When I was 12 or so—I was in middle school, anyway—I went in for yearly eye exam and came out the other side with a very mild eyeglass prescription.
I think I faked it. I can’t remember clearly anymore, and even at the time, in the heat of the moment as it were, I don’t think I had a clear sense of the situation, but I think I may have intentionally underperformed on the eye exam in hopes of being given glasses. Waited a little too long to say something was in focus, been a little too uncertain about images I was certain about. That sort of thing.
I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I guess I was just curious.
The worst part is that, because I was (a) a perpetual, clueless fashion victim [note: I am now a stubborn, self-aware fashion victim], and (b) pretty much constantly freaked out about tangible family expenses at the time, I was unwilling to and unable to move myself to purchase attractive frames. I found myself standing before a wall of frames and looking at price tags. The cheapest frames were some not-yet-ironicly-popular horn rims that my mom had the good sense to talk me away from. We settled on a pair of large, thin black frames that were (phew!) under a hundred bucks.
I looked no cooler than before, wearing glasses, and they didn’t do anything, and my parents kind of expected me to be wearing them. Because I needed them, you know. The eye exam, and all that. I was a kid who could have used some cool injections, so the Glasses incident stands mostly as another milemarker post on the long, dark road of my post-elementary hellride.
About a year and a half ago [I think?] I finally crept back to the family ophtamalogist and got a checkup. (Yay for insurance!) I had been noticing increasing blurriness in the distance, especially in low light conditions. This time, it was indisputable: I needed glasses.
I bought some nice frames. They retailed at more than a hundred dollars, but insurance ate a chunk out of that. I actually like my glasses now, and while I don’t probably look exactly cool in them, I think I look reasonably good. So, small vengences: take that, awkward childhood!