Thursday, January 20, 2005

corrective lenses

I recently purchased a green t-shirt that had the Macintosh apple with the bite taken out.

My Bad

~ Eve

was printed underneath. I love that shirt ... It's an example of my ability to laugh at the downfalls of women, including my own. But do I just laugh... or do I learn from those errors. Can I learn to accept responsibility for my faults ... or will I place them on another?

I want so badly to blame Robert Comacho for my present predicament ...

When I was 10 years old, after an eye exam at school, it was found that I would need glasses. Hey, no big deal, both of my parents had them. But I never realized how much they would change my life.

The first day I wore them to school, I had to sit at a special table at lunch with other children who had forgotten their lunch tickets. When the principal wasn't paying attention, Anthony, Robert's "side-kick," delivered a message and darted back to his seat. I pushed my frames back up my nose, and unfolded the note.

I was devistated. My friend. My artistic rival. The one I had given a stuffed heart with my name embroidered on it for Valentine's Day ... he didn't want to be my friend anymore ... because of my glasses! I promptly ripped the large plastic frames off my face. I was crushed.

During the following weeks I would conveniently "forget" and leave them at home when I left for school in the morning. Who cared if I couldn't see the chalkboard!

Thankfully we moved when my dad was restationed, and I was determined to make a new start. No one at the new school knew me (I had been at the previous one since it opened, my kindergarten year, and had become quite popular). The following years I forgot about boys (they cared only for the physical appearance). I concentrated on school, put art aside and read scores of books. For ten years, I wore glasses without a second thought as to how they made me look. They were a shield for me ... something to

hide behind.

What was I hiding from? Boys. If I made myself unattractive they wouldn't bother with me and I wouldn't get hurt again.

Then in college I was drawn to the Art Crowd. Art began to affect my life once more and my glasses no longer had a place in my new life. They didn't fit in with my new image. But instead of glasses I built a wall around myself. I had a nice number of friends who were guys, but everytime a boy tried to get too close and touch the wall, I threw the switch and an electrical current would race through the wall and into his arm sending him retreating.

And Oh how I HATED compliments! Friends scolded me for not being able to accept compliments ... It was supposedly a sign that I lacked self-esteem. HA! It was hardly that. I knew what the compliments really were ... flattery ... and the inability to look any further than physical appearance and recognize me for who I really was.

However, looking back I'm beginning to understand. Can I fault people who only had words of affirmation for my "looks" when I never let down the drawbridge to let them have a peak at what was behind those fortified walls?


Regrettabley these past few months I've reverted back to my 5th grade self. I put my contact lenses into their case and replaced the glasses back onto the bridge of my nose. I had snapped. I was unable to take one more compliment. No more pretty clothes ... no more pretty hair ... no more pretty makeup ... t-shirts, sloppy jeans, and my glasses became my faithful companions. They would shield me from the predators.

But oddly enough a series of events have changed me, each one serving to remove the wall piece by piece. One of which was a comment my pastor made ... "Christine, didn't you used to wear contacts?"

The comment was innocent enough. However, I honestly hadn't thought anyone had noticed my retreat into myself. And then my Pastor of all people... huh.

So, as part of my New Year's resolution I am attempting to tear down my fortress. I'm inviting people go to movies with me, to come to the apartment and hang out, and not to mention occasionally allowing a person to cross the bridge and examine the inner workings of myself.

And yesterday ... I bought new contacts.

So, here's to a new year of vulnerability. And maybe eventually I'll hear more of "I love your sense of humor and your passion for life" and less of "I like your shoes."

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