Thursday, October 20, 2011

That Which Is Lost...

Last week my boss asked me where the certified mail forms were. I told him they were in the bottom drawer of the desk where the postage meter sits. He said he already looked there. I was so positive that's where I put them, I had to open the drawer and see for myself. Sitting in the drawer were the forms. I asked him how he could possibly have missed them considering they were the only items in the drawer. His reply was "They used to be in a folder, so I was looking for a folder."  Hmm.

My ex told me one day we were out of milk. I told him that wasn't possible because I had just bought some. I went to the refrigerator, and sitting right in front, at eye level, was a full gallon of milk. "Oh" he said, "I was looking for the half gallon size." Huh?

I once lost my son at a major league baseball game. I know, that doesn't sound good. It was Little League Day, and all the kids were wearing their uniforms. My son spotted a boy he knew from another team, and asked if he could go say hi. It sounded okay to me so I said yes. Two innings later, he hadn't returned. I stood up and scanned the crowd. No sign of him. I reported him missing, and three employees of the ballpark showed up wanting a description. The two men and one woman took off on their search. What happened next put this whole experience in my top five scariest moments of my life. The game ended. Now, everyone was standing and filling the aisles. Just as the most horrifying thoughts were going through my mind, I saw the female employee coming my way, big smile on her face, and my son in tow. I never saw the two men again. For all I know, they are still looking for him.

Perhaps their acuity for focusing makes men unable to find things as well as women. If you asked Waldo to find himself, there is a good chance he couldn't. He might  have the excuse "I thought I was taller than that." If male US soldiers were told to infiltrate a home because there was a chance Saddam Hussein was hiding there, they might have walked right by Osama bin Laden sitting on the couch watching Dancing with the Stars.

On the other hand, there are times when complete focus is necessary, and most women would fail at this. An example would don't know...what was I saying?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Eyes Have Hills

I had perfect vision for most of my life. As I approached forty, I suddenly realized I couldn’t read close up. At first, I had to hold menus a foot and a half in front of me, then at arm’s length, just to see them. Pretty soon, I had to have someone else hold the menus. Sadly, I wound up only able to eat at restaurants that have their menus lit up on the wall. So, I went to the eye doctor. Much to my horror (I have a lot of denial in me), he prescribed reading glasses. The first time I wore them, a friend (?) of mine laughed and said I looked like a school teacher.

For the next five years, my prescription had to be increased. I finally asked the eye doctor “What do I do when my nose can no longer support the weight of my lenses?” He said (and this is why he is no longer my eye doctor) “The good news is that your eyesight will probably never get worse than it is now.”

Yeah, well it did. I tried to live with it, but while clothes shopping, I realized that the number six and the number eight looked exactly alike and thinking I was trying on an eight (which was really a six) I would become deeply depressed that I couldn't get the zipper up.  And, I left a trail of waiters who either got a very generous tip, or a very minimal one, depending on the amount I perceived was on the bill.

I went to a new eye doctor. After saying hello to the coat rack, I was led into the exam room. Pointing to the eye chart, the doctor asked “What is the smallest line you can read?” “The fifth one down” I responded, and smiled. “Okay, could you read it, please?” “Out loud? In that case, the second one down.” He rubbed his forehead. After some discussion, he recommended monovision (at first I thought he said Bonovision, and I wondered if I would look good in big glasses with yellow lenses), which is placing different contacts in each eye—one for close up and one for distance. He said “It will take a couple of weeks for your brain to adjust.”

Six months later, my brain had not adjusted yet. I was getting used to the halos around all lights, but I was still having problems with hallucinations depth perception. It became obvious one day when my husband and I were driving on the highway. There was a lot of traffic, but it was moving along pretty fast at seventy five miles an hour. I looked up from what I was reading, and saw (four or five vehicles ahead of us) a massive truck, which appeared to be stopped because we were gaining on it so quickly. My husband was not slowing at all, so I let out a scream. “What? What’s wrong?” he asked. I pointed ahead, just as I realized that the “truck” I saw was actually one of those electronic highway signs that stretch over the road. My husband was still staring at me. “Well?” “Sorry, I thought I saw something” was all I could say. He told me please don’t scream in the car ever again. I told him I would try not to.

In my defense, I read a story about a recent plane crash. After an investigation, they determined that the reason for the crash was: “The inability of the captain, because of his use of monovision contact lenses, to overcome his misperception of the airplane's position relative to the runway during the visual portion of the approach.” I feel for you, Captain.

It took me two years (I like to think my brain is stubborn, not slow) to adjust and now I can read and see in the distance, just as well as when I was younger. I ran into (not literally) my friend the other day, and she was wearing glasses. Of course, it would be very petty of me to tell her she looked like a school teacher. So, I told her she looked like a librarian.