War Criminal: Contact Lenses

January 06, 2009 | Comments (1) | by ,

The minute I turned 18, my vision started to go down the toilet. At first, I only needed to wear glasses when I was driving at night or when I couldn't read the menu board at Baja Fresh. But slowly, my vision has gotten worse...Nowadays, I can't really see anything that's more than 2 feet away...And on top of that, I have astigmatism in one of my eyes, so when I don't have my glasses on, everything's blurry. So now that I have to wear my glasses all of the time, it was suggested that I might want to look into contacts. At first this seemed like a good idea...With glasses, I'm always worried that I'm going to take them off for a few minutes, and accidentally leave them somewhere. I also worry that they'll fall off my face and I'll accidentally step on them, like that scene in "A Christmas Story" (minus the bb gun)...Or that I'll trip and fall on the sidewalk and they'll end up in a sewer drain. You don't have to worry about these things with contacts. However, the minute I was handed my first pair of contacts...I began to realize that they completely and utterly blow.

First of all, I could write an entirely seperate War Criminal about the person who was in charge of my "contact lens training." Since I'd never worn contacts before, the doctor made me come in for an hour of "training" - where I learn how to put on my contacts, clean my contacts, etc. You wanna know what my "training" consisted of? Basically, a very busy receptionist sat me down, spent 10 seconds showing me how to put my contacts on, then left me alone while she answered the phone. Every once in a while, she'd come back over and say "No - you're doing it wrong! You have to put it on your eye!" No shit, Sherlock! I'm well aware I have to put the damn lens on my eye! Pardon me if I'm a little slow because I've never shoved a piece of flexible plastic in my eye! Fuck you!" It seriously took me an hour to figure out how to put these damn things on. There's none of this complicated training with glasses...The doctor says "Here are your new glasses," you put them on, and it's a done deal. Strike one against contact lenses...

Then, there's the actual method you have to use to put on the contacts. With glasses, you stick them on your face, and you're golden. With contacts, you basically have to beat the shit out of your eye in order to get the lens in there. You pull your upper eyelid back with one of your fingers, pull down your lower eyelid with another finger, and then stick the contact in your eye with a third finger. I think I pulled out half my eyelashes the first time I tried doing this. I also poked myself in the eye about half a dozen times. Why on God's green earth would I want to do this to myself every morning? And the removal process ain't pretty, either. Strike two against contact lenses.

Another reason I hate contact lenses? My eyes always get dry when I wear them, so I have to use eyedrops several times during the day. This makes me look like I just smoked a joint in the bathroom. Not really the impression I want to make in front of my boss or my in-laws. There are no red, itchy eyes with glasses. And you certainly don't look like a stoner wearing them. Glasses make you look sophisticated and smart...When I wear them, I feel like I could solve those complicated math problems that Matt Damon was always solving in "Good Will Hunting." I don't feel like this wearing my contacts. Strike three against contact lenses.

Then, you've got the process of cleaning your contact lenses. After you remove them every day, you have to squirt solution on them, rub the crap off of them, put more solution on them, then stick them in the case. Maybe I'm just slow, but I lose about 10 minutes of my life each day doing this...And that's time I could've spent hanging out with my loved ones...Or reading...Or exercising...Or watching "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" re-runs. With glasses, you clean 'em with a cloth every once in a while and you're good. Strike four against contacts...

And here's the final reason I hate contacts: The cost. Yes, glasses can be expensive at first...But they last for years...And when you need a new prescription, most places will only charge you to replace the lenses if you keep your frames in good shape. Is this the case with contacts? No. You've gotta buy several pairs - the number depends on how often you throw yours away - and since I have astigmatism, I have to wear special contacts that cost about double what your basic pair of contacts costs. You've also gotta buy the cleaning solution and the stoner eyedrops. When all was said and done, a year's worth of contacts costs a pretty penny (at least it did in my case). Oh yeah, and at my optometrist, the eye exam for contacts was about double what the eye exam for glasses cost. Bullshit. Strike five against contacts...

So perhaps I just need to "get used to" having contacts, but for now, I really fucking hate them. The end.


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