Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving, house hunting and bespectacled again

We were lucky enough to celebrate two Thanksgivings this year.  And by "lucky" I mean, "Holy moly, I need to live at the gym next week."  So.  Much.   Food.

On Thursday we celebrated with a Navy friend of Zac's.  Zac and this guy went to "A" school together back in the day.  ("A" school is where most sailors go after boot camp.)  They are both originally from rural Nebraska and they're both gunner's mates.  While they've spoken to each other a couple of times, they haven't actually seen each other in more than 10 years.  They seemed to pick up right where they left off, however, chatting and laughing like they'd been close buddies for years.  Zac's friend is married and I really enjoyed getting to know her.  They're similarly situated to us - mid 30s, no kids, she works.  I'm hoping that we'll get the chance to hang out with them again in the future.  They've been here for a few years and really enjoy it, so hopefully they'll be able to impart some of their San Diego knowledge to us.

On Saturday night we had our second Thanksgiving at the house of some of our Navy friends from Hawaii.  The sailor and his wife PCSed to San Diego a little more than a year ago.  We weren't really that close in Hawaii (our relationship was "friends of friends") but we were happy to get an invitation from them.  We spent the night catching up and talking about what all has been happening in the last year or so.  We were glad to spend some time with them and I think we'll hang out with them in the future.  The only low spot of the evening was when, for the second time in three nights, I waddled back to the car wondering if the buttons on my jeans were going to pop off.

The house hunting is still ongoing.  We spent four hours today checking out about 12 homes.  It's nice that Zac and I are finally getting in to a grove with each other, and our realtor.  If we're not feeling good vibes from a house (or neighborhood) we've gotten pretty good at telling each other within the first few minutes of walking through the place.  I'm trying to not let the stress of house hunting get to me, but I know it is.  I told our realtor that I was getting stressed out with the process as we were leaving one of the first houses this morning.  We drove separately to the next listing and when we got out she walked with me up the sidewalk and said, "You said you were stressing out.  Why?  Is there something that I can do to make it better?"  She asked with genuine concern which caught me off guard.  (I'm not sure why, but I was surprised at her concern.)  I explained that I was worried that maybe we were looking at too many houses and asking her to go to too many different neighborhoods.  She laughed and assured me that, no, we weren't looking at too many houses and that she was perfectly happy showing us different places in San Diego.  She said that it's perfectly normal that home buyers that are new to an area take a while to find the neighborhoods that they like best.  *exhale*  Ok.  Needless to say, while I'm still a little stressed about finding the right house, I'm not stressed about my relationship with my realtor/therapist.

The only other major development around here lately is  . . . deep breath . . . I got glasses.  I'm beyond devastated.  I hate that I need them again.  Quick eyesight recap: 

-Got glasses for the first time when I was in first grade.
-Endured a decade of worsening eyesight, thickening lenses and terrible 1980s frames (some frames from the early 90s weren't too hot either).
-Got gas-permeable, hard contacts in college (prescription didn't allow for soft contacts) which were impossibly uncomfortable.
-Underwent Lasik surgery about six years ago, causing me to no longer need corrective lenses of any type.
-Six years of sheer happiness being able to read the shampoo bottle in the shower and reading the clock on the nightstand if I woke up in the middle of the night.  

I'm not exactly when I noticed that my sight wasn't as sharp as it used to be, but I'm guessing it was probably about a year ago.  I noticed it mainly at night, when I was tired, and tried to read things like street signs or license plates as I drove.  During the day, I had no issues.  But then a few months ago Zac pointed out that I was starting to squint at street signs during the day as well.  I finally broke down and went to the optometrist who gave me my first eye exam since I had the Lasik performed.  She noted that yes, indeed, my sight wasn't as good as it used to be.  She said I was still find to drive without corrective lenses, but that I should probably have them at night.  She wrote me out a prescription and I decided that I'd wait until I got back to the mainland to get a pair.

As Zac and I drove around San Diego, looking for houses and getting to know the area, we both noted that it was time for me to get a pair of glasses.  A couple of weeks ago we were up at the Marine Corps Exchange and I walked into the optical shop.  I tried on probably 40 pairs of glasses, making cranky faces in the mirror with each pair.  I was heartbroken that I needed to do this.  I figured that once I got older that I would need reading glasses, but six years after Lasik and 34 years old is not "older".  It didn't help that I found most of the current, hip styles to be ghastly.  I finally settled on a pair, and while I was sad that I had to buy them at least the frames and lenses were discounted.  Paying full price would have been an indignity to much to bear.

The optical shop called me yesterday morning to let me know that my glasses were in.  I went to pick them up and sat down in the chair across from the glasses-fitting-person.  (Clerk?  I'm not sure what their official title would be.)  I was still fairly arrogant as I sat there.  I was confident that even when I put the glasses on, that I wouldn't be able to see any better than I could without them.  How much of a difference could it make, really?  Before she handed me the glasses, the clerk asked me to look across the room at the exit sign above the door.  Ok.  I can read that, no problem.  See?  I don't need glasses.  Then she handed me the glasses and I slid them on.  "Let me know if it's more clear," she said.


It was like looking at an exit sign in High Definition.  Everything was sharp, clear.  A surprised, and disappointed, "Wow!" slipped out of my mouth.  The clerk was pleased, we tweaked the fit of the frames a little, and I was on my way out the door.  Once outside I folded the glasses up and put them in their protective case and tossed them in my purse.  I was heartbroken.  I did need glasses.  Seeing was better with them.  I didn't wear them that day, but I did wear them that night and it really was amazing.  High Def is really the best way to describe it.  When you're watching a regular tv with a regular signal, it looks fine.  You don't notice that anything is off.  But when you put that tv along side a HD tv with an HD signal you're dumbfounded at how much clearer the HD picture is, and how much detail was lost watching the regular tv.

I don't want to wear glasses again.  I'm not sure why it is such a crushing blow to my self esteem, but it is.  I suppose I could see if I can get contacts or if maybe I could get Lasik again.  I was just so happy to not have to deal with my eyes anymore, to not have to spend money every month or year on new glasses, contacts, cleaning and soaking solutions.  And while some people look great in glasses, I am not feeling like a sexy librarian right now.  I am feeling like an awkward 12 year old.  

Dumb, stupid glasses.

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