I can see clearly now | Mark’s Remarks

marksSeemingly overnight, I needed glasses. I didn’t see it coming.  It crept upon me like a thief.

The first time I noticed it was at church. We were sitting in our small group room and our teacher asked me to read some scripture. I noticed a bit of a fuzzy quality. I held my Bible farther away. People laughed at me and I laughed at myself. I mispronounced a word or too, not because I could not read, but because I could not see clearly.

I already knew what a pain in the neck glasses were. My oldest son had them at age 2. He would take them off in strange places and stow them away.

Once, when I asked him where his glasses were, he kept saying “motorcycle.” I contained my anger. I mean, how could you get mad at an innocent 2-year-old? Finally, I walked out into the yard and opened the little seat on the toy motorcycle he often rode around on the sidewalk. Indeed, the glasses were in the motorcycle.

So, off I went to get my eyes checked. I needed just a low-strength prescription. The glasses were ugly.

I still contend that glasses are a bit of a scam.  The more I wore them, the more I realized I needed them. Furthermore, after I had already ordered and paid for my glasses, the nurse at the clinic informed me I could have probably gotten by with buying the cheap “readers” at the dollar store.  Thanks for the information, I told her.

My entire life changed.  Since I wasn’t used to them, I would leave them at home and not be able to do small tasks. I would ask my kids to read things to me. I would hold things far away from me and walk over to get better light.

I did indeed go to the dollar store and buy about three pairs of the cheap “readers.” Guess what? I liked them better and thought they looked nicer.

Yes, I’ve gotten into a whole new realm of my life. I have become the funny, quirky person who forgets his glasses are on his head.

Once, when I was taking care of various projects around the house, I had on a pair, a pair was on top of my head, and there was a pair hanging on the front of my shirt.

My sister-in-law cuts my hair, so I won’t give her too much grief. One day, after paying my bill, I rushed back into the salon to retrieve my glasses.  In a tone reserved for small children and people who need lots of assistance, she said “Oh honey, they are on your head.”  I noted the pity and amusement in her voice.  “Just wait,” I said.

The oldest son no longer wears glasses. He has “grown out” of the eye problems of his toddler-hood. We no longer fret or worry about him losing his glasses.

One of the other kids recently asked me if I would someday “grow out of” my eye problems.  I wonder.

I continued to misplace my “readers,” even after I put my prescription glasses in a strategic place, kept a pair at school and a pair on my person most of the time.

So, my latest idea was to find readers in bulk. I ordered about 12 pairs for a fraction of the cost of buying individual pairs for $6 at the dollar store.  Buying in bulk was the way to go.

I received my package one day and opened it as if it were Christmas morning.  Would you believe there were several pairs in the box? And two different colors; no fooling. Some had a brown tint and some had a black tint. Cheap. Plentiful. Dare I say a bit stylish.

I put a pair in each glove compartment of each car. I put a pair in each bathroom (library).  I put a pair on the nightstand and one in my book bag. I stowed a couple away for good measure.

I decided to go out into the sleet the other night and plug the Christmas lights into a timer.  The directions for the timer were on the back. The porch light was off. It was dark. The weather was fierce.

I guess I should have put a pair under the welcome mat or in a flower pot.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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