Dear non-spectacle-wearing member of the general public,
I am writing this letter because I feel that it is my duty to make you less ignorant enhance further your substantial knowledge regarding the daily problems faced by us ordinary spectacle-wearing folk. I am the voice of the hapless people who cannot read this without a light microscope and an oil lens. I hope to bring justice to that person who, as you read this, is stumbling around searching desperately for the pair of spectacles that he/ she is holding. I will be the saviour of the downtrodden, the humiliated, and the virtually blind. To top it all, I shall not get carried away in my praise of my own heroism and unparalleled greatness. I like to think of myself as modest, you see.
Let’s move on, shall we?
You, as a (presumably) non-spectacle-wearing citizen, may not understand what all the brouhaha is about. Why is wearing spectacles such a major issue? Wake up in the morning, wear spectacles, take them off before you go to bed. The end.
But oh no it isn’t.
Allow me to describe for you one day in the life of an ordinary spectacle-wearer. Being a spectacle-wearer since the age of nine, I feel that I have adequate experience in these things:
The alarm rings. You open your eyes. The logical thing to do would be to switch off the alarm before it wakes the dogs, or the neighbours, or the drunk guy on your lawn. So you do. Except you really don’t. If, like me, you’re halfway to being clinically blind, you will knock over a whole shelf of books, a bedside lamp and a soft toy you stole from your neighbours’ baby before you actually get to the alarm. And even then, the alarm only switches off because the clock’s fallen to the ground and shattered.
Now that you’ve successfully managed to switch off the alarm, you stumble around looking for your spectacles. 53% of a spectacle-wearer’s time is spent looking for his spectacles. And 78 % of that time, the spectacle-wearer is actually wearing the spectacles. Okay, I just made that up. But still, it feels like a lot of time searching for something that is, in all probability, on your head. My searches usually culminate in my family gathering to watch and snigger as I explore corners of my house that I’ve never seen before and trip repeatedly over small objects placed in suspiciously strategic positions.
Okay, so you finally find the specs on the floor with the books and the alarm clock, so you wear them and head off to school/ college/ work/ however else you spend the time left from searching for the glasses (by which I mean spectacles, not receptacles). In school/ college/ work etc. you start talking to a friend, and somehow, one of four discussions comes up. I’ve titled them according to their subject matter: ‘Spectacles and Eyesight’, ‘Spectacles and Family’, ‘Spectacles and Fashion’ and ‘How far can you throw this scrap of paper?’ The fourth does not currently concern us, and I’ll get to it some other day. But the other three are bound to proceed in the following way:
1. Spectacles and Eyesight
You take off your glasses briefly to rub your eyes. At this very moment your non-spectacle-wearing friend asks you to read something printed in font size 8. “I can’t see a thing without my glasses,” you say, casually. “Really?” your friend asks incredulously. “So how many fingers am I holding up?”
Non-spectacle-wearers, when you say things like that, it is very difficult for us to restrain ourselves from punching you in the face and saying, “No fingers; here’s a clenched fist.” Or maybe we’d respond by showing you one finger. You must understand this: poor eyesight, squinting and blindness are not all the same thing. They are in no way equivalent to each other. Repeat this to yourself if you find it hard to understand. They is not same. They is different. Oh, and also, please don’t assume that people wearing spectacles can see more clearly than people who have perfect eyesight. If that were true, they wouldn’t be spectacles anymore, they’d be X-ray goggles.
2. Spectacles and Family
Your non-spectacled friend looks at a picture of your brother (who also wears spectacles) and says, “Oh, he looks just like you!” Doesn’t matter if your brother looks nothing like you, or even if the person in the picture is not your brother. If you both wear spectacles, it follows logically that you must both look alike.
Okay, I’m not even going to dignify this with a response.
3. Spectacles and Fashion
Your non-spectacled friend, in a fit of misplaced enthusiasm, decides that he/ she wants glasses too, ‘cause they, like, look so cool.’ So he/ she goes out and buys nerd glasses.
Nerd glasses should not be called that because they are neither nerdy nor are they glasses. Being a nerd myself, I can tell you from experience that wearing square glasses with thick black frames does not make you a ‘nerd’. Please. You underestimate the difficulty of being a nerd. If everyone wearing ‘nerd glasses’ was really a nerd, the world would be a much smarter place. Don’t get me wrong. I’m fine with people wearing them. I just believe that they should be classified as a fashion accessory rather than visual aid.
Right. So you’ve faced one of three situations and you return home. By then you’re so fed up of having the pesky things on the bridge of your nose that you take them off and then stumble around the house blindly for a few hours, dropping things and generally being very destructive. At night, you place the glasses carefully in a case before you go to bed. Sometime between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up your glasses will have acquired a life of their own which will have allowed them to find some mysterious corner to hide in.
And that, dear non-spectacle-wearers, is a day in the life of a spectacle-wearer.
I hope this heart-wrenching narration of our daily ordeals has generated some sympathy amongst those of you who had no knowledge of the perils we face. For those of you who already support my worthy cause – you’ve just read a thousand words for nothing at all. Ha ha.
And to my fellow sightless friends: see you! (no pun intended)
A bespectacled blogger called Mushroomsup.