Spring is upon us here in friendly Manitoba, and what better way to celebrate than with five centimetres of snow? It’s a few degrees below 0 out there so the snow will be sticking around for a bit. Looking out the window is a glimpse into February. As always, I’m grateful I don’t have to shovel anything; home ownership is for the young, the health, and/or the wealthy. Granted, I don’t much care for my upstairs neighbours but I recall having bad neighbours living in a house, too. (Maybe I’m the problem, grumpy cuss that I am.)
I went for a walk yesterday during the snowfall. (And by “walk” I mean “shamble.” I shambled all the way to the dumpsters to drop my recycling, a weaving shuffle of about thirty metres, and that was about all I could manage without a break.) It was very peaceful. I was once again reminded of how awesome it is to have no glasses. I didn’t have to clean snow off them. They didn’t fog up when I came back inside.
Grade 5 was when I got my specs. I never liked them. My hatred of needing them verged on the pathological. I sure don’t understand how they try to market them as a fashion accessory for folks who don’t require them. It’s like wheelchairs for walking down the red carpet at the Oscars. There was the usual grade school teasing about being a “four eyes” and they quickly became absolutely necessary as my vision got very bad, very fast. By the time I was learning to drive, I had to wear them just to see the speedometer. Without them the world was filled with vague, fuzzy shapes that might have been giant stuffed animals, people, or just about anything. Put a TV on mute and I wouldn’t be able to tell if I was watching an action movie, cartoon, news, or cooking show.
When I played hockey, I had to carve little channels in the lining of my helmet to make room for the frames. Swimming was also a pain. I couldn’t just run to the water; no, first I had to find some place to secure my damn glasses where they wouldn’t get stepped on, and there aren’t too many likely candidates when all you’ve brought to the beach is a towel and sandals. I couldn’t wear balaclavas in winter and scarves would make my breath ice up my lenses almost immediately. There was one memorable occasion when I went to Lynn Lake to visit family. The week I was up there was savagely cold. My uncle and I were out snowmobiling. Covering one’s face was a requirement, and so was a helmet so glasses weren’t an option. I got lost. I couldn’t find the huge trail of flurried snow my uncle’s snowmobile was leaving or the tracks, either. My uncle eventually noticed I wasn’t following and came back to find me but until he did, I was directionless in a sea of white. Stupid glasses. Well, really, stupid crappy eyes.
Glasses strongly limited my Halloween costume options, too. There was no Harry Potter when I was a kid. In one of my most notable patterns of idiocy, it never dawned on me to dress up as Clark Kent. I mean, Kent isn’t cool at all, but Superman is, and I could have worn a suit with the dress shirt open to display that iconic big red S. Lost opportunities. Oh well.
A few years ago I got laser surgery. That was the single biggest thrill of my entire life (sorry, kids, it beats your births by a country mile). Even now, hardly a day goes by where something doesn’t happen that makes me grateful for my spanky new vision. I still find myself moving a hand up to my nose to adjust glasses that aren’t there: muscle memory takes a long time to fade. Thank you to Alex and Libby for bankrolling my glorious surgery; best present ever. Ever.
(They gave me a video recording of the procedure and I’m going to see if I can figure out a way to put it up on my blog. It’s… quite a show.)
EDIT: It won't transfer over. A pity. I've never actually sat through the whole thing--I was too traumatized by the procedure to view it--but I was going to find the courage to watch it if I could get the file to work. Maybe it's just too old; it's from 2016, which is an eternity in tech terms.