It happened again.
I attended a gathering last night and met a good friend who complained to me,
" I smiled at you just now but you did not respond, I thought you've already forgotten who I am"
I apologized to her and continued with my usual explanation about my eyesight.
You see, my optometrist said I belong to the 10% of the population with similar eyesight condition. I discovered this a few years back. I suffered some prolonged headache, and decided to check my eyesight after running out of possible options in finding the remedy. I never quite noticed that I have eyesight problem.
When my optometrist became silent and kept repeating the procedure of checking my eyes, I became curious. Why did he kept on repeating it, and not saying a word to me?
Then I remembered that he had that look on his face (which I can't find a word to describe it right now) and announced,
" You are far sighted on the right eye and near sighted on the left eye"
" Wow.. is that possible? "
" Yup... about 10% have this condition"
That's why I failed to notice it before, because one of my eyes will always remain clear whether looking at an object nearby or in a distance. But the blurry vision of the other eye disturb the focus point, hence the headache comes. Only when I put on that ugly test spectacles that optometrist usually give you in the clinic, then I realized how clear the world should be with a good eyesight!
I was near sighted (on both eyes) and used to wear eyeglasses during my student days, but I simply abandon it after I graduated. I admit I don't like wearing one and since my condition was not that severe, I survived.
But after many years, the condition changed and turned to as it is now.
What is the problem then? I have a problem in getting good eyeglasses. The few attempts that I had, ended up in frustration. And I am not just referring to the cost. The lenses are not comfortable at all. I failed to adapt to the opposite lenses on both eyes, and multifocal lenses are even worse, so I only wear it once in a while when I really need it.
And usually after I explained my condition to others when they were offended because I did not return the smile they gave me, they will ask,
"Why don't your wear your eyeglasses then?"
To lighten up the situation my usual answer would be,
" I don't look good wearing it lah..I look like a teacher,." and they would laugh at me. Yes, besides the eyesight problem, I also have a psychological problem of self denial, a teacher who doesn't like the look of a teacher.. no cure for that, I guess.
So, before you accuse me of being arrogant for not responding to your friendly gesture, have some pity on me please... I just don't clearly see your face, so just come nearer and there you are.. I might have forgotten names sometimes, but I am a visual person, I don't forget faces easily.
However, if you are caught in a situation that you most likely prefer not being seen by me, don't worry, if you are far enough, I won't recognize you. How far is it? That's for me to know, and for you to wonder...