Gretchen Sees Things Clearly For The First Time

Gretchen Owens can’t tell you the cause of her low self-esteem. She wasn’t unpopular as a child, so it can’t stem from her school years. Her parents, although they weren’t exactly Mike and Carol Brady, were good to her growing up, so she can’t pin it on them. She lucked out in the looks department as well. Not that she’s a super model, mind you, but she is definitely cute. She’s smart, too.

The only thing she lacks is confidence in her ability to make the right decision. Should I buy Fuji apples or Granny Smith apples for my lunches this week? Should I put an offer on this house, or ask my agent to show me one more? Am I getting the best deal possible on this car, or is the sales rep trying to screw me over? She grapples with everything, including her regular check up with her eye doctor.

“Which is better…one or two?” her optometrist asks.

“One,” Gretchen says.

“How about now…one or two?” he then asks.

It’s at this moment that Gretchen’s insecurities kick in. Which is better, she wonders. They both kind of look the same. Maybe they are and this is just my doctor’s way of testing not only my eyes, but my level of honesty as well. He probably has had people with perfectly fine vision come in here and pretend to have problems just for the attention. Is that what he thinks I’m doing? Should I tell him they pretty much look the same to me? What if they aren’t the same, but saying that I think they are means I have a brain tumor?

“Gretchen?” her eye doctor asks again. “One or two?”

“Um, they’re pretty similar,” she says, still unsure of whether or not that’s the correct answer.

“Okay, well your eyes have definitely changed since you were last in. Did you want to pick out a new pair of glasses now?”

“Um, I guess now would be fine,” she answers. “I mean, if your staff has time. I don’t want to hold anybody up.”

“Don’t me silly. That’s what we’re here for,” he says to reassure her. “I’ll have Judy help you.”

Oh God, now I have to decide on frames! People are going to have to look at me in these things for at least the next two years!

“What were you thinking of?” Judy asks. “Something bold and edgy, something more neutral, metal frames, plastic ones…?”

“Whatever looks good,” she says, hoping that Judy will make the call for her. Ten pairs of frames later, Gretchen settles upon one.

“Now, did you want the progressive lenses or regular ones?” Judy then wants to know.

The word ‘Progressive’ sounds impressive, so Gretchen agrees to those lenses even though she hasn’t a clue what they are. Two weeks later, Gretchen’s new glasses arrive and she has to admit, she can see everything a whole lot more clearly with them; well, everything except why she’s so messed up.


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