I knew ahead of time that I would get my eyes dilated, when I visited my local eye doctor. He always does that, but I couldn’t get off work early to see him, and I needed all the work hours I could get. So, I checked with my boss ahead of time, to see whether it was alright to wear sunglasses to work. He assured me it was fine, so by the time my appointment came around, I was slightly looking forward to it. Because who doesn’t want an excuse to wear your aviator sunglasses, all day long?
There were a few minutes when I thought I would have to wear those stupid disposable sunglasses over my glasses, though, when I asked the receptionist about it. She said I needed to wear my glasses. So, as soon as my doctor walked into the room, I immediately asked him why. Since the stuff they put in your eyes has some yellow dye, it probably ruins your contacts, so that’s why they didn’t recommend it. But I was on my final pair, planned to order new ones, and by golly, I wasn’t going to wear those ridiculous disposable glasses.
Up until a few minutes before he rechecked my eyes, I could see fairly well, so I had no recollection of how badly the full dilation messes up your vision. Usually, I go straight home and take a nap, instead of going to work. I left the examination room and went into the bathroom to put my contacts back in. And then found that I could barely see my contacts, so I’m lucky I didn’t drop either one and lose them. Also, I was praying I wouldn’t put them in backwards, because I couldn’t see them clearly enough for that, either.
Next holdup… my HSA account provides me with checks, not a debit card. Had it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to see it? Nope. Vaguely able to see the lines, I visualized it in my head and only managed to mess up one check, in the process. Do you take good vision for granted? I sure do. When I had to hold the check up to the receptionist, to see if I’d done it right, I felt like I was a child looking for approval in elementary school, again. Was it going to be this bad at work?
Quickly, I found that I could see distances just fine, it was writing and things close up that were trouble. So, I drove carefully to work and was highly amused when my co-workers started calling me Ray Charles, as soon as I walked in the door. And then, my vision started having some serious “fun” with me.
I could vaguely make out the numbers and words on my computer screen, so as long as I looked carefully, I could read it. Thankfully, I knew where everything was, already. The credit card machine was more interesting, with the numbers on the buttons unreadable, but I knew where they were supposed to be. I could barely see the numbers, after I had keyed them in. And when I counted the money in my drawer, before starting (as we always have to do), of course, the dimes were off and I had to count the tiniest coins several times, mostly by feel. I did it right, though.
My fellow cashiers and I were joking about whether I would have to ask the students what they ordered, instead of reading their Burger Studio receipts. But as long as I held those some distance from my face, I could read those. The best part was the expressions on the first ten students, when I swiped their credit cards… and then asked them to tell me the last four numbers on the card. Because I could NOT read them, try as I might. I knew that one or two of them were wondering why Fernow had hired a blind cashier.
We continued to joke about whether I would have to be on coffee duty, and refill all the cups… I still think it would have been funny if I’d try to brew double black in a canister labeled French Vanilla. They’d be in for a surprise. But fortunately, after about half an hour, my vision cleared up enough to see the numbers, and the day became quite fun.
I’ve always loved aviator sunglasses. I’ve tried them on for years, but never found the right size or color to them. They always looked too big for my face, or the lenses hung too far down on my cheekbones. The jealousy I went through, when some of my friends got them… you have no idea. : ) And then, one day, I found the perfect pair.
Apparently, I’m not the only one that loves aviator sunglasses. I knew that already, but it was fun to find it out for certain. They never seem to go out of style. And I got SO many compliments from both the guys and the girls. Of course, I didn’t get to use any of my funny excuses about why I was wearing them, as I had originally considered. My morning blindness had thrown that out of my head. I even had a good laugh when I had a customer and Anita didn’t, but one of the grad students waited to go through my line, just so he could demand what I had done to myself.
My favorite response was when one guy complimented the glasses, and then told me that “the sun never goes down on a bad-ass”. I laughed. And I kept chuckling all day long, because that one really made me smile. I’m a bit too much of a goof for anyone to ever have considered me a bad-ass, even when I’m riding around on the back of one of my brothers’ motorcycles. Now, if I’d ever gotten around to getting my own motorcycle license, maybe I could convince someone. I’m still the ONLY holdout in my family, when it comes to that.
By late afternoon, I was almost back to normal, as my eyes were no longer creepy enough to scare children with. I assure you, my favorite excuse would have been to tell people I was wearing sunglasses to keep from frightening the students. When your pupils are almost the size of your irises, it’s enough to scare yourself, when looking in a mirror. But with the late afternoon comes the blinding sunshine that beams through our front windows, as the sun begins to set. I kept taking my sunglasses on and off, at that point. With them off, the world was only slightly surrounded by an angelic fog.
The next morning, upon arriving at work, my co-worker demanded where my sunglasses were. My eyes are better, I don’t need them! “Aw, man, you’re not cool anymore”, he tells me. Sigh. The cool factor will ever be out of my reach when I’m indoors or the sun is down, apparently. ; ) And there were a few students that all wanted to know where my aviators went. I really SHOULD get my eyes dilated more often.