The Comeback Kid

I have to confess I've been a pretty mediocre blogger lately and let a full five days go by with nary a post or a word about my whereabouts. It's been a busy time of year with work and holiday parties galore.

One other major cataclysmic event in my humble life that occurred in the past few days was that I got contacts. Now, lest you think this is a relatively minor thing, let me just say that I am extremely, extremely squeamish about anything to do with eyes. Remember that episode of Friends where Rachel gets an eye infection and is too freaked out to go to the optometrist, and he prescribes eyedrops for her, and Chandler and Monica and Phoebe have to tackle her and hold down each limb so that Monica can administer the darn things? That's exactly how I've been ever since the age of 8 when I first started wearing glasses.

Then something changed. I had an eyelash stuck in my eye for the longest time, and one day I spotted it on the white of my eye. Without thinking, I dabbed my fingertip on my eye and removed it. As simple as that. Emboldened, I decided to take the next step and make an optometrist appointment for an eye exam and get a prescription for contacts.

Of course, taking an eyelash out is not the same as having your optometrist come at you with a foreign object perched on the tip of his index finger and the fingers of his other hand firmly yanking your eyelids open. It took him fifteen minutes to put the first one in (I was blinking and my lashes kept flipping the lens inside out), at the end of which I realized I hadn't been breathing most of that time, and I felt sick, nauseous, dizzy, and lightheaded all at once. My optometrist took one look at me and said, "You look a bit green" and handed me a glass of water. I sat there with my head between my knees, clutching the glass of water, trying to stop shaking and keep from hurling. Definitely the most traumatic optometrist appointment of my life. Within about ten minutes, though, I got up and said I wanted to try putting the other one in by myself.

That was last week. I've been able to wear them for about three days now, and I'm happy to say I'm not freaked out about taking out the contacts and putting them in anymore. What took about 20 minutes to do for each eye has been reduced to a 5-minute routine for both eyes.

I'm also discovering some of the fashion perks that come with wearing contact lenses. For one thing, whenever I wear headbands the arms of my glasses don't catch awkwardly on the headband. I don't have glare problems with eyeglass lenses in photos. People actually notice my eyes and many have complimented me on a different and more youthful appearance. And once they're in and worn properly, you don't notice them or feel them.

The perk that really has me excited right now is being able to wear sunglasses that normal people wear. When you wear glasses, wearing ordinary sunglasses always seems like a trade-off between being blinded by the sun or being blind period. Clip-ons cause glare, and if you get prescription sunglasses you're forced to switch between two pairs of glasses every time you go from indoors to outdoors and vice versa--not exactly convenient when you're street-shopping in the summer. Plus, all those stylish designer sunglasses are off-limits. Who knew that if I'd been able to touch my eye sooner, I could've saved myself all these little troubles?

So now I've been browsing designer sunglasses on various websites and drooling, drooling, drooling. So far I've been gravitating towards black frames in classic shapes with purplish or dark lenses, and avoiding the oversized frames that Nicole Richie favours. I think that after all these years of depriving myself of being able to wear proper sunglasses, I deserve to splurge a bit, don't you?

Dolce & Gabbanna sunglasses, $240 from Better Vision Better Prices

Prada star sunglasses, $250 from Better Vision Better Prices (These ones are my favourite pair so far. Sleek and subtly sexy, and the silver stars on the side give them a whimsical and idiosyncratic touch.)

Marc Jacobs cat-eye sunglasses, $175 from Better Vision Better Prices

P.S. Jo, this post is dedicated to you! Have fun working your sunglasses in the Dominican Republic.

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