Have you ever had one of those moments when you had a core belief challenged? A moment when a key assumption was proven false? An existential crossroad, lain before you by circumstance? I so, you probably know that your options at that moment are really limited to two: denial or acceptance.

Denial is, of course, a perfectly understandable reaction. ‘How could this apply to me?’ is a completely normal reaction, and provides the easier to digest option: of course, it doesn’t apply to you. You can go on living your life unexamined, directing your unease into anger at that which raised the question. You can resume your trajectory with but a momentary interruption, as if nothing had happened.

Acceptance is harder. Acceptance can mean adding nuance to previously-held beliefs or it can mean discarding them altogether, but either outcome means admitting that you were wrong in some fundamental way. And not just any old kind of wrong, but Really Wrong. Sometimes, it means admitting that you were not only Really Wrong, but that you had been willfully blind to earlier challenges. Denial is more than a river in Egypt, after all; it is in many ways the easier road to take.

The funny thing about these moments is how they can be brought on by the smallest thing – an overheard snippet of conversation, an offhand remark. And so it was that this afternoon, I found myself in just such a situation: a well-intentioned remark that resulted in feelings of relief, then anger, then disgust at my relief… Clearly, I had some new information to integrate, some schemas to repair.

“Well, you don’t need bifocals yet,” said the optometrist, “but I’m putting the correction information down on your chart anyway.”


5 Responses to “Bi-phobia”

  1. Brian Dunbar Says:

    I heard that two years ago. Three? For some reason I seem to have skipped my annual eye exam a few times since.

    Coincidence, I’m sure.

  2. protected static Says:

    Total coincidence… Gotta be.

  3. Stephen Says:

    Loved the post, my friend.

    After 44 years of wonderful vision, and one year of “geez, why is this small text so damned fuzzy,” I went to an optometrist.

    Glasses are now SOP for reading and computer work, and it’s made a big difference. The far-away stuff is still clear and sharp without the glasses, but I’m happy to report that I once again have fingerprints. *grin*

  4. Doug Says:

    No pity from me! I’ve had these graduated lenses (other folks can’t tell they’re bifocals) for at least five years. But they never seem powerful enough to me. I think my focal length is best measured in millimeters, because whenever I need to really see something, I have to take my glasses off and rub my nose in it.

    You know I’m an ear, nose, and throat doc and that I usually don’t look at anything below the collarbones, and you STILL want me to look at your, um . . .

    Well, okay. But first let me take my glasses off.

  5. protected static Says:

    Y’all aren’t helping…

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