I was deemed a four-eyes at the early age of 8 – as a grade 2 graduate who proudly wore a jean jacket with track pants and believed in everything that stood for.
I, however, did not believe in everything glasses stood for. Glasses stood for LOSER. And so, I refused to wear them – especially because I was starting a new school in September and didn’t want to fall subject to the nerd label on day 1.
I avoided wearing them until it was absolutely necessary (which was made obvious to me the day Mrs Sommerville called on me in class and I sat in silence, unable to answer because I couldn’t see the board).
Finally letting my parents convince me that I was being ridiculous, I reluctantly wore my glasses with a sad, hostile heart until I turned 13 and was eligible for contact lenses.
From that day forward, glasses were reserved for headaches and sleepy mornings. Long plane rides. Sunday afternoons and the movie theatre. Glasses were not for moments when you wanted to feel good about yourself; when you wanted to feel confident and proud and pretty.
“I wish I had glasses,” people would say to me throughout the years. “I want to look smart.”
It was comments like this where I grew to understand the value of fuming on the inside while laughing, careless and breezy on the out.
Wearing glasses for “reading & stuff” is NOT the same as needing glasses to literally navigate yourself through the world. Period.
I mean, nobody looks ‘smart’ when you hop off your bike in the 40 degree heatwave with your glasses literally sliding off your face, unable to hold on due to the endless sweat pouring down you. You look sad.
And you feel sad too.
Swimming. An eyelash stuck to your contact lens. Trying to lay on the couch and watch a movie without bending your glasses out of shape. Biking in the rain (THE. WORST. You literally need windshield wipers). And the absolute worst of all: walking into a busy restaurant in the dead of winter and having the heat from the indoors hit you full force and FOG YOUR GLASSES UP to the point of no return. You could take them off, sure. So you do, but then you can’t see anything because you just took your eyes off, and the hostess is trying to get your attention but you can’t see her, so you just stand here. Helpless and alone. All because when you were 8 years old, the damn eye doctor told you you needed glasses.
But of course, as with everything else in life, you get used to it. You learn to deal. You realize that your ability to lay on the couch and watch a movie without bending your glasses out of shape is not the end of the world.
You learn what colours to wear so you feel more put together with your glasses on (black, obv). You learn to power through the fogged-up- glasses-in-the-restaurant situation. You embrace the fact it’s not how you’re seeing but what you’re seeing! It’s what’s inside that counts, baby! Glasses have, in a weird way, made me more confident.
And so, after 20 years of wearing glasses, I’m probably supposed to say that I’ve fully embraced them.
But after 20 years of wearing glasses, what I’m much more excited to say is I’M GETTING LASER EYE SURGERY.
“But won’t you miss them?” People ask me. “Don’t you feel like you’re losing some of your edge?”
The answer? FUCK. NO. I might be losing ‘my edge’, but I’m getting my LIFE BACK, PEOPLE. For 20 years I’ve had to plan how I’ll see that day. And it alllll ends tomorrow.
And so, farewell old friend. We’ve been through a lot together. You’ve helped me grow and change and become the person I was forever meant to be. But like, I’m good now. I became that person. I’ll take it from here.
Ohhhh baby I’ll SEE you on the flip side (ha – get it.)