Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blinded By the Light

I went to the optometrist today. It had been exactly two years since my last appointment (I remember explaining to the glasses lady that I needed the new specs for a film premiere. Yes, I measure time by film-festival adventures. And Brad Pitt arrives in town tomorrow....) and I was eager to update my glasses with something new. The recent tragedy that was sitting on my frames was never quite the crisis it could have been knowing that I had an upcoming appointment with the eye folks.

I find eye exams stressful. I want to get it right. I'm suddenly in high school again, desperate to get a perfect mark on a pop quiz. I will read that bottom line. I will. And when I'm given two lenses to compare ("Which is clearer, 1 or 2?"), I get nervous. What if I make the wrong decision? The options have such slight variations. Maybe I don't think there's a difference when there really is.

And every year, I'm convinced I'm significantly more blind than the previous visit.

There was no change. Whatsoever. I have the eyes of 23-year-old Nadine.

She then put drops in my eyes. I already have large pupils. If I'm super-tired and my eyes a little red, it's easy for me to look like an abuser of questionable substances. But really, I'm just big-pupilled. But apparently they're not dilated enough for her to look into. So she stung my eyes with her evil eye drops and told me to return in 15 minutes.

Slowly the world got foggy. I could no longer read. Lights bothered me.

She took a picture of the inside of my eyeballs (very cool, but cost an additional $16. I'm a sucker for anything that's supposed to help in medical diagnoses) and sent me on my way. So while my eyes were ridiculously healthy and impressive, I was walking around with doctor-inflicted beer goggles on.

I tried to shop before heading home. But I couldn't read the price tags without taking off my glasses. And I couldn't see where I was going without putting them back on. And I felt too zoned out to actually care about fashion. So I went home.

These magical drops last for two hours. Two hours. I don't have two hours to sacrifice to such nonsense. And so, because I couldn't focus well enough to write, I decided to go for a walk/jog.

Have you ever tried to jog with your eyes closed? Not so much fun. But even the overcast sky was too bright for me. I was in awkward squint mode the entire time.

Aside: Don't put the nano on shuffle when pretending to get in shape. Because first the Newsies soundtrack will make you want to knock stuff over and cause a ruckus, and then William Fitzsimmons will make you want to curl up on your bed and cry over your parents' divorce. And my parents aren't divorced. Fitzsimmons' parents are blind. Maybe I was bonding with them subconsciously.

Eventually I just cranked up the Hairspray, let Zac Efron convince me that I can't stop the beat, and pounded the pavement until my eyes slowly adjusted to life on this planet.

Post-exercise, I made my most successful batch of sweet-potato fries ever (with cinnamon!) and sat here, at my computer, attempting to be a copy writer. But my head. It hurt. Like it was being squeezed between the arms of a pair of glasses that don't have to be replaced after all.

Maybe I'll buy some tortoise-shell frames anyway. And embrace my inner Tina Fey/Lisa Loeb/Buddy Holly. Because I want to be a smart funny writer. Or quirky heartthrob musician.


Silas said...

oh yeah, i remember driving after getting my pupils dilated... not a good idea. that was so painfully bright... eek

Laura J said...

I'm a friend of Beth's and she put me onto your blog. I love it! This post made me laugh out loud a few times. I hope we get to meet one day 'cause Beth is great and she usually has great friends...

nadine said...

Hi, Laura! Nice to quasi-meet you. Glad you like the blog.

I agree, Beth has great friends. Which is why I'm going to pretend that we're friends already :)

~drea said...

You "want" to be a funny writer? I would say that you've already acheived this.