Thursday, September 24, 2009

Letters from the DL

I had every intention of blogging about the Cowboys impecunious performance on Sunday night. But as you can tell by my use of a word that I didn’t know a week ago, I’ve been sidelined for the past three days. With an affliction so debilitating, so demoralizing and so life-changing that I pondered my own mortality over the past anguish-filled 72 hours. That’s right, I have pink eye. This has been crippling for me in many respects. The first being that this is my first real foray into the world of pink eye. As a child, I adeptly sidestepped the Curse of the Eye of Pink many times and attributed other children’s acquisition of it to be a direct result of their love of putting their own or other people’s fecal matter into their eyes. I wasn’t into that type of thing and therefore, I never had to experience the shame of pink eye.

Nothing has changed about my refusal to let human or mammalian waste of any kind anywhere near my face, let alone my eyeballs. I haven’t had some sort of late 20’s meltdown wherein I question what I want to do in life and search for the answers in the bottom of pile of poo. I cannot reiterate again how absolutely sure I am that there have been no particles of solid waste anywhere near my eyes in the past 28 years. So let me serve as a warning to you. Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to smear dung all over one’s face to get pink eye. In fact, the only crime I am guilty of is having allergies. Basically, I have been rubbing my eyes because of allergies for the past week or so. I wear contacts in which pollen and other allergens can embed themselves. The rubbing caused tiny, microscopic tears and cuts in my eyes. Into those, any bacteria can take the express train to Infection Town. Which they did. So that explains about 90% of the reasoning for me wearing this eye patch.

Lesson number two that I want to share with you through my one good eye is: make sure that you buy glasses every decade or so. Not because of changes in prescription, because my prescription has not changed since the first time I got glasses and contacts when I was 15 years old. But therein lies the problem. Let’s review the tape on what I was like when I was 15. I listened to The Smiths, I sulked a lot and I was an avid reader. My favorite author at the time was Truman Capote. No harm there. Or was there? Yes, there was. When I was told that I needed to get my very first pair of glasses, I walked into Eyemasters and declared that I wanted the most Truman Capote frames they carried. The lady that worked there tried, in vain, to discourage me from this pursuit. But it was of no use. I got exactly what I wanted. I got Truman Capote glasses. Let’s put it this way: it wasn’t like it was going to put a real dent on my dating life since such a thing did not exist for me in high school really.

I could chalk this all up to the life lessons that one picks up in those oh-so-awkward teenage years. Only when it was discovered that I had pink eye, I was told that I could not wear my contacts again until the problem cleared up. I also could not get a new pair of glasses because my prescription was expired and I would need to take a new eye exam once the Peepers Plague of ’09 had been cured. So the only options I had were to a) cocoon myself into a blurry world of calling in sick to work with “blindness” or to b) dig out the only pair of glasses that I have ever owned (AKA “the Capotes”). I found them. Oh dear, did I find them. These were never okay to wear. I don’t care if I loved the works of Truman Capote or if the ghost of Truman Capote saved my childhood dog from being hit by a car or whatever, these are unforgiveable.

And I know because I have been wearing them for three days and must continue to wear them until my follow-up appointment on Monday. I might also mention that they sit slightly crooked on my face from 13 years of being at the bottom of various boxes in various states and countries. I have learned that I would rather risk walking face first into walls or into open elevator shafts than to have to wear these glasses for anything other than driving and being able to do my job at work. In fact, I’ve been almost pressing my face to my computer screen just to avoid having to wear these things on my face.

This is not a slight against eyeglasses or the wearers thereof. I assume most people do not pick their eyeglasses out based on the preference of tortured, alcoholic author but by how the frames suit their face. That would have been an invaluable lesson that I could have learned at 15 but instead, I stubbornly insisted that I knew what I was doing. On Tuesday, my first day of wearing the Capotes, I even thought that I might be able to pull it off in a hipster, “ugly is the new pretty” sort of way. I did not. These things are hideous. So unless you are planning some sort of get together which requires no eyesight whatsoever (like maybe being a Defensive Coordinator to Wade Philips?), I’ll be staying in and laying low this weekend.

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