with that. She assured me that my prescription didn’t look significant enough to be out of the realm of standard pricing. But for my peace of mind, she offered to ‘read’ it from my current lenses using the lensometer. I gladly relinquished ‘my’ glasses to her. Within minutes she handed me a prescription form with the details filled into the appropriate boxes. It was unofficial, of course, without a doctor’s signature. I asked if she would adjust my glasses while I was there which she did. In the long run, that was much needed. I continued to look at frames for a little longer, thanked the associate, but said I wanted to think about it for a while.
Just that easily, I had the prescription in my hand. It read: OD -4.25 OS -4.25 -.25 x 035. No wonder I struggled so much to see at first. My sister’s glasses were stronger than I realized. That evening at work, I asked my department manager if I could have a package delivered to the store. I explained that since no one was at my house during the day, it would be helpful because I didn’t want my order to sit on the porch after delivery.
His answer was, “No problem, just make sure it is addressed with an ‘attention’ to your name so we don’t have to guess who it belongs to.”
I was a little surprised that he never asked what I was having delivered. Luckily for him, I wasn’t ordering plastic explosives. The next evening after school, I finalized my plans. Thanks to my parents, I found that I had everything I needed. Once I was established at my job, they had insisted in me getting a credit card. They thought it would teach me to handle finances, establish a line of credit, and assist me in preparation for college. Together, we had set up a card with a credit line of only a few hundred dollars. Perfect.
I ordered a box of -4.25 lenses with the 8.3 BC and another box with the 8.7 BC. The following weekend, I bought two lens cases and a bottle of saline solution. In the meantime, I coaxed information from several acquaintances involving the insertion and extraction of contact lenses. My ‘connections’ seemed to enjoy explaining the pleasures, perils, and pitfalls based on their expertise. I listened to every word. Since I had not been fitted by a doctor, I wanted to be sure that I understood everything that I needed to do. I was especially concerned about how contacts should feel.
The phrase “since I had not been fitted by a doctor” could not be uttered without some overhead. My order had actually been placed through a provider in Holland. In the United States, medical associations have gone to great expense to lobby support for their “protection of the consumer” and “concern for all things medical”. There were moments that I worried that I might receive a knock on the door that went something like this:
“Ms. Brown? Darcy Brown?”
“I’m agent Smith of the Federal Bureau of Optical Irregularities. This is agent Jones. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”
“May I ask in regards to what?”
“We’ll ask the questions, mama,” he would scold looking through his aviator sunglasses.
“Uh, ok.”
“We’ve received a report from the American Association of Optometry concerning the trafficking of illicit optical paraphernalia. Have you recently accepted delivery of a package from Rotterdam, Netherlands?”
“Well, not yet.”
“Not yet? But, you are expecting a package containing several boxes of contact lenses illegally obtained without a doctor’s prescription?”
“I better not say anything further without the advice of legal council.”
“Ms. Brown, I’m placing you under arrest. Put your hands behind your back, please. You have the right to remain silent . . .”
“You’re not taking me alive, G-man! I know people! My friends are geeks!”
Honestly, though, does someone check for that stuff? I was banking that they didn’t. Can anyone honestly tell you how you can or cannot use prescription eyewear? I was hoping that they couldn’t. It would be hard to explain to my parents.
By the next week, a box for me arrived at the electronics store. I couldn’t wait to try the contacts but I had to be patient until I had some time alone. The following day, I hurried home after school. I was anxious beyond belief. Stuffed inside the box with bubble wrap were two flat-shaped boxes. Both were clearly marked with the lens sizes and prescription. I decided to try the 8.3 BC lenses first. In the box were six small packets, each additionally marked with the vital statistics. I separated two packets at the perforations and laid them on my vanity. Peeling back the foil cover of one, I saw the lens swimming in its pre-packaged solution distinguishable only by a faint colour of blue. It grasped the tip of my finger as I fished it out. I placed it in the palm of my hand for inspection. To the look or touch, it was hard to imagine how it could contain anything as remarkable as the prescription in my glasses. It was curved to conform to the shape of an eyeball. In my mind, I had pictured it being flat. My assumption was that the shape had something to do with the 8.3 or 8.7 measurements. I splashed some drops of saline solution on top of it and watched my palm fill. After allowing it to soak for a minute, I dragged the lens to the edge of my palm and tried to lift the outer side with the end of my finger. It took a few tries. When it felt secure, I looked into the mirror, pulled my eyelid up with my other hand, and placed the contact against my left eye. To my surprise, it popped right on making me blink a few times. I looked closely into the mirror to reassure myself that it was, in fact, still on my eye. I could see the pale ring just slightly larger than my iris. It was like a small miracle. After the initial blinking, I could no longer tell it was there. Looking out the window, I could feel my left eye struggling to focus through the prescription. One down; one to go.
The whole process seemed pretty easy to me. Perhaps I was a natural for lens wear. I would soon change my mind. After opening the second packet, I discovered that lens had folded over itself when I placed it in my hand. Even after adding solution, it took a while to get it to unfold. I fumbled clumsily with it. When I placed it on my right eye, the sensation was that of dry paper. I tried to blink through it, I squirted solution in my eye, I held my eyelid shut but nothing worked. Finally, I dug the lens out by pinching it between my finger and thumb, wetted my eye, blinked a lot, and started over. Eventually, it clenched my eye with enthusiasm. After blinking further, my right eye felt no different than the left. But, when I looked outside, everything seemed over focused compared to wearing glasses.
I began doing things around the house. At first I agonized that the lenses would pop out of my eyes. In time, I became more confident in them and realized that they would stay in place. For the most part, the contacts felt comfortable. Now for the real test; could I wear them without my moms’ recognition? That was the ultimate goal, after all. Before she arrived home, I made certain to create some hiding spots around my room for the various paraphernalia. My mom seldom made a habit of going through my things. For years, I had been in charge of washing, folding, and storing my own clothing.
That evening, I went about my usual business with my mom. I did my best to avoid close contact with her. I concentrated on the idea that if a contact fell out, I would quickly brush it away and move on. I considered any lens lost to be a necessary sacrifice in order to avoid detection. Honestly, it seemed remarkable to me that average disposable lenses are relatively inexpensive and therefore replaceable. Around 8:00 p.m., I went to my room, locked the door, and removed the contacts. I had been wearing them for at least three hours. That was long enough. Success!
I continued wearing them every evening increasing the duration each time. Soon, my arsenal of eyewear included the option of contact lenses to use at all times when I couldn’t be seen in glasses. I became adept at inserting, removing, and wearing them. In time I learned that it was possible to wear contacts for twelve or more hours on occasion. I found it was best, however, to wear them for no more than eight to ten hours most of the time. If I felt my eyes getting dry or saw them getting red I removed the contacts immediately. I only had a couple of minor incidents. I discovered situations to avoid such as windy conditions or dusty places. Overall there were times when contacts were advantageous over glasses such as in the rain. Eventually, I learned that I should have accounted for the vertex distance when ordering contacts. Because they sat directly on my eyeballs, the prescription is essentially stronger than in glasses. But that just meant that the strength might help me toward meeting the ultimate goal of becoming myopic. Also, I found that I could feel no difference in the comfort of the two base curves. When ordering more lenses in the future I chose the 8.3 but I can’t give a reason.
Since I was capable of seeing well enough while wearing my sister’s glasses, I wanted to continue doing so at school. If Parker, Jennifer, and anyone else were to be convinced that I needed glasses, I had to be seen wearing them. That was my main intention anyway. But I also made a point of wearing contacts occasionally at school events and around friends. I made sure that everyone knew that I used contacts when I wasn’t using glasses. I didn’t want anyone to create and “oh, crap” moment in front of my parents by asking why I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Eventually, I fell into a pretty relaxed routine. I occasionally saw adult acquaintances on the street or at work while wearing glasses. I made certain not to fidget with them, maintained eye contact, and tried to act as casual as possible. Sometimes, I was complimented for looking cute in glasses or I received the surprised comments when someone had not seen me wearing them before. I figured if I showed no dismay, they would go about their business without reason to discuss the issue with my mom.
Then it happened. I had been wearing my contacts all day during a weekend outing with my dad. My eyes were irritated so as soon as we arrived at his home, I ran to the bathroom to remove them. Afterwards, I returned to the living room to watch “The Day the Earth Stood Still” on DVD. No, not that Keanu Reeves crap; the original version with Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, and Francis Bavier. Yeah, I know it’s in black and white but it is a classic in the truest sense. Watching it has been our father/daughter experience since I was twelve when he felt that I could begin to grasp the subtleties and nuances. We probably watch it twice a year. Yes, my dad was a geek before the word was invented. He settled into his chair as I curled up on the couch. At the end of the movie, my dad startled me with an observation.
“You’re squinting to see the television, Darcy. Are you having trouble reading the credits?”
“I don’t think so daddy. My eyes feel tired, though,” I said defensively.
“Well, tell us if you are. We can make an appointment for you to visit Dr. Abrams,” he offered.
Without thinking, my response had been to avoid detection even though my goal was to become myopic. Is that a primal reaction or something? It was frightening momentarily because despite the fact that we were watching on a large screen in a small room, I was unable to read the credits without straining to see. My eyesight had not returned to normal even though it had been roughly two hours since I had removed the contacts. As I looked around the room, I realized that objects on the far side of the room were unfocused. Inconspicuously, I wandered into the kitchen. Without turning on the lights, I looked out into the night through the window over the sink. Lights were a fuzzy haze. I could see nothing outside in the dark with clarity. Without glasses, I was nearsighted! My efforts had paid off. The risks I had taken had become worthwhile. My moment of fear turned into one of elation. For me that was ‘the day that the earth stood still’.
Before going to bed, I sat in my darkened room quietly enjoying the view through the bedroom window. Late into the night, I made comparisons both with and without glasses. It was the first time I experienced that pleasure. It felt serene and dreamlike. I found it difficult to fall asleep for fear that my vision might be restored after a night’s rest. The next morning, I awoke in anticipation that I would not be disappointed. It only took a few moments to run to the window for confirmation. Before my dad awoke, I continued my comparisons in the early morning light. It had been about three months since I started my mission.
Now I had a new problem; that of being unable to see well without correction. I felt sure that if I had been given an eye exam right then, I would have been prescribed to nothing less than a mild script. I had been steadfast about using either glasses or contacts almost constantly. But there were times when I had to be without eyewear and didn’t want to be caught squinting; not yet anyway. My dad had already shown concern. Worse still would be failing to see something when asked. But, I’ve never settled for just enough. My friends will tell you that I am like a pit bull once I sink my teeth into something. Wearing glasses casually was not my aspiration. I wanted to reach a level of reliance that Parker would appreciate.
About that time, he began to show more interest in associating with me. It seemed that my plan was working. Parker wasn’t very forward and didn’t seem to want to date but then I hadn’t seen or heard of him dating anyone. Maybe he was waiting for the right girl. Perhaps he was waiting for me. Nonetheless, a friendship between us began to develop and that seemed like the best place to start. He began to drop by the store to talk about the latest gadgets and games. We definitely shared many of the same interests.
I invited him to join some group gatherings with Jennifer and me. She kept saying that Parker would be the perfect guy for me. In her words, “you would make a cute couple”. Unfortunately, neither one of us could figure out what to do to make him take the leap and ask me out for a full-fledged date. But as I said, I don’t give up easily.
Having experienced the recent success, I decided to accelerate my undertaking. With a little web surfing, I found a printable ‘Snellen Chart’. That gave me the ability to do a self eye test to gage progress. Finding that the 20/70 line was the first one I could read, I was very optimistic at first. Like so many others do, I thought that was pretty bad eyesight. After further research, I found that most everyone with a moderate myopic prescription of -2.00 and above is unable to read the largest letter on the chart. That’s when I understood that my eyesight wasn’t so bad. Not yet, anyway. I also learned that visual acuity is but one of several factors that are used to determine a prescription. Cross reference tables contain little relevant or accurate information. Given that knowledge, I took my best guess and decided that adding two more diopters seemed appropriate to push my eyes past their current comfort zone. I ordered new glasses with -6.25 prescriptions and contacts with -5.75 prescriptions.
Increasing my prescription by that much was more substantial than I realized. It was a challenge initially and I was concerned that I had overdone it. Though it was not an effort to see at moderate distances and beyond, I struggled to do any activity in close range. Contacts were the worst since once they’re in – they’re in. With glasses you can lift or look around the frames when you get desperate to see something close. For several weeks, my eyes resisted. But as they say, ‘All your base are belong to us’. My eyes surrendered in futility.
My new goal was to reach the -4.25 range of my sister’s glasses before I got an eye exam. New glasses had the added benefit of allowing me to test a different look on Parker, too. I hope that was the shove he needed. The frames were simple black horn rims in a rectangular shape. It’s a style I’ve always liked. Depending on who you asked, I was told that I looked like a hipster, a brainiac, or a librarian. Regardless of the description, I enjoyed the attention and was happy to portray any of those roles. Above all, I especially loved having glasses of my own which allowed me to return my sister’s glasses to her room. Unfortunately, I still could not wear them around my family. But I felt confident my patience would pay off eventually.
Parker did seem to appreciate my taste in glasses, too. He commented several times on how perfectly they fit my face. Despite welcoming his attention, I was annoyed by his lack of interest to take our friendship further. By then, he was fully incorporated into my collection of friends. Together, we did a lot of activities as a group. Truthfully, I liked no longer being the only one without glasses. I now shared in the conversations and could speak from experience about all issues concerning eyewear.
I had some close calls. The biggest incident was just after the first of the year when my sister brought dad into the store to demo laptops. I had promised that I could buy her a new one by using my employee discount. Unfortunately, they had changed their original plans and showed up on an evening when I wasn’t expecting them. Luckily, I saw them entering the main doors, grabbed my glasses from my face before they saw me, and hid them behind a counter. Then I worried the whole time we spoke about them seeing the red imprints on my nose. They didn’t seem to notice. It was then that I realized how unfocused the store had become to my uncorrected eyes.
As spring came, I was well aware that I had become very nearsighted. I started having thoughts of telling my mom. I was ready to stop the ruse before anyone in my family found out what I had been doing. After considerable debate with myself I decided that I would continue. After all, I had worn glasses during most of the school year and could surely last a little longer. Those plans changed quickly. I was helping with the annual inventory at work. While crawling around some shelves, I was searching through some small items that had been misplaced. Struggling to read the small letters, I placed my glasses on a pallet. When I finished, I realized that I couldn’t see my glasses. As I turned on my hands and knees I heard the crunch. To no avail, I tried taping the pieces together. Finally, I put my contacts in before the walk home.
My only immediate choice was to go back to wearing my sister’s glasses. I’d missed the studious look they gave me. Unfortunately, I could no longer see well with them. There was fuzziness to everything in the distance. After a few hours of wear, I would get a headache. The best solution was to wear contacts as much as possible. Still, I could not go all day with lenses in my eyes on days when I had to work in the evening. I thought of ordering new glasses but it wasn’t worth it. My eyes had gotten bad enough. It was time to tell my mom, get an exam, and get prescribed. I made that decision one night as I lied in bed. The next day I would approach her we she got home from work.
When I arrived home after school, I unlocked the front door of the condo and stepped into the entryway. I set my backpack on the floor and removed my jacket. My head was pounding from the burden of trying to see well. For a few seconds, I stood in front of the mirror untangling my windblown hair when my mom began to speak.
“Darcy, honey, my car broke down on the way to work,” she said as she appeared from around the corner. “I came home early because I had to catch a ride to pick up a rental car . . . . . why are you wearing your sister’s glasses?”
Obviously caught, I stopped dead in my tracks without a prepared speech. Quick, make something up! Her surprise turned to anger while I hesitated.
“That can’t be good for your eyes. I don’t know what on earth you think you are doing but you better start explaining right now!”
I stammered for a few seconds and tried to think. It’s tough to block out an angry mom and invent a fabrication at the same time.
“Now, Darcy! Why are you wearing those glasses?!”
“I’m sorry, mom. But I need them to see. I really think I should get glasses. But I thought I would try wearing these first and make sure before I bothered you with my trouble.”
It wasn’t a total fib. I really couldn’t see without glasses. I just didn’t tell her the rest of the story.
“Oh, honey, you didn’t need to be embarrassed to talk to me about something like that. There’s nothing shameful in needing glasses. You should have confided in me. Wearing your sister’s glasses could be completely wrong for yours eyes. How long have you been using them?”
“Just yesterday and today,” I lied. It didn’t seem relevant to bother her with more details especially if the details could be hazardous to my health.
“Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve noticed you straining at times. I’ve been trying to monitor that ever since your father told me you were squinting to watch a movie.”
I knew he had told her! They aren’t even married anymore and they still act like parents.
“I’ll call Dr. Abrams’ office right now and make an appointment. I’ve always been worried that you would need glasses like the rest of us. Frankly, I’m amazed that it took this long,” she continued.
“Mom, since you’re calling the doctor’s office, will you ask if it’s ok for me to keep wearing these glasses. I really can’t see without them and I don’t want to wait to get my own,” I urged.
Yeah, I was getting a bit brave but it was the truth. My scam had worked. Now it was time for my long-awaited eye exam with our family optometrist. Honestly, I was exhausted with the subterfuge. Since everything worked out, I was glad my mom caught me. It was a good thing I broke the other glasses. That would have been impossible to explain to her. As soon as mom got off the phone she reported back to me.
“We have an appointment to see Dr. Abrams next Friday after school. She said you can wear your sister’s glasses until then if that helps. There’s not enough cylinder in the prescription to cause trouble. I’m not sure what that means.”
“It’s the correction for astigmatism, mom. I’ve been reading up on the internet.”
When we went the next week to Dr. Abrams, she too said she had been expecting me in her office based on my family’s history. It was great that everyone had such high expectations for my success!? I knew that I had exceeded admirably when I could see nothing on the eye chart.
“Lord, Darcy. How long have you known that your vision has been under par?”
“Oh, just in the past few days.” I was beginning to scare myself with my ease of spreading propaganda.
“You’re way overdue for glasses if you can’t read the 20/200 line. How on earth could you see the board in classes?”
“I couldn’t. That’s why I knew I was in trouble,” I said while perjuring myself even further. Perhaps I should consider a rewarding career in espionage?
She swung the phoropter in front of my face and began clicking dials. As the doctor practiced the art of adjusting lenses, she focused tiny rays of light to pinpoint accuracy on the back of my eyes. That sensation seemed quite personal and sensual as though she was able to look deep within my soul. Mysteriously, it was erotic yet nonsexual all at once. As I melted into a pleasurable state of Zen, Dr. Abrams startled me back to consciousness.
“Oh, my,” she remarked while peering through my pupils.
She continued sliding more lenses into my view. I heard my mom gasp and grimace.
“I feel so responsible,” she said, “I noticed Darcy squinting to see at times but she didn’t seem to be bothered by it.”
“Don’t beat yourself up,” Dr. Abrams advised, “These things can be hard to determine. Obviously, Darcy has been able to function well until very recently. Have you seen a decline in grades?”
“No,” we both answered.
Neither the doctor nor my mother was aware of the fact that I had been using eyewear for almost the entire school year. My grades and my participation had not suffered because I could see well in the classroom. But, I was taken aback by my mom’s comments. At no time had she demonstrated outwardly any awareness of my condition. I felt fortunate that she had never scrutinized my visual situation in close quarters especially after knowing about her conversation with my father. She could very easily have seen the delicate blue lenses resting on my eyes or questioned the reason for the red marks on my nose.
“It’s OK mom,” I reassured, “I don’t mind wearing glasses.”
That seemed to give her some relief. My intentions had never been to inflict guilt upon anyone. I did appreciate the fact that I had a lot of “buy in” from the adult population though. Nobody had accused me of any impropriety. When we finished my prescription read: OD -4.75 -1.00 090 OS -4.50 -1.25 040. It would be only a little less than what I had been wearing. Armed with a serious script, I was pretty excited.
“Darcy, this is a very strong prescription for a first-timer. But I’m most concerned about the quantity of astigmatism you have. Wearing glasses should help you avoid headaches. Frankly, I’m surprised that you haven’t complained about that. You’re still young so you need to expect some increases for a few years. You already need a prescription stronger than your sister’s.”
“Sibling rivalry,” I teased, “I try to do everything better than her.”
“I’m glad you’re taking this in such good spirits. Most young people don’t accept news like this so well.”
“You’re sister didn’t,” my mom added while shaking her head in agreement.
They had no idea of the elation I felt. No one could have appreciated the success I had achieved. I’d spent the greater part of the school year conniving, sneaking about with non-prescribed glasses on my face, struggling to be undetected with contact lenses in my eyes, and receiving clandestine packages at work. The exam and its outcome had been the easy part.
Dr. Abrams recommended that if my mom could afford it, we should go immediately to a one-hour optical store in order to get glasses for me that day. I could have hugged her. Within hours I would be wearing glasses prescribed for me. There would be no need for avoidance of my family or anyone else. I chose another pair of plastic frames that were sort of a two-tone of dark tortoise and dark purple. The rectangular shape was more elongated than my black frames so they looked more stylish. Wearing them made me feel more like a sexylibrarian. I may be a girl geek but I have aspirations.
At school the next day, Parker was the first to spot my new glasses. Because of their similarity to my black ones, most people didn’t notice the difference. He seemed to appreciate them more than most anyone else. I thought that might be the thing to give him a shove. The Junior-Senior Prom was just weeks away and I had been hoping that he would ask to take me.
As the final weeks of the school year passed, Parker never asked. We remained ‘friends only’ as he continued to make flattering comments about my glasses. When I was about to accept the fact that I would not be attending the Prom, I was asked by Charles to go with him. Close since middle school, Charles was probably my best friend within the male population so I felt extremely honoured to be able to join him. Actually, I had been interested in him before Parker moved to town. But I had sort of lost my way.
I was excited about the big night. There was less than one week of school left and that would be gravy except for a few final tests. Since it was only our junior year, we weren’t going all out for the Prom but we were planning to enjoy ourselves. Charles and I went ‘double’ with Jennifer and Jason who drove. I was pretty pleased with the dress I found. It was flattering to my underdeveloped figure. I was now totally a ‘glasses geek’ but that was OK. So was everyone else in my crowd. Besides, I never thought about getting a prescription for contacts at my exam. Actually, it was nice to have no reason to use them anymore.
Charles looked good. He had rented a plain black tuxedo, white ruffled shirt, burgundy cumber bun, and black tie. His ensemble was dignified and would have coordinated well with any girl’s outfit. The ballroom was decorated in a spectacular fashion. We immediately found our gang and appropriated some tables along the side of the room. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves dancing. Yes, even geeks like to dance. The night was young and we were having a blast.
After grabbing some punch, we were trying to cool down. Standing near our tables yelling at each other over the noise of the DJ, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Upon turning to see who it was, there stood Parker with a huge grin on his face.
“Hi, Darcy. I would like you to meet my girl friend, Andera,” he said while directing my attention to a girl holding tightly to his hand. “She’s from Springfield where I used to live. She came down for the weekend to go to the prom with me. We are planning to attend Western State University after graduation. That way we can go to college together.”
I shook her hand and attempted to speak cordially. Andera was cute but totally geeky-looking like the rest of us. The lenses in her glasses were even stronger than the ones in Parker’s. His introduction answered many questions. I had been trying throughout the entire school year to be the girl that I thought Parker would want. Now I understood the reason that he had never shown the least amount of interest in me. He had already found the girl of his dreams. By no one’s decision but my own, I had wrecked my vision to be that girl. Now, I was left with little choice but to accept the dependency of wearing corrective lenses with a fairly potent prescription. What had I done to myself?


  1. Anonymous11:11 am

    This story is very similar to mine and brought back many memories. For several years I wore glasses and contacts without my family knowing and longed to come forward and tell them, but couldn't find the right way to do it. Several times I had to rip my glasses off my face when I unexpectedly came in contact with family or friends, to keep from being found out. Finally, I found my way to come clean and tell my parents:my school had a vision screening where you were asked to read the eye chart and then if you failed,you then looked into an autorefractor and it printed out an approximate prescription. Once armed with the results, I told my parents that night at dinner that I needed to get my eyes examined and showed them the print out. A couple weeks later, I was happily wearing my glasses all the time and no longer feared running into someone I knew and have to rip my glasses off my face. I had officially joined the club!

  2. Anonymous3:05 am

    You are not the only one. At the age of 12 I got a pair of glasses that my aunt - she is quite nearsighted- didnt need anymore, she gave them to me on my request for use in a schooltheaterptoject I participated in. Wearing these glasses through rehearsing and performing as actor in this piece was an intoxicating sensation for me. The more I had these quite strong glasses on my nose, the better I was able to see through them. So after that theaterproject I kept on wearing these glasses whenever I was on my own and enjoyed the change in vision the glasses produced, I got quite addicted to that. When my parents had to go to a funeral in another part of the country and left me at home by myselfe I had the glasses on for 3 days from morning to evening. In thes days my eyes adapted perfect to the optical effect. After one day of full wear I was able to see everything sharp and clear,same far away and close up, no problem to read, to ride on my bicycle or do things around the house. I enjoyed to walk through our neighbourtown with glasses on, go to a cinema, have a snack and feel like somebody who is wearing glasses constantly. Accidentialy I met a friend, who was surprised to see me wearing these strong glasses. I told him, that I normaly wear contacts.She made compliments on how good these glasses looked on me.I was embarassed and proud at the same time. From then on I searched occasions to be away from my family and wear "my" glasses walking through woods,fields or ride on busses or trains to visit other places farer away.
    In thet summer, I was 13 then, I went in a holidaycamp for 4 weeks far away from home and had the glasses on all the time, getting perfectly used to them, enjoying to have them on. Coming home I had for the first time problems to see well without the glasses and with my Dad I went to an eyeexam. Since then I wear constantly glasses.My aunt, when I met her with glasses on got suspicious and asked what I did with the glasses she gave me. I was very embarrasses and after some questioning I confessed everything and asked her not to tell my parents, which my aunt promised not to do. By that time she had a new stronger prescription and didn't need the glasses she wore befor anymore. I begged her to leave them to me, which instantly she refused to but after some begging gave in. Thes had -6diopers and were much stronger than my first pair. It took quite some time until I addapted to them, but I loved the strength and secretly had this on in school and whenever I my parents werent around. After a while I accidently had them on when meeting my parents in town and to my surprise they didn't realize that I had different glasses than before. My aunt Mary after two years had to get another stronger prescription and by that time I had a good job and money, so I asked her to make a second one of this -7,75 diopers glasses. she sighed and said ok boy,I hope you never regret what you are doing. So I had another increase, which was followed by more steps , so by now I wear -10,5 diopers left and 11,25 diopers on the right eye