Did any of you grow up in the New York/Connecticut/New Jersey tri-state area and if you did, do you remember the “Get glasses, Alice” commercial? In which a woman walks into walls and throws herself down the stairs and trips over the dog, and all her husband can say is, “Get glasses, Alice”? And he says it over and over again? And then she obediently hops over to her local vision center and gets glasses and her husband says something asinine like, “Alice, you got glasses!” and instead of shooting him in the head, she just smiles? This commercial was on when I was in junior high. Imagine what everyone said whenever I tripped or fell or walked into things. Imagine that I tripped and walked into things pretty much every day. That commercial is BURNED INTO MY BRAIN.
My vision has always been just fine, which annoyed me, since I badly wanted glasses. In first grade I wore my sister’s glasses to school for a full week, stumbling around and pretending that at last, I could see. I don't know if this was because I wanted glasses or because I wanted to be my sister, who was ten years older and thus, the coolest being who ever walked the earth. I’m surprised I didn’t wear her bra to school the following week, exulting that finally my breasts were getting the support they needed.
I went to the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago because my eyes have stopped functioning. Within a few minutes of focusing on a computer screen or looking at paper with words on it, they simply give up. If I fight them back into focus, they tear violently, as if my computer were composed of onions. So now that my eyes were falling apart, all I could think was, all right! It’s glasses time for me!
Except no! Damn it, my vision is still breathtakingly perfect. I have fatigued my eyes to the point of total collapse, is all. All I have to do is stay far away from the computer until such time as I absolutely have to use it. (The optometrist did give me a prescription for reading glasses, but I got the distinct impression that he was handing me a pretend prescription so that I would feel like a grown up and get out of there.)
The problem is, I need to use the computer all the time. I have tried not to look at the screen, but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. In fact right now my eyes are closed! You’re amazed at this, but it’s the truth. Now they’re open, but I’m looking out the window. No one’s out there. Where does everyone go? I bet they all have jobs. Those jerks.
I need some way to wrap this up, so let’s pretend there’s a tidy concluding paragraph here, instead of this. I have to go remove my eyes with a grapefruit spoon and immerse them in a bowl of chilled rainwater.