4 eyes

I was in the 4th grade when I failed an eye test.  A lumpy, blonde over-achieving 11 year old, I wanted a re-do when it was apparent I wasn’t reading the lines of tiny, blurry print correctly.  When the school nurse handed me a note to take home to my parents, I was horrified.

And didn’t take the note home. 

I threw it in the dumpster next to the elementary school on my way to the car after school.   As silly as it sounds, I just couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been successful at the eye test.  Even sillier is the fact that nobody gave me the parameters that I  set for myself.  I not only set them; I write them in cast iron.  And bludgeon myself with them.

I attended George West Elementary School, population 1,800.  There were 90 people in the whole 4th grade and our dad was the high school principal/assistant superintendent.  It was doubtful that this little secret could be kept.

First Mother, then Daddy asked if I had anything to give them.  

“Something to give you?  I…um…I don’t think so.”

“Maybe a note?” Mother asked.

Daddy looked puzzled.  “Are you sure, honey?”

As a parent, I realize they were just following up on a phone call, but at the time I thought they might be telepathic.  It was late in the night when my conscience made me get up, wake my parents, and tearfully admit that I hadn’t passed my eye exam.

A week later, I had glasses.  The blackboard had writing on it.  There were people playing on the football field 100 yards away.  When I walked to the library, I could see my friend and her mom coming down the steps. 

I couldn’t see for awhile and had no idea that I couldn’t see until I could see.   I was so afraid of missing something that my glasses and I were rarely separated.  I wore them to bed, in the pool, at the beach.  Call me “four eyes” and I don’t care.   I am a fan of visual acuity.

Except when I have to go back to wearing glasses after 40 years of contacts.  I maimed my left eye with a construction site of sand.  Even though I tried to convince my self and my eye that it was okay, I had to take out my contacts and put on my glasses.  The glasses that I carry with me always and try not to wear. I’ve felt like Mrs. Magoo for the past 48 hours. 

There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898

I am not sure what chord of vanity these glasses are striking.  Boy, but they are playing that chord loudly and continually! 


I have to remind myself that this is probably temporary.  If it isn’t?  I’ll deal with that later.  Maybe I can find a pair of  silvery blue cat eye glasses with genuine rhinestones similar to the ones that I so proudly wore. 

Or maybe not.

About texasgaga

I am a mom, a grandmom (Gaga to my 2nd oldest grand-child), a sister, a friend, a construction estimator, a homeowner, an active member of a 12 step recovery group, an artist, a reader, a survivor, a do it yourself wannabe, a laugher
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