How I came to wear glasses

When I was a teenager, my eyesight started failing me. Not severely, but sufficiently for it to impact on my life.

Yet for some bizarre reason, I was embarrassed to admit to this failing. All of the three other members of my family had similar failures. My parents have worn glasses or contact lenses for as long as I can remember, and longer. And my brother started wearing glasses around the age of ten, I guess.

Yet despite this, I was embarrassed. I remember watching TV for years kneeling against a poof, in the furniture sense of the word, to ensure that my viewing was not impaired by having to sit on a more distant chair or sofa. I passed this off as a teenage idiosyncrasy.

I went through my three undergrad. years always sitting on the front row in lectures, wanting to be able to see what was going on as opposed to being a swat. (Whether glasses would have changed my seating position is a moot point.)

And I finally succumbed to the need for glasses during the summer of 1994. (Maybe I should write a song about that.) This acknowledgment of sensory failure was celebrated in secret by a lone visit to Specsavers Bradford, still without telling a soul of my weakness.

The visit equipped me with glasses that I took to my postgrad. course in October 1994. My brother came to visit either during Freshers or during that first term. And the secret was out, and shared with my mum: Deef’s got geps.

Deef was my nickname of the day. And geps was slang for glasses. Unfortunately for my mum, she wasn’t aware of this latter fact, and interpreted the news as my having an STD. (The chance would’ve been a fine thing.)

Once this was straightened out, the news was met with utmost, downright acceptance and ambivalence.

My fear of telling the world of my failing was ridiculous. But at the time, it was a massive deal.

Nowadays, I love my glasses. People ask whether I’d consider laser treatment, to which I reply in the negative. Why would I? My glasses are a part of me.

So if you need glasses, go get some. It really isn’t that big a deal. And you may grow to love them.

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