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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