Dollar Tree Readers

I started wearing Dollar Tree readers in my 40s and noticed a decline in my vision approaching my 50s. I made an appointment with my optometrist friend from church to get checked out. Macular degeneration runs in my family, and I need to do all I can to stay on top of that. After examining […]

Glasses, you can’t live with them, can’t live without them

In 7th grade, on a particularly warm day in Wisconsin, I was walking to school with a friend. The world looked watery, as if everything was melting a bit in the unseasonal heat. I commented on the shimmery trees to my friend but she couldn’t see them. Then I turned to her. She, too, looked […]

Validating Myself

It was after I told my mother that I couldn’t see the chalk board and had to sit directly in front of the board to see that my mom took me to get an eye exam. My diagnosis was I was near sided, with a stigmatism in my right eye. I remember looking around the […]

Beat it four eyes.

I was one of those kids who memorized eye charts in school, in fear of needing glasses. I managed to escape a visit to the optometrist all throughout high school but all of that ended in college. In college, I was found out. It was a fall afternoon at basketball practice and the team was […]

Bradenton Family Bathroom

Toothpaste splattered the mirror. I brushed the vomit taste off my tongue. I had hurled after riding a rollercoaster with a corkscrew turn. My cousin Taylor entered the bathroom. He smelled like his coconut tanning oil. His white T-shirt unevenly bunched over his thick right shoulder, bulked up from years of playing tennis. He stepped […]

Glasses, Bullying, and Seeing Things Clearly Pt. IV

Just before graduation from basic training in the Air Force in 1971, I learned what my next base was and what my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) would be. My job was my second choice, Medical Service Specialist. I’d asked to be an air traffic controller to be around airplanes and very disappointed after that […]

Glasses, Bullying, and Seeing Things Clearly Pt. III

I still take my glasses off occasionally and look at Christmas trees, just to see the sight I did before glasses. In 1992, I decorated my private-duty patient’s little Christmas tree, feeling like a 40-year-old kid. The next day, my patient was in her bed, and I was in the chair on the other side […]

Glasses, Bullying, and Seeing Things Clearly Pt. II

At home, I ran through the house to stand on the back porch looking north at the Ball Brothers factory, hundreds of feet away. I saw every leaf on every tree for miles around (well, almost miles), every petal and color on every flower, all the rocks in the railroad beds. I said, “Mammaw! I […]

Glasses, Bullying, and Seeing Things Clearly Pt. I

In January 1961, my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Singer, recognized that I needed glasses from watching me squinting constantly. She sent a note home, but my grandmother didn’t get me tested until school was out. I don’t know why she waited so long, but I finally saw an eye doctor in June. I sat in the […]

Unable to See Clearly Pt. II

I didn’t get to use this technique until I was 25. I was working on my doctorate, and I was teaching part-time at a community college. I was talking about some essay or short story, I don’t remember what, and I took off my glasses to make a point. My moment had finally come, and […]