My optometrist is wonderful. Kind. Professional. Gentle. Brilliant. Compassionate. I hate him so much.
The hatred is obviously the It’s-not-you-it’s-me kind because he is great and all. It is simply that I wish never to see him again. That, of course, is the dilemma: that if I never see him again, then I may not see anyone again. It is a harder decision than it sounds when I say it out loud.
My first optometrist visit occurred in the third grade and taught me that I was blind in one eye. I remember quite well that my eyelids were turned inside out as part of the examination, which resulted in a more serious medical condition known as “the heebie jeebies” (self-diagnosis). The heebie jeebies is a terrible malady, and the chief treatment plan is to avoid all visits to an optometrist for as long as humanly possible. Seeing as I am nothing if not committed to a treatment plan, I did not visit another optometrist for thirty-three years (which, I’m just pointing out, Christians believe is the entire human life span of the Son of God, so I think that is a pretty good run).
But I caved several years back and that is when I met Dr. Wonderful, whom I hate if that was somehow left unclear. Oh, it is an irrational hatred. There were no eyelids turned inside out in the examination, so no heebie jeebies. The visit mostly consisted of rational adult conversation and semi-successful attempts to read tiny letters. I graduated to reading glasses, which wasn’t all that terrible either. There was only one negative . . . .
I have never been known for physical strength. That is probably because I have very little physical strength. But I’m telling you the truth, and you can ask my doctor, try to drop something into one of my eyes, and my eye muscles can lift a Buick—or at least a grown man wearing a miner’s hat holding a dropper.
(Why are all my superhero gifts so lame? Adding lists of numbers quickly, Olympic-strength eye muscles, 1980s-era NBA trivia, number of freckles…)
So, seeing as how dropping liquids into my eyes turns me into The Incredible Hulk, I took another few years between optometrist visits just out of respect for peace in the community, but last week in a moment of weakness I returned once more to the scene of the crime. It went as expected: I tossed Dr. Nice Guy around the examination room with my eye muscles like a professional wrestler and now have some new glasses on the way.
In sum, I guess it is clear that I avoid the very resource that helps me see the world more clearly because it creates a brief moment of discomfort. That doesn’t make a lick of sense for the eyes of my heart any more than it does for the eyes in my skull, and if clarity of vision means anything at all, I had just better learn to get over it.