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!