Some people are scared of the dentist; other people have an aversion to visiting their doctor. My pet phobia is the optician (although I actually don’t like the dentist or the doctor either).
I have worn glasses for as long as I can remember; ever since childhood measles destroyed the already slim chance of 20/20 vision I might ever have fostered having been the product of two short-sighted parents.
I know that I should get my eyes tested more often, but I stay away; shun the optician’s premises in the High Street; bin his frequent reminders that my next appointment is overdue.
The reason? It is simple. Who would ever put themselves forward for a test that they know they are going to fail? I wouldn’t apply for a driving test if I couldn’t tell my brake from my accelerator; I wouldn’t take a GCSE in Mathematics if I couldn’t distinguish my Riemann Hypothesis from my Poincaré Conjecture; so why would I voluntarily put myself forward for an eye test, which I already know that I am going to dismally fail?
And it is not even as though I can revise or practise in order to get any better. If I were doing a driving test, I could take lessons beforehand; if I were taking a GCSE in Mathematics, I could study a few textbooks. But there is nothing that will help me improve my eye test.
I am forever doomed to failure.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree can see perfectly well without new glasses.