I don’t like wearing my glasses.
I don’t like the way they fog up when I open the oven or how they get wet when it’s raining. I hate when my hair gets stuck in the hinges and how I have to squint in the sunlight.
But this past week, after disappointing news of an eye infection, I had to wear them. For a whole week.
On day three, I got a haircut and made a new discovery. Since I didn’t want my glasses getting in the way, I took them off for the half hour or so I was in the stylist’s chair. And things got fuzzy.
I could make out my stylist’s expressions, but as for the other ladies in the salon, they might as well have been blobs … with great hair. I couldn’t tell if they were looking at me or listening in on our conversation, and therefore, I didn’t care.
I was less self-conscious than normal being in a public place because I literally couldn’t see people. It’s like they weren’t even there.
I have a tendency to wonder what people are thinking when they look at me. Do they wonder why I put that cardigan with those shoes? Do they find what I’m saying interesting or boring? What kind of person do they think I am? Are they curious what I’m thinking?
And I doubt I’m alone. Women in particular, I think, are good at judging and feeling judged, even if it’s involuntary.
But in those 30 minutes with imperfect vision, I felt like I could be myself without any concern for what others were thinking. Maybe they were listening to my conversation and silently weighing in, or maybe not. Either way, it was freeing not to care.
As the stylist finished up, I put my glasses back on and walked to the front to pay. I was suddenly aware again of all the people around me and almost missed my fuzzy vision.
Perhaps I should go near-sighted more often.
Why do you think we can be so self-conscious around other people? Is that a bad thing?