Monday, December 12, 2011

Pause & Rewind: Specky Four Eyes

As a child I was always proud of the fact that I didn’t get nosebleeds (in hindsight my half of my primary school class must have been hemophiliacs as I’ve never been in a such a large group of people who had daily nosebleeds), and I didn’t wear glasses (e.g. my eyes worked).  At the age of 29 I have now let down my childhood self, though I’ve still never once had a nosebleed.

I was sat at work in a meeting, squinting at the powerpoint presentation 10 metres away. I couldn’t read a thing, and naturally assuming that my eyes were perfect I consulted my neighbours who told me they had no such issue. I assumed it was a bad joke on their part, insisting that I should get my eyes checked, until everyone stopped laughing. Thankfully the room was mostly full of strangers as I would have otherwise ignored them and gone to the projector and focused it to my own (inferior) optical requirements in the false belief my belief that my body is infallible.

I’m not going to start blogging on my fears of ageing until I pass 30, but right now I’m in a vulnerable place: my body is fallible. What started as a slight suspicion formed during this year’s Roland Garos that I am now older than most of the top male tennis players, has now turned into the realization that not only will I not have time to train for and win a Grand Slam because all my competitors would have the benefit of youth on their side, but also I because I would also not be able to see the ball. 

Since my first day at work in Tajikistan, aged 24, I’ve had to convince everyone that I was older than I appeared (mainly by not opening my mouth). Now that I wear glasses, I have to argue to convince people that I am the youngest in the office. The rapid onset of blindness is even affecting my sense of humour. My colleague noted that I was wearing new glasses and I responded that working in the humanitarian sector was like masturbating: if you do too much of it you go blind. Apparently they don’t have that saying in Indonesia.

Wearing glasses does have its benefits. The new HD TV which we bought a month ago has suddenly got even more HD. Actually that’s the only benefit I can think of. How are you supposed to select your first pair of glasses at the age of 29? It’s like redefining a personal style which I never had in the first place. It takes me several days to choose a new pair of shoes, yet these things are supposed to go on my feet.  No matter how many different styles I tried on, I either look like Sven Goran Erikson or Dennis Taylor. In desperation I googled “George Clooney + glasses” and guess what: there is not a single photo of George Clooney wearing corrective lenses. Game Over.

Glasses even make my Macbook Pro look crap
I try to use them dramatically to emphasise a strong or clever point during discussions at work. The problem is that whilst waving and pointing them around the room either drop them, or smudge the lenses and so have to go through the laborious process of polishing the lenses. Every morning I go through a five minute routine of finding my watch, wallet and house keys which drives my wife crazy. Now my glasses have added another two minutes to that ordeal. And how come no one has invented glasses that don’t steam up when you drink a hot cup of tea?

My life is over.


  1. Aaaah - now I understand the trendy look ;). Actually, to be honest I hardly noticed your new glasses, and did not realise they were a new experience. I also hate being a specky four eyes, and have been one since the age of 6 when I had an experience like yours, but in the classroom.

    However, on the positive side, I can offer the services of Optimal Optical Accessorising consultant, Mr Jigme who can advise both on the need of a multitude of pairs of glasses and on the wealth of places to search when said glasses are nowhere to be found. Mr J has considerable experience and expertise in misplacing glasses and this is the rationale behind his main argument for maximising his spectacular portfolio.

    Welcome to the club. It's not too bad, really.....

  2. Thanks for the kind words. After a month I'm getting used to them, and now realise when I should be wearing them and I'm not (mainly watching television). Jessica has tried them on and realises that she sees better with them, so I reckon she's next.

    I want Mr Jigme's yellow glasses that he wears for cycling, but first I want to be introduced to his portfolio. In the Yangon world of $40 frames, how many frames is too many?

    I also need to speak to Mr Jigme about getting another tattoo, but that is another discussion altogether.