Astigmatized

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Oh, there’s nothing wrong with having glasses, except that people call you names like, “Four-Eyes.”  Girls won’t go out with you.  You’re ostracized by every social group… you can’t swim in them… if you lose them you can’t find them…  Oh fishsticks, I depressed myself.  I’m gonna go lie down.

– Filburt Shellbach, Rocko’s Modern Life

There’s a big difference between being born to wear glasses, and being born with glasses.  While I know that I wore my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade, it seems that I wore glasses all my life.

Me and my parents went off to the optometrist to buy me a new pair of glasses.  It seems that I need a new pair: my glasses, which reach up to 300x, are causing me more problems than giving me a clearer view of things.  Glasses with that high a grade can get quite expensive, so I had to snivel over to my parents for them to fund the glasses to help me stay employed.

When I was a kid, I wore one of those Coke-bottle glasses that sort of gave me the annoying habit of walking with my head bowed.  By the time optometrists and lens-makers figured out a way to make glasses thinner and less prone to breaking, they changed my Coke-bottle glasses, snapped one with a frame with the image of Snoopy, and got taunted for being a nerd.

My vision problems went downhill from there; I became temporarily blind for a time, I have problems discerning color, and I pretty much sleep with my glasses on.  Somehow, glasses became (part of) my Dasein.

The optometrist then proceeded with the standard eye exam.  The computerized diagnostics are kind of boring: I had to waste a full minute of my life having my eye problems diagnosed and the grade of my glasses determined by the computer-rendered image of a hot air balloon.  No, it wasn’t one of those emo moments where I wanted to slash my wrists or commit suicide just because of one minute.  It simply wasn’t exciting enough: I figure that the optometrists will do good business if they replace the hot-air balloon image with that exploding train from Transporter 3. After all, if Jason Statham rules city buses in Metro Manila, he might as well cross over to eye examinations.

The doctor then told me to sit on the tall chair for perhaps my favorite medical diagnostic test: the Snellen chart.  (If there’s such a thing as being legally blind in one eye, I must apply for benefits; I can’t read the “E” with my left eye without glasses on.)  What makes Snellen charts so fun is I get to wear the ultimate in nerdoks glasses.  My optometrist still uses that collection of lenses instead of a phoropter, and takes the time to build me a custom-built pair of glasses until I can see the eighth line clearly and vividly.

After 20 minutes of fitting lenses of varying degrees on the frame, the doctor tells me to stand up and walk around the room.  The doctor doesn’t really give a hoot if I keel over from the sheer nausea of having an even stronger pair of glasses; her justification is that I’ll “get used to it.”  Ah, the story of my life.

No, I didn’t get one of them emo pairs of glasses, but ones with clip-on sunglasses.  I’m definitely a nerd.

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