Monday, May 25, 2009

it's a wonder that you still know how to breathe

I keep thinking I ought to have something meaningful to write before posting, and today, I had an epiphany. Since when did anything of import, significance or meaning ever get written on my blog?

Here's something to file away in the Idiot Chronicles, which really should be a recurring column here. Previous installments would include the time that I went for ages without replacing a lightbulb in my bathroom because I didn't own a ladder high enough to reach it. Today's byline would include: things I really should be able to do by now but can't.

It's this absurd juxtaposition: I'm getting older, but I'm wholly immature in so many ways. Evidence that I'm getting older (or maybe evidence that I'm living in a hot dry ninth circle of Dante's creation): my eyes have been getting really dry by day's end, especially if I'm staring at a computer screen or reading for too long. Evidence that I'm wholly immature: I bought eye drops and just discovered that I am really not capable of using them.

I had blocked out my knowledge of this fact. I've somehow managed to hit fossilized status without wearing glasses, and therefore, without ever donning a pair of contact lenses. It occurred to me several months ago that I had missed out on some fundamental developmental ability as a result of this. My classmates and I were supposed to dilate one of our eyes so that we could look at them for an ophtho exercise. Now, most of you that have glasses or get your eyesight regularly checked already know this is a relatively painless process that just involves getting a few eyedrops to chemically dilate your pupils. The instructor said, "you can either put the eyedrop in yourself, or have your partner do it for you."

I turned to my partner and said, "I think you'd better do it." Trying to play it off as brimful is not actually a 3-year old, I quipped, "After all, it's good practice for when you have to do it to your patients." My partner proceeded to get the solution all over my face. In fairness, the fault was not his as he kept painstakingly dropping the solution into my eye, and my eyelids reflexively rebelled against the idea of anything foreign entering. After he had turned red with frustration, I finally ordered him to hold my eyelids open and take the bull by the horns. He was fairly traumatized by the whole thing, while I found it massively entertaining. I never have to worry about having no patience with my patients, because I am pretty much the worst patient on earth on all fronts.

I'd conveniently forgotten all about that incident until this evening, when I tried to put artificial tears into my eyes, and thought to myself um, how am I going to manage this then? Yes, sometimes the thoughts in my head have a British accent, I don't know why. In the end, I think I got half the solution in my eyes, and half on my cheek, and that is my definition of success. It made me muse at those scenes in films or on television, where a character whips out a bottle of eyedrops and just plops them into his or her eyes without so much as a mirror nearby. If I did that, I would look like I'd just come in from the rain.

Also, I pulled a baking fail yesterday. This was especially disheartening because I used the last of my eggs in the endeavor, meaning that I could not bake something else to perk up my spirits afterwards. Maybe that tendency should also go under the Idiot Chronicles, come to think of it.

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