In seventh grade, I got hit in the face with a softball. (Could’ve easily been eighth. Damn time flies.) Kerplunk. Smack on the bridge of the nose – blood, emergency room and all. This is the day my dad doesn’t like to remember. I’m not too fond of it, either.
In school I made excellent grades, sat toward the front of the classroom and got things done. I had my tricks. I had my ways. I was successful in not revealing the tiny fact that I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see the chalkboard for sure. In fact, I couldn’t really see past the desk in front of me. But man was I good at making it work. A middle school kid with braces doesn’t want glasses on top of that, am I right?
That’s when the world decided to out me with that softball. After sitting in the emergency room for what seemed like ages (bloody, broken noses are understandably < gunshot wounds), we were brought to an examination room. Initial inspections occurred, followed by everyone stepping out before the doctor came in, everyone but me that is. Having heard they would check my eyes to make sure nothing was wrong there, I panicked. NO! I WILL NOT START WEARING GLASSES NOW! I had a way out. The eye chart was attached to the back of the door. I stood behind the door, attempting to commit each and every letter to memory. I was gonna beat this doctor at his own game. Except not. Because they came walking in – doctor, dad and mom – having essentially caught me with my pants down, eyes focused on the door. Clearly, the doctor had seen this pathetic attempt before. That’s when the shame hit, when dad started to feel like a bad parent because he didn’t know his daughter needed glasses. Nobody needed to know. Things were working! Oops. (Happy early birthday, dad. I’m still sorry about that!)
Anyway. The unorthodox way I went about, uhh, revealing my vision problems hasn’t made me a person who gets excited about the eye doctor. After that hospital visit, I wore contacts all the time, except maybe here and there before bed when I wore a pair of glasses with a several years old prescription. But since moving here, my contacts have given me trouble in the strange season called winter. My eyes get dry and cranky, especially if I sleep on the train. Still I didn’t want to get tested. The problem with eye tests when you can’t see is that most answers you give are wrong. Is that a B? S? H? P? Fuck if I know and I don’t like being wrong. Don’t mind the fact the doctor is just trying to help, I don’t have access to the correct answers! This is problematic, especially when the language you’ll be tested in has crazy vowels that are hard for you to pronounce individually like å, ö and ä. What if those are on the chart and I say the wrong thing? All the fear and unease amounts to procrastination. It’s enough to make you live with pain in your eyes.
But then you realize you have to grow up. You should stop experiencing pain. You should remember the shame you’ve caused. And all your fears are in vain, anyway, because it turns out Sweden doesn’t put funny vowels on eye charts. Whew. And who cares if you look even more like a nerd. Swedes are a pretty nerdy breed who embrace glasses. It’s all easier than you think, it just takes some time to psyche yourself up.
What this means now is 1. I bump into people more and am much more nervous crossing the street because I can’t see out the corners of my eyes. 2. When I wake up on the train, I can see without putting drops in my eyes! This is how I noticed this week on an early morning train that the normally empty forest landscape was full of people, hidden people, people waiting to kill. It’s moose hunting season, y’all, and the orange hats are out. 3. I have to plan accordingly for my vision needs. Like recently, I’ve been pleasantly coerced by workmates to zumba and do aerobic dance classes at the gym. It’s not the time nor the place for sweaty glasses that would certainly tarnish my (internal) image as queen of the dance floor. It’s trickkkkkkkkkkyyyyy.
Glasses aren’t the only grown up thing I’ve been doing lately. There have been two trips to the dentist. At one appointment, said dentist asked if I was German. Hooray! Sometimes people read last names! I’ve also rented a room in Almhult to occupy once or twice a week so I can get more sleep, bum around, write, etc. Karl and I have also been keeping busy on the weekends with things like weddings (not ours, people), mushroom picking and going to Denmark to see a band. Check out Alcoholic Faith Mission if you’re so inclined. But wait, you’re remembering that I hate mushrooms. Correct, I do. But I do love me some word searches and I also have laser eyes (according to former boss/editor Tom). Hunting and picking mushrooms is like nature’s version of a word search! There are photos in the slideshow and there’s also a video of this nasty mushroom that emits a puffy cloud of spore/ash grossness when you step on it. I suggest you turn the sound off as the odd noise I emitted during filming is embarrassing. Nonetheless, the short clip is HERE. We’ve also plucked the last of this year’s harvest from the garden, but need to head back there soon to wrap our fig in a snug little blanket.
I’m ready to get into my own snug little blanket, so I’m off soon. That should be enough to tide you over for a bit. As a last aside, I’ll be getting some WordPress education this week through work. Here’s hoping that will also translate to a facelift and better options for this little blog fellah, too. And yes, eventually I will share more work stuff with you. I’m collecting links so I can curate a good show. But work = good in general. Had a job chat with the boss last week. What were some of his observations about me? Well, I’m hard on myself, am not the best about asking for help and like to be self-sufficient. He got that right, huh? See all examples above and you know, welcome to MarissaLouiseville, population: 1. Anyway, maybe these external observations will change a few things in the internal me department. We’ll see.
In the meantime, be appreciative of what you can see. Click me and the new frames for the photo slideshow. Remember to click ‘show info’ so you get captions, too. It’s a shorter show this time as Flickr won’t let me upgrade right now. There’s always something!