Without glasses or contacts my vision has always ranged somewhere in the middle between a drunk frat guy and Mr. Magoo. This started early and before I knew it was given glasses made famous by 65 year-old high school math teachers the world over. This helpfully provided girls with an additional reason to be repulsed by me. You never heard a girl say, "I SO want to make out with that guy. I just want to rip those sexy grandpa glasses right off his face, and then put them back on carefully because he couldn't see what he was doing without them, provided he knew what to do in the first place, which is doubtful."
So I never wore them, choosing instead to have no idea what was going on in class. But I was 0.000000000003 more attractive in my ignorance. It was completely worth being horrible at math, as I was unable to calculate how much better my chances for dates were, having no idea what was written on the chalkboard when we got to the unit on probability.
This permeated well into my 30s, though by this time I had contacts. This was a mild improvement, though I was repeatedly chastised by optometrists for forgetting to put in new contacts at regular intervals, though it had more to do with being cheap than outright forgetfulness as a year's supply of contacts ranged somewhere in the neighborhood of six million dollars.
But contacts had their drawbacks too, as I had to remove them at night, which made navigating around my house akin to Indiana Jones traipsing about a booby-trap-infested pyramid. I grew tired of walking around the house at night stepping on my three-year-old's toys like she was re-creating the break-in scene from Home Alone. The cats were starting to grow annoyed when I'd accidently step on their faces.
LASIK was the solution.
For those unfamiliar, LASIK is the procedure where someone fires a laser beam at your eyeballs and you pay them a ridiculous sum for the privilege. I tried explaining to my three-year-old about the procedure and she got very excited.
"Can I do it?" she asked.
I was confused until she came back into the living room holding the laser pointer she uses to torment the cats.
"You might be a little young," I said, breaking the news to her gently. "And I think you need more schooling, starting by going to school."
If you're considering getting LASIK, there are some things you should know:
You get Valium.
This is perhaps the greatest benefit of the entire thing, though those people are incredibly uncooperative when you go back 45 minutes later for "refills."
You also have to bring a driver to take you home. This person has the privilege of experiencing you on Valium. My wife drew the short straw and accompanied me.
After enjoying my hand and life in general as the Valium worked on my empty stomach, I patiently waited forsomething. I couldn't remember. Everything just felt so peaceful.
"Kelly?" the nurse called.
I looked around. "Come on, guy," I thought. "You're holding up the line." Then I made a butterfly with my hands.
"I'll take his spot," I joked to the waiting area, which killed with all the guys that already took their Valium.
"That's YOU," my wife said, nudging me with her elbow.
"Who are you?" I demanded. "Your elbow feels like dry pasta."
"Kelly?" the nurse called again.
"Hot dang!" I proclaimed, hop-skipping over to her. "You're the best!"
They took me over to what appeared to be a barber chair in what I hilariously called "The Green Room." The chair looked a lot like the Captain's chair on the starship Enterprise. This was the pre-surgery chair.
"I'm going to give you some numbing drops," the most excellent nurse said.
I nodded. "Show me," I replied. "On screen."
She looked around. "What?"
"Engage," I replied in my best Jean-Luc Picard voice (very convincing). I started to think that maybe my passion for Star Trek may have had some bearing on girls avoiding me in school, but I chose not to dwell on that, because Valium.
"Just sit back for a few moments," she said.
"That's why I like you best," I told her. Then, in a serious, hushed tone, "Don't tell the others."
Did I end up getting laser heat X-ray vision? Read the epic conclusion next week!
Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or, now, by standing 10 feet away from me doing sign language. He won't know what you're "saying", but now he can see what you're doing. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny or he'll sink your Battleship.