[This originally appeared in The Journal, a print publication in Seneca, S.C.]
Apparently 2018 is going to be a year of firsts for me.
Writing this, we’re 25 days into the year and I’ve already had two experiences that I wasn’t counting on taking place any time soon. First, as regular readers will remember, was the great chicken slaughter of 2018. Everything went well, by the way. Our church still has a preacher, so I didn’t contaminate anything.
The second task was honestly a little more terrifying for me, yet it was a necessary evil. It wasn’t as bad as the dentist, but getting an eye exam is a close runner-up to necessary well checks and is allegedly a contingency of being an adult.
As it turns out, avoiding eye exams for a decade doesn’t make them any less worrisome for someone who breaks into a cold sweat at the sight of those little black letters.
But, back in December, my dad had a teensy tiny speck of cancer removed from his eye, so it seemed in my best interest to use my new eye insurance to get the ol’ peepers checked out.
I made a quick call to Seneca Optical to set up my appointment, and then another a few days later to reschedule it —not because I wimped out, but because news happens unpredictably.
Alas, it was time. I made it to the office, filled out my paperwork and let Dr. Prescott begin the torture. Or exam, whichever you want to call it.
Just like in the movies, we did the “which is better, one or two?” thing where she changed lenses in front of my face. I wasn’t very good at picking, but I was doing a great job of nervously picking at my nails.
I embraced the vibrant yellow eye drops and then the dreaded dilation. Having never experienced this before, I didn’t heed her warning too well when she told me I’d lose the ability to see up close for a while.
I grabbed my phone to text my mom and sister and let them know my vision was still good as ever, minus astigmatism in my left eye.
I also took a few selfies so I could see how big my pupils were, but as it turns out, I couldn’t see my phone to view the photo. Or take the picture.
A woman walked in to pick some new frames and her shoes reminded me of a pair my best friend, Jenny, wants for her birthday. I sent Jenny a picture of mostly the floor and attempted a message letting her know I’d found her shoes on a lady who could be our mom.
By the time Jenny replied — presumably that the shoes are cute regardless — I couldn’t read my phone no matter how far away I held it from my face. Is that what people with bad vision live with all the time?
It was like visiting a secret world for a little while, but it seems I’m out of vacation days so my next trip to can’t-see-crap land will have to wait.
Caitlin Herrington is slowly becoming an adult against her will. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.