When my parents first figured out that I needed glasses, it was only because while we were playing Mario Party (our family bonding experience), I couldn’t tell the difference between two buttons that were the same color. They took me straight to the eye doctor’s, and as I walked out of the mall (because obviously, the mall eye doctor was the superior eye doctor), the first thing I said was “Wow, I didn’t know that trees had branches!” Obviously, I knew that trees had branches. Something had to hold the leaves up. But trees had always just been green blurs to me, and I could never see the branches, which is something that my four-year-old self failed to articulate.
I hated my glasses. I was constantly thinking about when I would get contacts and when I could get that magical laser eye surgery that would just fix my eyes. At age four. I wanted surgery at age four. At one point I even got bifocals, but I gave them back within the week because I was seven years old and my grandmother wore bifocals.
I didn’t hate my glasses because of the way they looked; in fact, I thought my red sparkly glasses were kinda snazzy. But as the girl who spoke maybe ten words total in my first year of kindergarten and maybe fifteen in my second, having red sparkly glasses when no one else in my class had them was probably my worst nightmare. I was already reluctant to draw attention to myself, and now people had a compelling reason to ask me questions about the new things on my face? It must be the devil working against me. I didn’t want people to come try on my glasses and comment on how blurry it was, nor did I want to answer the question of “how many fingers am I holding up” without my glasses on. Well, it turns out that I couldn’t see anything! It was all just a blur and I took an educated guess, so I’ve essentially tricked everyone in my class.
My sister told me that it didn’t matter that I wore glasses; that most people would get them at some point, but as a dramatic kindergartener, I refused to believe her. Of course, it just so happens that literally the next year, someone else got glasses. But that didn’t matter to me. She knew how to handle herself with her new kinds of attention. I did not.
I hated most kinds of attention, and I still try to avoid it, but as a person who is currently trying to get colleges to like me, this is something I really can’t avoid. Life is going to give you these moments in which you are forced to be in the spotlight. It’s unavoidable, and I hate most of it.
But even though I still hate some kinds of attention, mostly, I couldn’t care less. Somewhere along the line, I figured out that people cared more about my being a good friend rather than if I was wearing glasses or not. You know. Bigger issues. The dream to get laser eye surgery has not died, but now it’s mostly because of the inconvenience of wearing contacts and glasses (also, they’re not very cheap). But if you take anything away from this whole story, it’s this: wear your red sparkly glasses with pride! Incorrectly pronounce the letter H for almost a whole year because your grandmother does even though everyone says you’re wrong! (and arguably, you are). Accidentally call the police to your house while you’re home alone because the burglar alarm went off for no reason at 4 AM, and repeat this story many times despite your embarrassment! These all may or may not be things that I have done in my life. So at this point, I say do what you want! Embarrass yourself constantly! I promise, no one cares as much as you think they do. This might sound bad, but honestly, you care more about what you’re doing than other people do. And that’s not a bad thing. So I’m going to wear my glasses, and like Ron Swanson, “I regret nothing. The end.”