The eye doctor is not a friendly man. He announces, immediately upon my arrival, that if he cannot get the contacts into my eyes, he might have to decide that this was not the time for me to get them.
And, being the brat that I am, my first thought is, "Excuse me? YOU are going to decide whether or not I can have contacts based on whether YOU can put them in MY eyes? And if YOU can't then I just can't have contacts? I haven't even gotten to try!"
I mean, my students have contacts. My siblings and friends have contacts. How hard can it be, right?
The doctor is holding a contact on his finger. He says, "Just tell yourself not to blink."
Sure, I think. Don't blink.
And then he leans over to try to put the contact in my eye, and my face REBELS. Without permission, it pulls into this horribly grotesque, squinty grimace. And I am TRYING to get my face to relax. My brain is firing off demands ("What are you doing? Relax! Relax!"), but my face continues to cinch itself down into a teary, puckered scowl.
The doctor takes a step back, favoring me with a grouchy eye-brow quirk. I apologize under my breath, and he steps up for attempt #2.
But NOW my body knows what is coming. I can feel the muscles around my eye preparing themselves for another Hunchback of Notre Dame impersonation. My mind is chanting "OPEN, OPEN" so my right eye stays propped up. Barely. To compensate for that loss of ground, other facial muscles take up the fight, and now my mouth is pulling sideways, my eyebrows are hiking towards my hairline, and my left eye is streaming.
The doctor says, "Don't blink yet." Right. So I dig my fingers into the armrests, as my lips inch closer and closer to my left ear. And then I blink. Whether the doctor wants me to or not. Luckily, the contact stayed in place. One down.
He readies the 2nd the contact. My left eye is still streaming. I'm taking hasty swipes at it, terrified that he will tell me that I can't handle the pressure. That I'm just not contact material.
He leans over, and my left eye sets off a preemptive volley of super blinks. The doctor steps back, and I sheepishly apologize again, promising that I will try harder. He is obviously not impressed.
Gearing up my will power, I open my eye as wide as I can. I can literally feel my face twitching-- I probably look rabid--but I'm holding my own, and then YES! It's in! They're in!
The doctor is not in the mood to share in my triumphant cheering. He sends me to the next room where one of the ladies from the front counter coaches me on how to take the contact OUT.
By the time I leave the doctor's office, I look like I've been in a fight. My eyes are bloodshot, and I have been trying to rub off the mascara that has smeared itself across my eyelids. I have managed to successfully put in and take out my contacts.
However, that night I still had to have Russell call Bryant in order to have him talk me through how to get the dang things OFF.
This is going to take some getting used to.