I knew the jig was up when I put a heaped teaspoon of brown rice from the glass jar from the cupboard into my coffee. Somehow brown rice had transformed into brown sugar in front of my eyes!
Every year thousands of Australians have their eyes lasered which means that a good many of us will suddenly be confronted with the shocking vision of what things actually look like 100% of the time.
I’ve needed reading glasses for a while, but not for walking around generally. To my great embarrassment, I recently discovered that my spotless house was in actual fact a bit grubby and grimy around the edges.
The glasses perched on the top of my head slipped down my face one morning to reveal that the work-top that had appeared to be clean only seconds before, actually had breadcrumbs and strange little black dots sprinkled liberally all over the counter in the harder to reach places. On further inspection, I opened the cutlery draw and discovered to my horror more minor debris nestling amongst the stainless steel.
Fortunately, my husband is as blind as I am (we prefer not to put our glasses on first thing to ease into the day gradually without facing characters from the Rocky Horror Show).
So, he was blissfully unaware that in what seemed like a blinking of an eye, my eyesight had deteriorated to the point where permanent eye-ware was the only solution to avoid:
Possibly, this is an exaggeration as, until the covid pandemic, we afforded ourselves a fortnightly cleaner so a deep clean was at least regularly achieved every 14 days. But financial circumstances change and our cheerful cleaning couple who whizzed through the house are now a long distant (but very happy) memory.
I will point out at this moment, that my husband does “outdoor” duties and hangs out laundry while I look after the “inside”.
Unfortunately, laser surgery, although claimed a “miracle” by my friends who have taken the plunge, is out of our price bracket. And also, truth be told, I have an absolute fear of the procedure.
My mum (who was equally as squeamish as me) had her cataracts fixed years ago and said the process was a great deal easier than even she had anticipated. But, that was courtesy of our wonderful health system and her other option was blindness.
My grubby kitchen, enforcing permanent eye-glass wear versus using a very big chunk of our rainy-day savings, didn’t equate to that sort of bravery on my part.
I tried contacts a couple of years ago. Again, a hugely successful solution for millions of people worldwide. The optician gave me a crash course in the insertion of some 24-hour temporary lenses. He patiently watched my feeble attempts to get the darn things to attach to my eyeballs.
After several failed tries he kindly suggested that I take a break and have another go in the peace (and to my mind, less stressful environment) of my own home.
Never being one to rush in, when I can worry about a situation for a while first – I brooded on how best to insert the little beasts.
But after several useless and futile attempts, I gave up and left them in their cute little container in the bathroom.
Fatefully, we happened to have friends over for dinner the following weekend. After a few glasses of fortifying Shiraz, I found the bravery to have another go.
After dessert and before our after-dinner drinks, I faced up to the bathroom mirror.
I plucked a slippery little sucker for my “worst” eye out of its box and with much effort held my eyelids open with two fingers and with the other forefinger attempted to pat the little dot onto my watering eyeball.
Complete failure, and looking at myself in the mirror concluded the painful carnage had simply ended up with me dropping the offending item somewhere in the bathroom.
Feeling for my glasses to search, but no, it had vanished. I returned to my guests, red-eyed and mumbling something about allergies.
The following day, I found myself humming Marvin Gaye’s I can see clearly now as I drove to the supermarket.
And for the next six weeks, felt entirely pleased with myself that I had somehow turned back time and of course, did not yet need contacts or indeed glasses, for everyday use.
Imagine my surprise, while cleaning my teeth one evening, to find the missing contact lens glistening on the top of my cheek just below my tear duct.
The temporary 24 hours lens had been swimming around my eyeball for the previous SIX weeks, doing a pretty good job with no irritation whatsoever!
So yes, I know they can work.
But I needed something I could actually use sober, and the thought of that performance every day in both eyes was just too much.
So that was how I found myself back at the optician being measured for multifocal glasses.
I can actually see the lines on peoples’ faces on my favourite tv shows now and my house is indeed a lot cleaner. Subtitles on the tv are no longer Egyptian hieroglyphics.
But there are still quite a few times when I choose to live on the wild side and go eye-ware free. Often due to misplacing them – “they’re on your head mum” is a frequent refrain in our household, but also through choice to live a life that is a little blurry and soft around the edges.
As I say to my children, it’s my own built-in Instagram “beauty” feature and there is nothing wrong with life looking a little bit more beautiful now and then!