We’ve been together for a little over three decades now. You played nice for the first half of those years, but about the mid-way point you decided that you weren’t going to put the full effort in any more. I am not sure exactly when this choice was made, but it became glaringly obvious when I was in 10th grade and decided to take drivers’ ed. To get my permit for the class, the DMV required that I take a vision test. You failed me in that moment! Apparently, not being able to read the gigantic letters on the first line was a problem for the ever-pleasant women who run the permit department.
Letting me down at that moment was a huge disappointment. What is more important to a fifteen year old than getting a driver’s license and gaining a semblance of freedom? (Okay, in my family that meant getting to drive the couple of miles to Marsing for milk or hauling my little brother to innumerable baseball practices. It wasn’t exactly the total anarchy I had hoped for, but at least the Ford Taurus had a radio that would play Clay Walker at levels that I now realize NO country music should be played at.)
With your DMV failure, while initially seeming like a huge obstacle to overcome, I did gain one thing- a new fashion accessory. Thanks to you, eyeballs, I spent the next three years of high school rocking a rainbow of colored contacts. Being naturally light blue, I could easily change you up to nearly anything I wanted. I think at one point I had four different contact containers on the bathroom counter, each with a different color of contact inside. While the emerald ones were a stunning jewel-green, by far my favorites were the violet ones. They by no means represented an eye color found anywhere in nature, but, they were amazing! My pasty white skin made an excellent backdrop for those pansy purple contacts. For that, I thank you!
The fact that you decided to not work up to your full potential, thereby forcing me into contacts (I have always refused to give in to wearing glasses- you may wish to make my life nerdier, but I have always attempted resistance!), has, at times, led to some problems. There was the time in Oregon, while on vacation, that I lost a single contact. The trip was a bit of a last minute deal and I hadn’t packed spare contacts. I was miserable as we explored the Rouge River, me with one of you squeezed shut the entire time, totally throwing off my depth perception, causing me to trip over boulders that were closer than they appeared. Or what about the time we got a lovely case of pink-eye from my darling middle school students- do you remember being stuck to the contact like super glue? I woke up in the middle of the night, knowing instantly from the swollen, eye-gunk feel of you that conjunctivitis and I would be taking a sick day together. Since I wore thirty day contacts, that meant prying you open and fishing around until you finally released your eye-booger grip on my contact. That was not one of your more shining moments.
So, eyeballs of mine, you may have had the last fifteen years to slack off, and I hope you have enjoyed it, because your couch potato days are coming to an end. Next week you will be forced back to work. A nice little laser, we’ll call him LASIK, is going to come for a visit, to force you back into shape, making you once again work the way you were intended. Your long summer vacation is almost over, so enjoy the next couple of days. A week from now you will no longer be relying on contacts or glasses to do your job for you.
No more slacking. No more contact mishaps. No more unglamorous glasses. You, me and LASIK have a date. Be ready, the laser is picking you up at 7:30 in the morning.