Have I ever told you about the time my glasses broke? No? You’re going to laugh at me.
That’s ok. Go ahead.
See, I haven’t worn glasses for very long. Well, I take that back. I’ve always had astigmatism and needed glasses for it, but it never affected my ability to read so I Didn’t Wear my glasses. But about 3 years ago I received a magazine in the daily mail. I cuddled up on the couch to read it cover to cover. I opened the magazine to the first article. I couldn’t see the words. I moved the magazine closer to my face. It got worse. I held it at arm’s length. That was a little better, but have you ever seen how small the font is in a magazine article? Yeah, I noticed it that day.
So back to the eye doctor I went. Turns out I had become far-sighted. Like, bad. I had been compensating for I don’t know how long by holding books at arm-length, making the font bigger on my Kindle… If it hadn’t been for that magazine that wouldn’t come into focus no matter what I did, I might never have realized something was wrong with my eyes. But I did, and I got the glasses. They were a miracle. Of course, I can’t walk 10 steps in them but I Can Read Again. So since I only needed them for reading, I bought a cute little chain and wore them around my neck like any good librarian would. And I cuddled up on the couch to read again. And I didn’t have to guess what the words were again. And I Loved My Glasses.
Until they broke.
I learned something about myself that day. You’re about to be let it on it.
I was sitting in a chair in the living room. My beautiful husband was in the chair next to me. My littles were playing loudly in another part of the house. I was working on the computer, planning school work. I looked up, and removed my glasses from my face, intending to let them dangle on their cute little chain. Dangle they did. From one arm. Because the other had broken. Off. It was on one side, the rest of my glasses on the other. Dangling.
When the main part of my glasses hit my chest, I looked down and gaped like a fish. I swear, I wouldn’t have been more shocked if one of my fingers had spontaneously fallen off. I just stared for several seconds with a completely shut down brain. My internal feed went something like this:
That doesn’t look right. (I think my glasses just broke.)
Um, what do I do now? (I think my glasses just broke.)
What the hell just happened? (I think my glasses just broke.)
I can’t see. I can’t see without those. (I think my glasses just broke.)
Oh. my. god.
My glasses just broke and without them
I CAN’T READ.
At some point during this inner diatribe I had jumped to my feet, a piece of my glasses in each hand. I faced my beautiful husband. I must have looked like a mad banshee. My mouth moved but no sound came out. I held out the broken pieces and…
Burst into wild, wracking sobs. I am not kidding. I am not exaggerating. I bawled. Martin did not know what to do with me. “What is it?” he asked.
“I can’t read without them,” I wailed. I honestly had to run to our bedroom, close the door, and have a few minutes to myself to get under control. And as I took those deep breaths and pinched the bridge of my nose to stop the tears, I had to also face the truth I had just told myself. It wasn’t about broken glasses. It was about the importance of books.
I wondered if it wasn’t a little bit psycho, this reaction to losing my ability to read. I can drive down the street without my glasses. I can read facial expressions and body language without them. I can fish a pond, watch a sunset, enjoy a picnic, all without my glasses. I just can’t read without them. And when they broke, you might as well have locked me in a dark room for the rest of my life for all the good my eyes would do me.
It’s kind of a deep thing to learn about yourself. A life-flashing-before-your-glasses kind of a thing. Because before that crazy moment in time I knew reading was important to me but I had no idea it was That Important. Life or Death Important. Crazy Obsessed Important.
But I’m not ashamed. haha In fact, I hope I am encouraging others (especially my littles) to be as insane about reading as I am. And I’m grateful to my beautiful husband for taking apart another pair of glasses and temporarily fixing mine until I could replace them. Because apparently the idea of not being able to read, even for an evening, is too much for me. I hope it’s too much for you. I hope reading is that important to everybody.
Otherwise, I’m not sure what it says about me.