Sunday, January 20, 2013

Glasses and Sailor Dresses

So this morning... er... afternoon... I was reading reddit and one of the questions was..

What medical condition do you have that you thought was absolutely normal?

One of the answers was something to the effect of "I never knew my vision was bad when I was a kid until I got my first pair of glasses and was like, woah, trees have leaves!"

It reminded me of when I got my first pair of glasses and everything I've been through with my poor, poor vision.

I've had glasses since I was 5 or so. My first pair of glasses were these god awful pair of red plastic frames big enough to be classified as "owl frames" that my mom said brought out the red glow in my cheeks and landed me endless teasing.

I have this picture of myself in these owl frames and I'm in this sailor dress. I remember the photo shoot. It was one of those old Kodak photo studios where they put you in some dark room with a little stage with a generic grey painted background and you sit on some pillows and they take your picture. Every child had these pictures taken, it seemed.

This time the photographer creeped me out. I hated him. I just got this nasty vibe from him and I was too young to really know why. He had me smile and complimented me and I just felt sick. My dress was itchy wool and I hated the sailor dress. It had this stupid little white fabric patch over the front or it'd be low cut and he made some creepy comments about it when it came undone and I felt like his voice was slippery. I didn't want to smile. He told me if I didn't, he'd hang me by my ankles and tickle my knees until I laughed.

I remember that comment so well. I remember fake smiling and thinking that if he hung me by my ankles my dress would fall over my head and then the picture would be ruined and he'd see more than I'd ever want him to see. The mental image was burned into my brain. Me, hanging by my ankles with my dress over my head, him laughing and trying to get a good photo... He was really creepy and I didn't like him.

I don't remember much else about that photo shoot, to be honest. I think the pictures turned out ok. I still remember that comment. It still makes me shudder. Why would a photographer suggest to hang a kid by their ankles and tickle their knees?

I hated that sailor dress and I hated those glasses. I never wanted to see that dress again.

But, I was stuck with the glasses. Lucky for me, I had my vision change so much as a kid I had new frames a year or two later when my prescription changed again. The next time I got frames, I got smaller ones because I was tired of being teased for having owl eyes. Now days I still prefer smaller frames. I always marvel that I can see the leaves on the trees with my glasses on, without them, trees are just a blobby mess of green and brown. I can't imagine not having my glasses.

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