The Year We Make Contact

January 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

I may have lied about my tendency not to make New Year’s resolutions…sort of. If I could lump together all the half-plans and semi-goals that I’ve amassed and kicked off on January 1, I’d put them in the category of “Get Shit Done”. This means doing things when I have the time to do them, like getting reading for class on the weekend or sneaking in bits of fiction writing in dull moments or roasting a weeks’ worth of vegetables on a Saturday or, I don’t know, training for a 5k*.

So, I decided the lull of the first week of classes would be the perfect time to achieve my goal of no longer looking like an anemic, female Where’s Waldo and finally get contacts for my astimagt-eyes. Contrary to what I had believed, there is no long waiting period or creepy pupil dilation necessary: you can just walk in to your appointment and walk out half an hour later, enlensed.

Here is the thing about eyes, though: they are biologically engineered to keep foreign objects out. I spent a good forty-five minutes  tugging maniacally at my eyelids and knuckling myself in the cornea as a patient eye-assistant-man looked on. I used my left hand, then my right, then a combination, until my fingers were gray with cheap mascara and little tears of despair were trailing down my cheeks. From what I could blearily make out of his unfazed expression, I surmised that the eye-man had probably seen worse.

“Do you think those things from A Clockwork Orange are real?” I asked him, attempting to be jocular.

“What?” he said.

“They hold your eye open. Um, never mind,” I retreated, chiding myself for being so weird to a complete stranger. He was just trying to help me get comfortable with the intimate act of touching myself on the eyeball, and I was bringing up Stanley Kubrick flicks.

Eventually, of course, I got the damn things in, and it feels pretty much like having a slim thickness of plastic in your eye. Taking them out is a terrifying process marked by an unsuppressable fear that I am ripping out some vital membrane instead of the lens, but it’s doable. Hopefully the old adage that “wearing contacts is like riding a bike” is true, despite being illogical.

And in the end, of course, it’s all worth it. At last, people will stop mistaking me for Stephen Colbert. They’ll think I’m Rachel Maddow instead.

*This is not a joke

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