I Can See Clearly Now… Except When I Can’t


So this happened a couple weeks ago.

I got glasses.

Do I look smarter?

My husband keeps saying things like, “You look so smart,” and “I would have believed you knew what you were talking about if you had your glasses on when you said it.” “Now you look as smart as you always think you are.”

He says I used to be a Candy Crush addict, but with my glasses, I’m now the Dr. of Candy Crush.

He loves to tell people, “Now she can see how bad she parks!”

Last night I asked him a question and he responded, “Why are you asking me? You’re the oracle!”

This morning as I was brushing my teeth he looked over at me and said, “You’re a wizard, Harry!”

I, of course, feel that I have now fully transitioned physically into the person I always felt I was on the inside.

For the majority of my life, I was a blonde-haired big-boobed  girl who was constantly trying to prove that I was a brain not a bimbo. Now I’m a brunette with glasses, and as Parker keeps pointing out, I “look like a nerd, from the nerd herd.”

I don’t have the inclination to try to figure out why people with glasses are considered to be smarter-looking, but it is what it is.

While in many ways I feel that my look represents me better, I have actually been having a bit of an identity crisis, truth be told. I had PERFECT vision. During those elementary school tests in the nurse’s office I was always told I had 20/20 vision.

When Sydney came home and said she couldn’t read the board at school or street signs as she drove, I was convinced she had diabetes because “We don’t have vision issues in this family.” (In my defense, she also ate like a horse, gained no weight and was always cold.)

Turns out, she was blind as a bat, and did NOT have diabetes.


But still adorable in glasses

Here’s the funny thing about poor vision- until you can see clearly, you have no idea how bad it is. (Boy if that’s not a true statement literally AND metaphorically, I don’t know what is… )

A few weeks back, I was looking for a movie on Netflix. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to watch, it was late and I was tired, but not quite ready to go to sleep. I was sitting with my head propped up on my pillows and scrolling through the titles, but having a difficult time reading them. They were so small and across the room, I was having to squint to see them.

I moved closer to the TV to finish looking, but the next day I woke up with a terrible headache, and I was convinced it was from squinting so long the night before.

The day after my bad headache I went to breakfast at the local coffee shop with my friend Lisa. We like to order their specialty oatmeal (fresh fruit- no raisins), but as I looked at the menu board, I realized I could see there were two types of oatmeal, but couldn’t read the difference between the two.

Why did they make the writing so small??

A couple days after that I was in line at a large store (that everyone hates that shall remain nameless). I, of course, picked the slowest line with the cashier who appeared to be in a race for slowest cashier. She was winning. I glanced over at the optical department, looked at  the time, and realized I might be able to sneak in a vision check.

My thought was, I’m probably getting old, and now I need glasses. It was depressing, but I figured I might as well deal with it head on.

I filled out the paperwork and handed it back to the assistant. She asked about my insurance and if I had a previous prescription.

“Oh no. I think it’s just that I need reading glasses because I’m getting old. Although, my husband is convinced it’s all the time I spend on Facebook. I’ve always had perfect vision.”

The assistant laughed and assured me it was NOT Facebook-related.

When the doctor called me back, he sat me in the chair and I repeated my assertions of previous perfect vision that is degenerating because of my age.

He looked at my first eye and said, “Whoa!”

“Whoa?!?” My first thought- it’s a tumor.

“You have astigmatism.”

“What? What is that? What does that mean?”

“It means, good news- you’re not losing vision because you’re getting old.  It’s the shape of your corneas. They’re angled like this *insert awkwardly angled juxtaposed hands* and have been your whole life.”

“But… How can that be?!”

“You must have had some very generous DMV testers over the years.”

“I’ve never had vision problems. I mean, when I was younger some eye doctor said I had some weird depth perception issue that could be addressed with eye exercises, but other than that I have never had a problem.”

“Well, you have. You just didn’t realize it. When you’re younger, your eyes are more pliable and can compensate. The older you get, the more tired your eyes get, the less you are able to compensate. Didn’t you ever notice that the corners of your eyes are blurry? That you can’t read the bottom lines on the eye chart?”

“I always thought those were for people with extra good vision.”

Like who? Superman?

It’s true. I thought far away signs were blurry because they were… far away.

The day I picked up my glasses the girl who gave them to me warned me about breaking my eyes in, getting used to them.

As I drove home I decided while stopped at a stop sign to try them out, see how well I could see with them.

It was crazy.

I got home and said, “Everything looks 3-D.”

Jeff said, “Yes. The world is 3-D. It always has been. ”

What I found so amazing was that I could now see edge definition I had never realized was possible, causing trees to look separate from each other, instead of blending in. It reminded me of seeing a diorama.

However, it wasn’t like my vision was instantly great. I found myself high stepping everywhere I went because the ground looked way closer to me than it actually was. I fell off of a few curbs and stumbled around a bit because my depth perception was askew.

I’m sure there were people convinced I was showing up to school pick-up drunk.

I tried hitting a button on my car dash, only to discover the reason it wasn’t working was because I was about a centimeter off.

There are other things that people who don’t have glasses don’t realize about life WITH glasses.


1. Sun

When it’s sunny, I wear sunglasses. I get headaches if it’s too bright. I wear sunglasses every day that it’s sunny, especially when I’m driving. Even when it’s not sunny, a lot of times there’s a glare. But when I’m driving is when I really need my glasses so that I can see street signs. Unless I buy an extra set of prescription sunglasses, I’ve got Sophie’s choice happening.

I don’t want to buy those clip-on shades to go over, I’ll feel like:


There’s always transitions, but those always remind me of those poor kids who always had wonky yearbook photos because the flash darkened the glasses.

george clooney

Young George Clooney anyone?



I live in Seattle. We happened to have had the driest summer pretty much in the history of Seattle this year. Now it’s October and the rain has come. It’s not even so much the rain. When it rains, I use an umbrella. It’s the mist and the drizzle. I feel like someone needs to buy me a set of these:


3. Smudges

The first day I had my glasses everything was clear as a bell. Now, much of my day looks like this:


This is the same view I have when I drink my steaming coffee, open the oven, or breathe when it’s cold out.

I cannot seem to get these things clean. I bought wipes, spray, fancy silk cloths- everything is streaky, leaves spots, or lasts all of five minutes before I catch a glimpse of some smear in the corner.

4. Knowing when to take them off

I like to watch TV before I go to sleep. I actually like to fall asleep watching TV. If, however, I do fall asleep…


Also- kissing. ‘Nuff said.

5. Once you go glass, you never go back.

I’m not sure if the glasses are affecting my vision, or if my vision really has been this bad and I’m only now realizing it, but when I take my glasses off, I can’t see. Everything is blurry. It used to be that I could read things close up just fine, it was just far away stuff,  but now I have to have my glasses on to read anything.

6. The comparisons.

Hipsters like to wear non-prescription glasses because they like the “serious look” of them. I have yet to figure out my “look.”

Initially, I received the “naughty librarian/nurse/teacher” references- even from Zoe ( “I know this is creepy because you’re my mom but you look like a sexy teacher” ) which has left me wondering how my 10 year old even knows about this concept.

One person said I look like Alex from “Orange is the New Black”


I’ve never watched that show, so I don’t know if it’s a compliment or an insult, but she looks a little mean. And a little like she belongs in “50 Shades Of Grey.”


Someone said I looked like Wonder Woman’s alter-ego Diana Prince


Which made me very happy. I wanted to BE Wonder Woman as a kid, so if I’m giving off a Wonder Woman/Diana Prince vibe I can totally live with that.

And then this conversation happened:

Nathan came in the kitchen, stared at me for a minute and then said, “You look like that Canadian lady from Alaska who tried to run for president. ”
“Are you talking about Sarah Palin?”
“Yes. That’s it.”
“She’s not Canadian.”
“I said Alaska.”

Thus proving once and for all that glasses don’t always make a person look smart.







One thought on “I Can See Clearly Now… Except When I Can’t”

  1. Hey, invest in Rx sunglasses! Worth every penny! I cannot imagine life without them!
    I’m sorry I never picked up on your impaired vision-but then I didn’t pick up on my own or your sister’s either.

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