Monday, June 11, 2012

I can clearly see the errors I make


For some reason, God — in his infinite wisdom — made me just shy of perfect. Yes, it’s true. I have faults, but being humble isn’t one of them.

While there are scores of people who would likely disagree, in my opinion, my less-than-20/20 vision ranks right up there amongst my biggest flaws.

This particular imperfection is somewhat cruel, given that I read and write for a living. Making it even crueler is the fact that I tend to do a considerable amount of reading and writing in my spare time.

Imperfections tend to get more pronounced the more you are forced to reckon with them. Spending a minimum of eight hours a day, five days a week “focusing” on mine meant that dealing with it (sooner or later) was inevitable. I had gotten to the point where at the end of my shift or after any length of time spent reading, my eyes had trouble focusing and they — along with the rest of me — got tired.

So a couple weeks ago, I went and got my vision checked. And just as I expected, I needed glasses.

Truth be told, my vision wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. I have 20/25 vision in my left eye and 20/40 vision in my right eye. I half expected the optometrist to wonder aloud how I was able to find my way to his office. Mind you, my vision isn’t always blurry. But when it is, it’s bad. Add in the fact that I wore glasses 20 years ago before swearing them off, and I would have thought my vision would have degraded considerably.

Actually when I wore glasses before — in high school, college and shortly thereafter — my eyesight miraculously improved somehow. So at some point, I could see well again. I imagine it’s because I wasn’t reading Machiavelli and writing term papers any more. Apparently, reading is bad for you.

My optometrist told me to wear the glasses as much as I wanted to and to not worry about wearing them whenever I didn’t feel like it. I was glad to hear that. I don’t like to be told that I have to do things, as anyone who’s read this column before is well aware.

Nonetheless, I now have an extra thing to carry around with me — and lose. It wasn’t bad enough that I constantly lose my “wallet” (I don’t have a wallet, I just keep my money, drivers’ license and debit card together at all times) and my keys.

It’s funny, I have about half a dozen places I lose things in. The place I most frequently lose my keys? The hook that they “belong on.” They’re there so infrequently that it’s the last place I look. Second most frequent hiding place? My hands. My “wallet,” meanwhile is most often lost the front pocket of a pair of jeans. I launder my money frequently. I’ve only lost my glasses once in the near-week that I’ve had them. They were on top of the fridge, a clearinghouse for “things” and “stuff.”

I once lost a check stuck to the front of my fridge with a magnet. I must have looked at it half a dozen times before I found it. I even called places I had been asking if a check had been turned in. Three days later, I found it — right where I had put it “so I wouldn’t lose it.”

Just as I’m sure to continue to lose things, I’m equally certain that there are many future instances of me saying, “Hey, have you seen my glasses?” I figure as long as I don’t say it while wearing them, I’ll be okay.

I like being able to see better. It makes reading and writing much easier but it doesn’t help with arithmetic. It also doesn’t seem to help with my losing things. But at least now I clearly see that flaw.