Maybe Clark Kent was on to something

I’ve been at my current job for over two years now, and for the first time, I wore glasses there yesterday. Most of my coworkers noticed and commented on it, some didn’t, but one coworker’s husband didn’t even recognize me.

In his defence, we don’t see each other that often, but in his prosecution, we see each other enough that glasses shouldn’t provide me with a secret identity. We’ve socialized occasionally (with his wife – don’t be getting ideas) and work together sporadically. I wondered why he wasn’t as friendly and funny as usual at first, until his wife told me he’d asked her if he should know me. He called me Clarkette after that.

I’ve had glasses since I was 10, and probably needed them long before that, but since getting contacts at age 14 I rarely wear glasses in public. They make me feel self-conscious, like a flashback to being that awkward, shy 10 year old who went to a new school at least every year and got labelled the walking encyclopedia without the burden of nerd glasses. It’s ridiculous, but they make me feel noticed, like everyone’s staring at me because I have this giant thing on my face. My brain knows no one really cares, even if they do notice. I think glasses look good on other people. But I can’t get my brain to talk to my neuroses.

However, my eyes have been irritated for the last week or so, probably because I need new contacts, too, and my old glasses were no longer wearable in public, since they’re like the eyewear version of a jalopy – the paint is chipping off and the screws fall out with sudden movements. So I got new ones, and after spending that much on them, I’m damn well going to wear them (at least until my new contacts come in).

Human neck muscles are not meant to carry the weight of the lenses I’d need without getting the microthin, macroexpensive ones. No matter how great the benefits package – and the one at my workplace is pretty great – vision care never comes close to covering the cost of either microthin glasses or toric contacts, never mind both. After blanching at the bill, I seriously thought about thinking about eye surgery for the first time, since it wouldn’t be too long before it’d pay for itself.

I just can’t get my head around the fact that they cut your eyeballs. People try to reassure me by saying they use a laser. Sure. Know what the laser does? It cuts. Your eyeballs. And there’s possible complications, and it might not correct my vision completely, and I might not be a candidate anyway. Plus, I might lose my newfound secret identity.

But I’ll give it serious thought … next time.

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9 Responses to Maybe Clark Kent was on to something

  1. wcdixon says:

    I’ve worn glasses forever…can’t imagine myself without them – they’re an appendage. And the notion of lasering the eye or even having something on the eye (contacts) is just something I can’t still imagine doing. So it goes.

  2. DMc says:


    Section 1.1.
    First of all, men do make passes at girls who wear glasses.

    Second, I have astigmatism. And despite what every friend I have from high school insists, that is not when your palms bleed.

    I went through an enjoyable flirtation with contacts for a year or so that ended when I went to South Africa. I tried wearing the lenses twice. I was near the sea. It didn’t work. Never went back.

    It’s important for you to know a couple of things:

    a) the Clark Kent effect is real
    b) It means that you’re a basically different person and can do whatever you want, to whoever you want
    c) Please refer to section 1.1


  3. Diane Kristine says:

    You crack me up, DMc.

    You’ve inspired me to wear my glasses to work again today, even though I picked up my new contacts last night.

    I work with 99% women and 1% old married guy, so I’m kind of hoping no one makes a pass at me today, though.

  4. Elen says:

    I liked reading your post, ’cause I’m probably the exact opposite 🙂 I’ve worn glasses since third grade, and even though I own contacts, I really only wear them when I’m performing in a play or going to Homecoming. When I wear them, I feel exposed and self-concious. Iiiinteresting.

    And yes, Lasik scares me. Laser + eyeball= *faints*

  5. Anonymous says:


    My sister, a medical doctor who wore contacts for years and who now wears glasses, has avoided laser surgery, which she dismissively calls, “elective.” When you get older laser surgery will make your presbyopia (age-related far-sightedness) worse.


  6. Diane Kristine says:

    That’s funny Elen – so completely opposite. But I bet it’s because you’re used to glasses, I’m used to contacts, and if we get out of our comfort zone we feel weird.

    Tom, yeah, my cousin’s wife is an opthalmologist and she won’t get it done because she’s too aware of the risks, and my other cousin’s wife is a patent/copyright lawyer and she said she wouldn’t get it done because she sees there are new techniques coming up all the time and it’s not perfected yet. Then she went and got the surgery and loved it. Still. Did I mention they cut your eyeballs?

  7. DMc says:

    Four eyes good. Two eyes bad.

    And two eyes with no night vision in ten years? Dumb. If Lasers are going to be cutting my eyeballs, I would very much like to believe it’s because Dr. BadGuy is trying to get me to give up the location of the secret rebel base. Not cause I’m vain.

  8. Diane Kristine says:

    Or cheap, I suppose. Cause it’s the economics that got me thinking. The vanity is just a bonus.

  9. Julia says:

    I got the surgery 6 years ago, and it changed my life! Plus, it was kind for free (I was so blind that my my “medicare” cover it).

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