When I was nine, I flushed my prescription glasses down the toilet. Let that sink in. I. Flushed. My. Prescription. Glasses. Down. The. Toilet. Here’s how it happened.
I was six when I got my first pair of glasses. They were large, coke-bottle shaped and they made my already wide eyes look even larger. I hated them. They were clunky, always dirty, and they pinched my nose. Even a few years after getting that prescription, I’d somehow still get ready for school and leave the house without my glasses only to have to run back in while my dad warmed up the car.
The fact that I was also bullied for wearing glasses didn’t help me feel any better. I was “four eyes” I was “grandma glasses,” I was “geeky.” Add to that my thick dark eyebrows and dark hair above my upper lip that settled there years before it should have and needless to say I wasn’t exactly a stunner.
Now, I should also add to this that as long as I can remember, I’ve been the clumsy one in this situation. My family and friends are so used to me tripping, dropping things, and bumping into doorways that they aren’t phased at all unless I’m yelping in pain. Seriously — I tumbled down my grandmother’s entire staircase when I was seven. When I was twenty-six, I nearly tripped walking up the steps, and all my friend said was “there it is.”
How I Flushed My Glasses
I was going to the bathroom one evening. For some dumbass reason I placed my glasses on top of the back of the toilet, you know where the water tank is, and did my thing. When done, I went to flush the toilet and somehow my specs fell off the back of the toilet and into the bowl. They went down, down, down (likely to goblin town) and I gagged. For a moment I waited to see if this was somehow all in my brain, but sadly it wasn’t. I was agape, I was aghast, I was fucked.
I pulled the door open and walked into my parents room, where they sat in bed watching some random TV show. My mother asked what was wrong and why I didn’t have my glasses on and I vomited up (with my words) the truth.
I’ll never forget the look of panic/ anger/ embarrassment/ what is this fuckshit on her face as she sat with my prescription forms and called Kaiser Permanente’s optometry department. Somehow I managed not to get grounded, and when I got the new pair of glasses I was determined never to make the same mistake again — if only because I didn’t want to be known as the girl who flushed her glasses down the toilet both in my family and at school.
Why Am I Telling You This?
For years I’ve struggled with putting my authentic self out there. I’ve worried about not being thought of as funny or as smart or as “enough” (a fact I’m sure many blerds can relate to). The first step to truly stepping into my identity (at least I think) is by not being afraid to make a fool of myself. Not being afraid to put me out there and just be me.
And I am a girl who flushed her glasses down the toilet at nine years old. I’m also a woman who got to spend six weeks in San Francisco at an art program. A woman who went to LA for an acting competition. One who got to spend a day sitting on the steps of the Sacre Coeur sipping wine and eating chips without a care in the world with my husband by my side. I’m also a woman who now owns the fact that I’ve got to wear corrective lenses forever, and who looks fierce as fuck with glasses and without.
I wanna know — what’s your most embarrassing turned empowering moment? Let me know in the comments!