I’ve always loved reading about and watching stories that involve superheroes. Little Calli wanted nothing more than to gain a superpower and save the world. As it turns out, I might have a superpower after all.
I am very, very blind. This might not seem like anything amazing on paper, but I’ll let you know that I am amazed at how blurry the world can get each time I take my contacts out at night. I also had the experience of being a “four eyes” in elementary school, so that was fun.
I first got my glasses in fourth grade. I’d been coming home from school with massive headaches, so my mom took me to the optometrist. I was devastated when I exited the office with news that I would need to wear glasses. At the time, there were only two kids in my class who wore them, and all I could think about was that episode of Arthur where he gets his glasses and all of his classmates call him “four eyes”.
I’m not exactly proud of my blindness, because in the event of a zombie apocalypse I wouldn’t be able to see the leaves on the tree, much less hit anything with any sort of weapon should I happen to lose my glasses or my contacts. However, my near-sightedness and resulting glasses do have their advantages.
For one, my glasses are the reason that I met one of my best friends. Fourth grade wasn’t just the year that I got glasses, but the year that my best friend of three years had moved away. It was a little lonely, with just me and my grass shadow-puppets at recess (not exactly my favorite year). A few days after I started wearing my glasses to school, my friend (who, I later learned, had been trying to find an excuse to approach me) interrupted my puppet show to tell me that, “I didn’t know you wore glasses”. So my glasses were basically the launching point for a 11+ year friendship.
Glasses have also given me some good reflexes, although these reflexes are very conditional and usually only happen when I’m wearing my glasses. Sports are already terrifying to play, but playing sports while wearing a contraption of wire and glass on your face is ten times worse. I hated wearing my glasses to PE in elementary school out of fear that they would fall off my face or that I would get hit with a ball and they would break. For the first few weeks, I kept them in my desk in the classroom. Then I quickly learned that for someone who trips on her own feet at least twice a day, playing dodgeball without glasses is not the most graceful experience. It’s a little hard to dodge the balls flying at your face at 180 miles and hour when they look like nothing more than little black smudges.
Wearing glasses to PE is also a bad idea, so either way it’s a lose-lose situation. I guess it did give me a higher pain tolerance. You see, being hit in the face hurts. But when the ball hits your glasses, which are then shoved into your nose at an alarming force and speed, it tends to generate a lot of tears and bruises, as well as a brief panic attack because every child with glasses has had it drilled into their head twenty times a day that glasses are expensive and the punishment for broken glasses is too horrible to name.
One final skill that glasses have given me is the ability to look like a completely different person. I usually wear contacts, so when I wear glasses in public I often get several confused glances from people who know me. Sometimes they don’t even recognize me. On the flip side, I’ll wear glasses around the house for several days (usually during the dreaded allergy season) and when I finally take them off, I have to spend a few seconds processing what creature I’m looking at in the mirror.
There’s also the fact that glasses, you know, help me to see but…that isn’t near as cool.