The trouble with glasses is that every time the frames touch my face I internally cringe, recalling the cheap blue and white striped plastic pair I was prescribed as an awkward kid.
I have moved on from the jam jars mind. I tend to wear contacts mainly (or ton-tacts as my littlest refers to them) and then pop the specs on for the last few hours of the day, when the dregs of productivity have been exhausted by the bedtime routine, meaning my ass will undoubtedly be molded to the sofa for the remainder of the evening. Every now and again I toy with the idea of laser treatment but all that conjures to mind is some 80s Bond scene – as though mid-treatment Jaws is going to infiltrate the process and snuff me out!
Deadly laser beams aside, let’s face it, the ongoing maintenance of your peepers is traumatic enough. That stupid machine that puffs at you and the peer pressure of trying to read the bottom couple of lines from the chart when you and the optician both know you’re guessing, is enough to contend with. Irritatingly the husband has 20/20 vision! He usually finds it amusing to remind me that I’m only ever one check up away from a white stick and a Labrador! Although he ceased goading me after the last appointment, when I stupidly forgot my specs and thanks to that weird dye that makes your crusty sleep turn orange, couldn’t wear contacts either. Which resulted in him guiding me through a packed town centre, clinging to his arm for dear life. Although it was an interesting insight into old age!
The upshot of being unable to see anything for an hour or so was the unparalleled liberation! I felt like the invisible man, by my reasoning, if I couldn’t see anyone, they likewise couldn’t detect me. Imagine going to tuck in a label at the back of your top that’s annoying you and discovering a crusader’s cape! That’s what it felt like. My inhibitions were gone! I was #RogueBourne, I was ready to reverse off rooftops. If I’d have been carrying a red bag, god help anyone who’d have suggested I put it down! But alas pride comes before a fall and at the height of my swag I tried, unsuccessfully, to imitate Rihanna’s rude boy video – for one second I was owning it, the next I’d put my back out; such are the pitfalls of having an overactive imagination and early onset osteoarthritis. It seems Stormzy was right – I was getting way too big for my boots!
Once the kids realised my guard was down I became fair game for a sticker assault! Clothes is one thing, as a parent you give up on your attire having been subjected to a variety of projectile bodily fluids (I was mid nappy change once, it was a sloppy Joe, when my captor farted and a splatter actually landed on the corner of my specs!). The littlest stickered my eyelids! I felt as though I was in a recovery room coming round from anaesthetic, very disorientating! I hate stickers and they’re obsessed with them. This morning I put a pair of knickers on and a holographic My Little Pony ended up in territory even Ross Kemp wouldn’t dare to tread! I think it’s the closest I’ll ever get to a vajazzle – which I understand is where the pixies come and glitter bomb your fu-fu.
The worst thing about my dodgy vision is the false hope on the rare occasion I get chateau-ed and forget to take my contacts out. I awake the morning after looking like a mole with conjunctivitis. As I gingerly ease myself out of bed and my eyes begin to focus, I mean actually focus on my surroundings, I immediately fall for the subterfuge and buy into the misguided belief that owing to my late nan’s pilgrimages to Lourdes or, perhaps my plea trade-offs to Beelzebub, my sight has been miraculously restored.
There are perks to specs too I’ll grant you. You can’t beat stepping in from the cold or opening the oven door and a blanket of fog hampering your vision as though you just inadvertently stumbled onto the set of Stars in Their Eyes where an over zealous crew member is playing havoc with the smoke machine.
When I was growing up specs or ‘gigs’ were uncool. They were for geeks! But guess what. Geeks rule! We have our own sweets and subtly, little by little, as Pinky and the Brain collude, we’re taking over the world one Carlton dance at a time.