Shannon Stacey

Ice, blindness and Christmas shopping

(Note: It’s almost midnight and I think the timestamp on the blog is wrong anyway, plus it might take me more than ten minutes to write if I get distracted so—when I say “today” I mean Friday and “tomorrow” is Saturday. Your mileage may vary.)

I hear New Hampshire and our ice storm from Hell made the news all over today, so I should mention up front we and our loved ones are fine. (Except for the composition of that grammatically whacked sentence.) The kids got out of school early yesterday and today was our first snow day. We didn’t lose power—and therefore the peacekeeping PS3—for any significant amount of time. My stepmother’s house was out from the middle of the night until just before seven tonight. My husband’s partner (umm, business, not life, because my sharing skills suck) lost his power about the same time, but we haven’t heard if he’s up and running yet.

I know how lucky I am because approximately 400,000 NH residents don’t have power and it’s supposed to be freakin’ cold for the next few days. And in ’98, when 55,000 residents lost power in an ice storm, it took 10 days to get everybody back on line.

I also had a vision crisis. When I reached up to scratch the corner of my eye, the left lens fell out of my glasses. PANIC! It’s like looking through murky water at a blurry watercolor without my glasses, and I’ve worn them since I was six, so…my dependency on them is frightening. Forget driving, watching TV, reading. I can’t even keep my eyes open more than a few minutes without getting horribly carsick.

So, from my chair, I couldn’t see the lens, and I was afraid to move. So the husband and the tall kid moved in to find it, but I was so panicked I wouldn’t let them get close enough. Seriously. I have to confess my reaction probably seemed a little out there to the husband, who’s worn bifocals for 10 years or so and can go hours without wearing them. The tall kid, whose vision sucks, kinda got it though, despite having fewer years wearing them. Fortunately my husband found the lens—blessedly unscratched—and I managed to find a tiny screwdriver, which is not easy when you can’t see, and he fixed them for me. I had to have some crackers to settle my stomach, though.

And what else? Oh, Christmas shopping! The kids are going to Grammy’s tomorrow morning and we’ll be doing our shopping. Yes, all of it. We seem to have inadvertently fallen into a tradition of leaving all the shopping until the last minute and then doing it in one marathon day. And yes, he could probably be out banging strippers and it would put less strain on our marriage.

Just to add a little challenge this year—you know, to keep it fresh—I don’t even have the first clue what we’re buying this year.

8 comments to “Ice, blindness and Christmas shopping”

  1. Charlene
      · December 13th, 2008 at 7:42 am · Link

    May I suggest purchase #1 be a pair of backup glasses?

    Good luck with the rest of shopping.

  2. Annmarie
      · December 13th, 2008 at 10:12 am · Link

    I was legally blind until I had the Lasic. I am not 20/20 now but I can see without glasses..mostly.

    I think you should buy the kids socks. They’ll keep the feet warm and everyone loves socks for Christmas. What? They DO love socks. AND if you buy THEM socks, you can use the money you save on Lasic for you. AND. Your DH will be happy because the marathon session can be finished in the 15 minutes it takes to get through the short line at Walmart.

    I am such an outside the box thinker.

  3. Ann
      · December 13th, 2008 at 12:51 pm · Link

    Have you tried contacts? If nothing else, you can put them on when you need to search for your classes (or the lens, or the nose thingy)- that’s what I have to do. :nod:

  4. azteclady
      · December 13th, 2008 at 12:53 pm · Link

    Oh man, I can so relate!

    I needed glasses for years before my mother finally took me to the optometrist. When the guy put the correct prescription on them, I got dizzy, it was so high. So I had to change prescriptions every six months for two years, to educate my eyes to see through the lenses. It was so bad that I couldn’t recognize people more than twelve inches from my face.

    Have you considered lasik? I had the surgery on March 19 1996, and it’s one of the best things I ever did for myself. I am 20/20 now (sorry, Annmarie :grin: ) and every day, when I open my eyes and am able to see the wall across from the bed, or read the time on the clock, I give thanks I did it.

    Now, for the presents…

    Have you considered books? even better, gift cards!



  5. Bev Stephans
      · December 13th, 2008 at 1:39 pm · Link

    I can see without my glasses if I nail the book to the wall across the room. Seriously, I need them for reading, but I can see everything else. I just renewed my drivers license and when I took the vision test, I tried it with and without the glasses. With the glasses, I couldn’t see shit, but without I passed. Another eight years without being glasses restricted. YAY! My eldest son is in your situation and the last time he got glasses, I persuaded him to get a second pair.

    As for presents, I wouldn’t know what to buy for kids your age anymore. Gift certificates?

    Glad you didn’t lose your power. All we hear, here in the DC area, is New Hampshire horror stories. Take care and stay warm.

  6. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · December 14th, 2008 at 10:22 pm · Link

    I can relate even more.

    I imagine you have issues that prevent you from wearing contacts, and if you do, those same issues probably make Lasik impractical. I’m DYING for Lasik, but when my mom died and I got her life insurance money and had enough for, like, 1-and-a-half eyes, I thought about the brush going across the cornea to keep it moist and bought a laptop instead.

    Anyway. I’m the same way. Glasses since I was six, can’t see more than two inches in front of my face without them. My worst nightmares aren’t about being naked or being unprepared in school or even losing my kids or fighting monsters. They’re about my vision being blurry.

    When I was a teenager and at the eye doctor, he had a plan for ordering one contact and moving the old one to the other eye. At the end of the appointment, he had the progression wrong. And I’d been sitting there so long unable to see because he hadn’t put my contacts back in that when he wasn’t getting me about the way the plan was supposed to go, I couldn’t stop crying.

    So you have my TOTAL empathy!

  7. Shannon
      · December 15th, 2008 at 11:00 am · Link

    The very idea of Lasik makes me all squeamish. And even the very slightest risk of it going wrong and ending up blind? No.

    I haven’t seriously considered contacts because:

    1) I’m very lazy.

    2) I don’t think I could wear them ATVing. I’m always in the back and when it’s dry, I literally scoop mud out of the inside corner of my eyes where my tear ducts were working overtime to protect my eyes from the dust. And gritty eyeballs and contacts? Not so much. I guess I could wear contacts and wear glasses while riding, but…see #1. *g*

    And even though I’ve been wearing glasses for 30 years and hyperventilate just at the thought of something happening to them, I’ve never owned a spare pair. I don’t even know where the pair before this one went.


  8. Annmarie
      · December 15th, 2008 at 3:20 pm · Link

    Take a valium and get the lasik. I had the same worries. My cousin convinced me to go for it and am SO GLAD I did!

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