When I got my drivers licence, I was 18 and a knob. Doing the eyetest afterwards, I was like “S F D T U, P R X V, E A O, I N, Made in China, Distributed in Australia by, Sign Enterprises Inc, Ringwood.” The guy was like “I’ve never tested anyone who could read the superscript at the bottom of the poster.” Also, “That bit obviously isn’t part of the test, and you’re a knob.” Was I even bothered, I had my licence whoooooo! And I drove out of that joint in my bright yellow Telstar (with roofracks), obnoxiously reading signs in the far distance all the way home.
Year 12 hadn’t quite finished yet. I think we were still in exams. My friend Niki and I used to catch the Moonee Ponds to Alphington bus together, but now that I had my licence, I offered to pick her up from the bus stop and drive her to school. With my two-day-old licence, I strapped in, my brown-and-blue tartan school dress and fawn knee socks complementing the canary duco magnificently. Imagining the look of jealousy on all our co-students’ faces as we pulled swiftly through the West Brunswick traffic, without the usual morning transit concerns of lost student passes, surly fellow commutees, rival schools’ students inflammatory foot-on-seat manoeuvres, and bus driver blaring the radio news in Italian.
In the event the only looks on their faces were ones of hysteria and disbelief as I smashed into the gutter, mounted the kerb and came to a halt, cruelly, against the very timetable pole. Niki, looking ahead stonily, said she’d be right catching the bus but I made her get in. If I had to drive to school with myself, then so did she. BFFs 4 lyf!
(For concerned readers, Niki survived the drive and, against the odds, has gone on and managed to do very well for herself.)
In the following 14 years, early bus-stop-destroying incidents aside, I have enjoyed a spotless driving record which I attributed mainly to my keen eyesight and ability to see impending obstructions from a distance of 3 kilometres.
But a couple of months ago, my eyes started to go really bad. I couldn’t see the screen of my work computer. I couldn’t spot people I knew walking towards me (awkward). I established that I am the least accomplished ‘Draw Something’ player in the history of smartphone apps and in all probability the paper predecessor, Pictionary.
A trip to the optometrist last week confirmed that my eyesight is now significantly diminished, with myopia and astigmatism in both eyes. Sitting in the examination chair sadly absorbing the news, experiencing with clarity the realisation of aging, the optometrist moved in with a crushing blow: “Would you like Transitions lenses?” Do I look like a person who would wear fucking Transitions lenses? (With all apologies to people I know with Transitions lenses. This reminds me of that time I posted a really long post about the bogan hairclip I wear all the time inside the house, AKA…
…and all these people commented along the lines of “Why is that a bogan hairclip? What’s bogan about it? I always wear those hairclips to work.”
People reading this who have both Transitions lenses and the above hairclip may as well unsubscribe. There’s nothing I can do to redeem myself from here.)
It’s hard to choose glasses! Especially when you have a really wide upper face. The bottom half of my face is quite normal, I’ve always thought, but you have to admit the top half is abnormally horizontally generous.
In the end I’ve gone with these ones.
They’re black, so they match my bogan hairclip. Note that they haven’t improved the clarity of my reverse-selfy taking.
Someone has already told me I look like Buddy Holly which isn’t quite the “nerdy science brunette” look I was going for. Not even on the right track really.
Sight-wise, while my long-distance vision is restored, things up close are very confusing. I have no depth perception, things that should be squared off (like stairs) are now rounded, and today I walked right off the edge of a ledge without realising the floor had stopped. I also feel like I am around 40 centimetres tall, and as if I am walking on my knees (ie the bottom part of my legs has disappeared). Is this normal? How long should it take to get used to wearing glasses? Is my VicRoads licence tester from all those years ago in retributory collusion with Michael Cheuk Optometry, Sai Kung?
Any advice for a novice glasses wearer accepted gratefully. Can offer very realistic performance of Peggy Sue in return.