Optical ordeal

It’s that time of year again. The phone call from the opticians fills me with an illogical sense of dread. No more contact lenses for me, unless I go for my eye test. It makes sense. I don’t want to be wearing the wrong prescription lenses, but then again, I am amazed I ever get the correct prescription to begin with.

I’ve never enjoyed wearing glasses and it remains a complete and utter mystery to me why certain people deem them to be fashionable and wear them when they don’t need to. Bizarre. Wearing glasses is like wearing jeans -they fit perfectly when you first get them, but give it a week and you spend your time hoisting them back up. The only problem is, you can’t wash your glasses back to the perfect fit.

I was twelve when I first realised I couldn’t really read the blackboard in school. I would simply copy from my neighbour, or scrunch up my eyes. When the annual school eye-check rolled around, I spent my morning break learning the chart of letters off by heart. I had them all fooled for two years and then I became too blind to lie. Glasses it was.


Each eye test fills me with a sense of impending doom. A very similar feeling to that before you sit an exam, since I do indeed feel as if I am being tested. I don’t know why the optician stills bothers to ask which of the letters I can clearly read on the chart without my glasses on. For a number of years, the answer has always been ‘none of them.’ After he crunches his way through half a pack of tic tacs (I’m convinced he’s addicted), he slots a few new lenses into the glasses frame on my face and turns on the dreaded red/green colour chart; the questioning begins.
‘Now with this lens in place, which colour do you see more brightly? The green, or the red?’
Inside my head, a small panicked voice is yelling ‘NEITHER OF THEM! THEY BOTH LOOK THE SAME! THEY ARE BOTH BRIGHT!’ Yet, at lightening speed, I blurt out ‘Green!’ as if I am taking part in a timed quiz show. A new lens is popped into place and the question is repeated…’Red!’ I exclaim, without really looking at the chart.
Nobody can spot that difference. And if you are sitting there thinking, ‘Usually I can tell which colour is brighter’, then you are lying to yourself.

The life lesson I have taken from my trips to the opticians is that either the colour test is irrelevant, or I have had exceptionally good luck when it comes to 50-50 multiple choice. Long may it continue!


One thought on “Optical ordeal

  1. Haha Catriona this made me laugh so much, I just did these tests in the past few days… Yes, plural, I didn’t trust the first one because the guy was so confused about my green/red test results he thought the machine was broken, then had to decide it really was my eyes. Second test gave the same results unfortunately, picking up my first ever glasses tomorrow, aah!

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