Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vanity, Part II

Tragically, this is my flirty "How YOU doin'" face
So last week I became one of those people who posts pictures of what they are wearing for other people to comment on (praise only, please) and was roundly smacked down when the event I was dressing for was cancelled. This week I got another, much-needed dose of humility.

On Sunday I felt an irritation in my eye which I couldn't seem to wash out with either contact solution or tears of agony. It happened right when I was about to leave to hang out with a friend, and I had to cancel and give the lamest, most made-up sounding excuse of "something got in my eye and it hurts real bad."

Putting my contacts in actually made it feel better, so I just carried on and assumed it would work itself out. On Monday it was still hurting, and my parents urged me to go to a doctor. It seemed weird to go to a doctor for something so whiny and small, and I still had to fill out all the same paperwork and answer all the usual doctor questions, most of which were about ladybusiness. I know there is good reason for it, but when the nurse asked when my last period was and I just wanted to be like I'M PRETTY SURE MY EYE ISN'T PREGNANT.

Luckily I didn't scream that at anyone, and ten minutes later the doctor extracted a small, malicious-looking dark speck from my left eyelid. My eye felt way better, but the doctor suggested I take a break from my contacts for a couple of days and switch to glasses.

I was totally fine with this plan since I had recently updated my prescription and gotten a nice, cool new pair of glasses. My old ones were cloudy in one eye (don't ask) and the prescription was terrible, so I only wore them while getting in and out of bed. The new ones are thick-rimmed and distinctive, and I hesitated to start wearing them because the look would be a dramatic change. I needed to pick the right time, I thought, because I would get questions and comments about them all day.

So I wore them to work on Tuesday...and not one single person commented. Not one. The next day I was at a different site with a different group of people so I tried the experiment again. I made it half the day with no comments, and eventually the grand total squeaked up to two. People who see me all the time didn't say a word. I was sure it was going to be some kind of earthshaking change and I would have to calm everyone down and assure them that life would somehow go on as before. Instead, this only child was once again reminded that she is not the center of the universe, and not that many people are paying attention to what is going on in my face region.

So who were the two prize winners of the "something is different about Clara" sweepstakes? One was my friend Curt, who I am friends with outside of work and sees me all the time. The other was the museum's attractive Austrian janitor Karl, who noticed right away and cooed "they look good on you" in his flirty, germanic accent. Oh Karl, stop.

Oops. What was that about humility?


  1. I'm always surprised that people even recognize me when I occasionally wear my glasses instead of my contacts. I perceive me as looking like a whole 'nother person...others barely register the difference. So I can empathize!