My eyes don’t work! They never have done really. I got my first pair of glasses when I was 11. They were for reading the blackboard and watching TV. On day one I got into trouble for not concentrating in class. In fact, I had spent the whole lesson looking at the head of the child two rows in front of me. Instead of just having a dark area on the top of her head, I could make out every individual strand of hair. It fascinated me.
And then I discovered that there really was a man in the moon, or at least you could make out discernible shapes on its surface. Prior to this the moon was just a bright blob in the night sky.
So, armed with my tortoiseshell NHS glasses, a whole new world of vision opened up for me. By the time I was 17 I had graduated to contact lenses. They were the hard ones and I seemed to spend most of my life either hunting the surrounding floor area for them or with them in my mouth to remove grit.
Since then my eyesight hasn’t really changed. I can’t drive without visual assistance but if I lost my lenses I could function around town perfectly adequately although I can’t guarantee that I’d acknowledge you if I saw you in the street. But I have wondered over the years whether I should go and have them laser zapped. I don’t have any particular fear of the procedure itself (although the small print always warns that your eyesight could go down as well as up.)No, the real issue has been that I really couldn’t be bothered with the faff.
When I first looked at it back in the early nineties, my concern was that I wouldn’t be allowed to wear make up for several weeks afterwards. I don’t consider myself to be particularly vain but without eye make up I do look a bit like I died. I was working in a large office at that time with lots of power dressing women and life without mascara could not be contemplated.
Then, some years later when I no longer went out to work, my husband had his done and went from blind as a bat to better than 20:20 overnight. However, he had to wear plastic eye protectors in bed at night. He looked like a fly. This was another stumbling block. At that stage I was still up most nights with one child or another. This could not be done with plastic cups sellotaped to my face so on to the back burner went the plan again.
And now? Well, I’m 43 and am told by my friends that I can fully expect to start to squinting at menus any minute now. Is there really any point going through the hassle and expense of eye surgery if I am going to have to wear reading glasses anyway? Probably not. My children are likely to have dodgy eyesight given the gene pool that they have inherited. Perhaps I should focus on saving up to pay for surgery for them when the time comes and stop wondering myself? Anyway, you can get some pretty dudey glasses these days. Perhaps I can aim for a bit of a Felicity Kendall look and peer over the top of my specs in an alluring fashion? I suspect I have missed the laser surgery showboat. Ah well…