I’ve often been told that I need my eyes tested.
By my mum when I claimed my childhood bedroom was tidy, by my brother when I missed the goal yet again during an ill-advised game of FIFA, and by my husband when I suggested that it’s him that’s taking up too much space in our wardrobe (which by having anything in there at all, he clearly is).
So on Friday I went for such a test and, as a result, now find myself in possession of not one but two pairs of glasses. My tendency to sit on breakable objects means that I have to buy two of pretty much everything (which, when purchasing chocolate bars, is no bad thing).
My mum likes to remind me that when I was a child I used to pretend to be unable to read the little letters on the optician’s screen in the hope of being given glasses. But I wasn’t paying back then, was I. There was definitely no pretending when it was my credit card on the line. That F was just f-ing tiny.
But it’s OK because glasses are cool. They are an accessory that I have to spend money on for the good of my health. Like a handbag that cures headaches or a bracelet that stops eczema or a pair of shoes that makes the stomach ache I get after eating 120 grams of Fruit and Nut just magically disappear.
But there is no denying that glasses change the way you look. I’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed but they sit right in the middle of your face.
My husband and I have changed a lot since we met at university in 2005. We were a lot younger then, much more casual about getting our hair cut on a regular basis (who wants to spend money on neat locks when you can buy chips covered with cheese?), and I wore borderline indecent skirts as frequently as I now wear my dressing gown (most of the day).
He didn’t sign up to be with a 29-year-old woman with half brown, half blond (and just a teeny bit of grey) hair and thick rimmed glasses. He signed up to go out with a 20-year old girl with young skin, and a penchant for parties, staying up late and consuming Jaffa Cakes with gay abandon (OK, the latter is still true though I will always use a plate now – this isn’t a zoo, you know.)
And I didn’t expect to end up with a 30-year-old man who thinks it’s reasonable to still not have unpacked his luggage after a holiday which ended five days ago (that point really isn’t relevant to this post but I just needed to get it off my chest). I guess nobody gets exactly what they bargained for.
But the changes that happen to our looks and our likes are all just part of the little story we build together – the khaki trousers from my ‘let’s dress like a park ranger’ phase, the unkempt curly hair from his student days, and the extra pounds of weight I’ll inevitably gain from the pot of mini doughnuts and melted chocolate I consumed last night just because it was Saturday. Whatever happens when I try to zip up my trousers tomorrow, I will never regret that decision.
Wedding vows talk about all the times it’ll be important for you to stick together – for richer for poorer, in sickness and health – but I really think it would be helpful if they covered a bit more of the day-to-day; something like ‘For bitchier for warmer; in fitness and in a disgustingly hung over state’ – because, if you’re lucky, those things will test you much more frequently. If you can look at a person who drank so much the night before that they couldn’t remember where the bedroom was in your one bedroom flat and tell them that that they’re scrumptious (or that they will be after a good shower) I’d say you can get through anything.
Whether it’s a new pair of glasses, an inexplicable fondness for camouflage coloured trousers or a bad trip to the hairdressers, we’re signed up for life, so we’d best make sure we like it. Because something tells me that there’s going to be plenty more change to come. We’ll get older, our hair will go greyer, and the pair of us will surely eventually discover the consequences of consuming our body weight in chocolate each day before bed.
And they’ll be no hiding from it either. Just like the table that needs dusting, the dishwasher that needs emptying and that weekend bag that is getting no closer to unpacking itself, in these glasses, I can see absolutely everything.