Check it out, I have the worst eyesight ever. In second grade I complained about not being able to see the chalkboard in school. So I tell my mom and she’s all “just have the teacher move you closer.” Of course I’m not going to go to the teacher myself and ask this.
It’s too scary.
What if after i ask her “Ummm Ms. really-old-bitter-woman-who-thought-her-life-would-be-something-but-certainly-not -baby-sitting-brats-all-day-long-for-30-years, I, uh, can’t really see the board. Could I maybe move closer?”
And then from behind her huge desk that I really couldn’t see over so I just assumed that she was up there, would stand up, a smoldering fire would be in her eyes. Her old grey hair would stand on end, then the background behind her would fall away into a blackness of the abyss while she would zoom in closer, ya know, how they do in dramatic moments in movies? The backgroud goes away and the person comes closer to the screen? It always freaks me out cause you know something crazy is about to happen.
So the teacher’s head with her old grey hair standing straight out and the fire in her eyes are inches away from me and she screams, nay, howls “Dare you approach the realm of the dark evil witch banshee of the 2nd grade? You may not move to another desk. It has been assigned to you for the entire year!” And her breath reaches me and it melts my face right off. This is what would happen in my head if i asked her to move to another desk.
So no, I wasn’t really keen on asking the teacher myself. Anyway turns out my distance from the board wasn’t the problem as my mom found out. Apparently the teacher notices my troubles on her own. The tasks where you copy some stupid paragraph about colonial america or the cotton gin off the board and turn it in for a grade. I guess that’s the 2nd grade version of English class or maybe Writing. I was failing that but I was acing a little subject i call Gibberish. “What is that? – quytzx? – what do i know, i’m in 2nd grade.”
So the teacher mentioned to my mom one day that she thought i had trouble seeing the board. My mom’s like “well can you move him closer?” The teachers like “Well he’s on the second row already.” My mom was a bit stunned and she realized that she had to take me to the eye doctor and get my peepers checked out.
Ok, so we’re sitting in the eye doctor’s exam room. [insert bit about how he always puts my knees uncomfortably in his crotch] He turns out the lights and projects the first eye chart about 15 ft away onto the back of a door. Now the first eye chart is usually just a formality, actually the first few are, run through them until the doctor can get to the smaller ones with multiple letters that all look the same, D’s and P’s, Q’s and O’s.
Well he pops up the first one that is like you know a 2 foot square capital E. It’s ginormous and I’m all squinting and “uh uh uh. hmmmm well there are several possibilities…” My mom turns and looks at the eye chart and her mouth falls open. “Kary, you can’t see that?” Her blowing off of my little cries of “I can’t see the board at school” hit her full force and she realizes just how bad my eyes are. And how bad of a mother she is. No, really she felt terrible about the whole thing.
Well I got me some new eyeglasses. embarking upon a journey of enduring years of name calling like “four-eyes” and other witty names. When I first put them on, I was amazed. Astounded I tell you at the whole new world that had opened to me. I could finally tell the difference between the men’s and women’s restroom symbols in restaurants. No more embarrassing walk ins to the ladies room and me giving some mumbled story of how i couldn’t see which one was which. it didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. and the looks i get from the surprised women are different too. before it was “awww are you looking for your mommy” or “are you lost little boy?” now it’s “Aaahhhhh get out of here you creep” or something about calling the police. Jeezz people are soo touchy these days.