Thursday, May 18, 2006

Geek in Paradise or "Honey, I Shrunk Your Self-Image"

One of the things that contributed to my staying up much of the night before our trip was the fact that I lost my eyeglasses. Now, I've lost a contact lens before (putting one in or taking one out, cleaning one and even walking into a tree branch). I've even lost a whole pair of contact lenses in their case. But I've never before lost a pair of glasses.

It all comes of vanity and greed for comfort. These demons compelled me get new contacts and promptly lose my glasses. 1

I looked in the house, the car, called the optician's office, turned several little bags inside out and even dug through the garbage. No luck. And we were leaving the next morning.

I found an old pair of my glasses from 8 years ago (or so). The prescription is not strong enough and they are bigger and dorky-looking.

When we left, I saved my "contact time" for later. In the car, plane, bus, etc.: glasses.

By the time we got to the gate at the airport from which we departed, I'd forgotten about the glasses. So I walked into the restroom at the airport and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. With my current hair style configuration, my tired, unshaven face (that saved me 8 minutes earlier) and those hideous glasses, I did a double take. I looked like a washed-up Rick Moranis impersonator on a bender.

Why should I care? 'Tis it not dandy vanity? Well, I did care: enough to complain about it to my wife. She took a few seconds to really have the good look at me that our running around that morning had not afforded her and gave an amused snort.

Vain self-consciousness quickly deteriorated into humiliation after that when, every time my wife — who, in our 12 years of marriage, has seen me in all manner of states of disrepair — commenced to laugh  at me every time she looked at me for more than 2 seconds.

While this sad state of affairs is perhaps the culmination of the ill karma for the vanity and lust-for-comfort that began this whole thing, it has also compelled me to wear the contacts whenever possible. I'm also handling them more carefully than I would handle precious jewels.

Vanity: deadly sin. Ridicule: powerful motivator.

1 I haven't worn contacts for a year or so. (I had worn gas-permeable ones. My eyes had grown drier, so they became uncomfortable. I wore them less and less. Then that pair became the pair I lost in their case.) Lately I've been thinking that I'm ready to try some of the newer types of soft lenses.

As the trip approached, I thought about I look lots better in contacts, plus I don't like glasses constantly sliding down nose when I sweat, as I will in the Florida heat. Contacts would fix that, too.

So I made a last minute appointment. It was the day before we left. I got new contacts; they were great! I wore them home. I stored my glasses in the small shopping bag with the solutions, etc. That's the last I saw of them. Fine, but I'm not supposed to wear the contacts full-time yet. [Click to return to text where footnote link was.]

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