Eyeglasses: E-I-E-I-O

Published 7:51 pm Friday, August 4, 2023

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Eyeglasses were what my little childhood heart wanted most.

The day that a classmate came into Mrs. Beverly’s classroom wearing a pair of orange and pink-rimmed eyeglasses was the day that I learned the real meaning of covet.

She was the first little person I had seen with eyeglasses and everybody was carrying on over her and Mrs. Beverly, too.

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“Now you can see the blackboard and everything else so plain and clear,” Mrs. Beverly said and patted her on the head.

I started needing eyeglasses that very day. I squinted one eye at the blackboard. Then two eyes but Mrs. Beverly didn’t notice. When I got home, I told Mama that my eyes hurt. Now, I was taking a real chance on that because Mama’s remedy for any ailment from a scraped knee to a ruptured appendix was an enema. But I would do anything for eyeglasses.

I told Mama that my eyes started hurting bad when I was trying to see the blackboard – my eyes and my head.

Mama told me to lie down and she put a wet bath rag over my eyes.

For the next two days, we went through the same thing. I kind of liked lying there with a wet bath rag over my eyes. In my mind’s eye, I could picture myself with my new orange-pink rimmed eyeglasses on.

Mama finally decided I might need eyeglasses so she took me to see Dr. Killingsworth, just a regular doctor. He looked in my eyes with a tiny little light and had me to look this way and that way and up and down. Then he told me to cover one eye with a piece of cardboard and read the letters on the chart.

The first one was the biggest “E” I had ever seen. I thought if I couldn’t see that I was sure to get eyeglasses. I squinted and said the big E was an “S.”

“Try again.” 

It wasn’t an M either.

Dr. Killingsworth and Mama got over in the corner and whispered. For sure, he was telling Mama I needed eyeglasses.

He came back and rubbed some stuff on my eyelids.

“Now, if this ointment doesn’t help, bring her back on Monday and I’ll give her a shot that should clear her eyes up,” that mean ol’ Dr. Killingsworth said.

Well, it would be a month of Sundays before I went back to him. I wasn’t about to get a shot when what I needed was eyeglasses.

Years later, I got glasses and I didn’t look as cute as I had thought I would.

Later, the eye doctor said I had cataracts.

I had not even coveted a cataract.

Then the eye doctor uttered the word “surgery.”

E-I-E-I-O!  I would have preferred Mama’s remedy.