During my eye exam yesterday the nurse/technician/miscellaneous person who did some of the preliminary tests said, “Wow! You have such a difference in vision between your eyes!” (My left eye is -1.75, the right -3.50.)
“Is that unusual?” I asked.
“Well, most people have a slight difference between their eyes, but this…this is rare that there would be such a difference,” he replied wide-eyed and smiling. “But you don’t have an astigmatism…” He looked puzzled. “Did you ever have a lazy eye?”
“Um, no. You know, I’ve been going to the eye doctor for a long time and no one’s mentioned this before. This really isn’t that common?”
The technician shook his head. “The last time I saw this was when I worked in Florida with many Jewish seniors who had survived the Holocaust. At the concentration camps they had little protein to eat, so their eyes developed very differently — like -1.75 in one compared to, say, -15 in the other. So whenever I would meet an elderly patient with those terrible numbers stamped on their forearm, I knew what I would find…”
“Um, so I guess my vision difference isn’t so bad then?”
The optometrist later commented it was unusual but not unheard of and he’d been practicing for a long time (he flashed a sexy bad boy smile to make me feel better). He also said it was great my freaky vision had been so stable for the last several years.
It reminded me of the time when I was about 20 shopping for my first business attire. I had gone with my mom to the Lord & Taylor in Paramus, NJ.
Paramus, btw, is where the combination of overcrowding, shopping and major highways with short merge lanes interesecting causes death-defying displays of stupid driving every 3 seconds. In fact, it’s commonplace for drivers ed instructors to force high school juniors who live in the area to practice their merging skills getting onto Route 17. They’re a little nuts, those instructors… but not as nutty as the ones who force their students to merge from Route 17 onto Route 4. Oh, now that’s just plain wrong. And if you’re from the area you know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, I had bought my first interview suit, but, as usual, needed the cuffs taken out a bit for my long arms. A little old seamstress with an unidentifiable accent measured each arm and proclaimed in broken English, “This one is longer than the other, you know.”
No, I didn’t know and, as I was only 20, I then obsessed about it for many days afterwards even though the difference (and I can’t remember which arm is longer) is only like 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Today, I accept this as one of my many charming quirks — except when my freakazoid limb gets caught in the door because I can’t see well enough in my right eye to pull it out of the way.