I believe it was the great Michelangelo – or perhaps one of the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (not to be confused with Teenage Mutant Kitten Children) – who said something about you should learn all your life or there is always something to learn in and/or from your life or life = LEARN, LEARN LEARN. Who knows, as it was originally penned in Italian (possibly Latin, if he was trying to be posh).

Okay. Truth? I’ve seen so many resin-cast-to-look-like-old-engraved-stone replicas sporting this motto in my Mother’s vast catalog collection that I would be unfair of me to say that I could not find the quote:
Ancora Imparo

Yeah – he was being grandiloquent. And if you’d like to know what it means, please refer to the title of this post. I was very clever and put it right out there so that people might think that I was writing about a substantive topic. I’m guessing everyone knew better.

Ah – so what is it that I’m still learning? Apparently EVERYTHING. Indeed, is it not the life aspiration of most people to try all new things when they are in their late thirties? Come on!!! There may be some of you who would forewarn me that this is leading me down a slippery slope and that I am in great danger of pitching headlong into danger and/or oblivion. I would answer, “That’s immaterial.” (Why am I quoting myself while writing in the first person? Why am I asking myself rhetorical questions?) As most people know, I am perfectly capable of toppling over, stumbling, falling on my substantial ASSets and/or taking a header WITHOUT any sort of impediment in sight. What’s more, I mean ON THE FLAT, DRY GROUND.

  • I decide that my underwear doesn’t have to be white, black or beige/nude, and I end up with a very large hole in my pants strategically displaying my choice that very day to wear the knickers that say, “Wish on This!” across that back. You think I’m kidding?
  • I decide to dye my hair for the very first time… just search through my blog an you find five thousand entries about what that started (like this one).
  • Then we have my eyebrows. Never had I plucked them or waxed them. Having started, I have yet one more thing to “maintain.” (Here’s one of THOSE entries.)

I believe it was dear Pamela who suggested perhaps I go back and embrace my “hippy” proclivities (something to that effect). Unfortunately, it’s simply TOO LATE. Vanity is involved, now; jeopardy has been attached (who watches too many re-runs of Law and Order (all flavours)? Pas moi!). How else would I end up with major chemical burns because of INVISIBLE PEACH FUZZ?

By the way, just because it takes me more than 450 words to get to my point does not indicate that I do not have one. To get down to the heart of the matter – the crux, the pitch, the gist, the nitty-gritty (dirt band – sorry), the thrust, the substance – the purpose of this entry is to discuss my eyes.

My eyes are hazel, incidentally. That is neither here nor there, but I’ve always described them as “khaki with an amber ring around the iris.” No, it’s not poetic (especially if you pronounce “khaki” the British and/or Canadian way – that is to say, “CAR-KEY”). Also, they seem different colours depending on what hue I’ve donned. I have “mood” eyes.

ALRIGHT! The point is I had taken my “mood eyes” for a long-overdue eye appointment. Luckily my prescription has not changed THAT much in the interim (and it’s long – embarrassingly long) because the last time I changed prescriptions I had also waited too long and I got new glasses RIGHT before a big trip, and the glasses made me dizzy for two or three days. This truly enhanced my motion sickness plight.

I do have a slight astigmatism now. It makes me feel more urbane (grant me these tiny delusions, please – I ask for so little). Wow. I just realized I’d have to look at my prescription to realize in which eye it is…

SOOO, in the spirit of Ancora Imparo I also was fitted with my very first contact lenses. I was excited at the prospect of seeing my eyes looking all deceptively naked and such. And I dreamt oh-so-fancifully about a ridiculously handsome stranger being able to now “fall INTO” my eyes – unimpeded by anti-glare lenses for the myopic. To be sure, I am not rich, but my fantasy life can be.

Sometimes I feel self-conscious because I am a neophyte at certain things at the ripe old age of – well, any state of “maturity” that can be prefaced with “the ripe old age” should be self-explanatory. In other words, I figured that I’d have a little difficulty putting the lenses in and when you see thirteen-year-olds pop them in and out blind and lubricate them with saliva (at least I know THAT’S stupid) and all that, I thought I’d feel “impaired.”

Impaired ended up being an understatement. A VAST, GINORMOUS (just recently made it into the dictionary – so there!) understatement. The doctor was extremely kind and helpful, but I was unquestionably handicapped at successfully getting contact lenses ONTO MY EYEBALLS. He finally had to do it for me, taught me how to remove them, and then let me try again. Seventeen hours later (SLIGHT exaggeration), I was successful. Of course my eyes were practically swollen shut and so blood-shot that it looked like I’d been on a three-day (maybe week-long) bender.

Here’s my problem: I blink. Excessively. This is why many a photograph (for which I deign to pose) catches me with my eyes closed. Also, I’m fairly light-sensitive, therefore I blink to excess in the sun. My eyes are vulnerable, delicate…creatures.

Don’t mistake me, some people have difficulty touching their eyes; this is indubitably not my problem. You know that expression, “It’s better than a poke in the eye?” I often disagree. A poke in the eye is NUTHIN’. Given the choice, I’d oft choose a poke in the eye over the alternative. Yes, I can touch my eyes – I’ll poke myself in the eye right now if someone asked. There are those who claim I have ELBOWED others in the eye (for the record, I was ASLEEP – and that whole incident is the definition of the phrase “alleged assault” – no cooberating witnesses, no physical evidence).

No, I’m just Blinky McBlinkster. Sometimes I get the lense in right off the bat, sometimes I practically push my eyeball clear back into my skull, pull my finger back, and see that the contact is still ON MY HAND. That’s when the sailor language comes in.

This made it rather difficult on the occasion that three of the four children we were babysitting watched me put my lenses in one day – fascinated by the process despite the fact that BOTH their parents wear contacts – perhaps it’s because I let them touch them (the CONTACTS – not my eyes – though they’d have probably done less damage) – never fear, I re-sterilized the things. But I had to keep it CLEAN – my “potty” mouth, that is.

I AM learning. But if you see me with bloodshot eyes it’s no doubt my doing – DIRECTLY AND PHYSICIALLY.

There is also an “eye-opening” aspect to this whole affair. (ugh.) Most of it has to do with luggage. I like to joke th
at I always carry too much luggage (and that’s not just when I travel, that’s a day-to-day crack I like to make because I embarrass myself by carrying fifty-two or three bags everywhere I go (yeah, yeah – but it’s no fun if I don’t embellish a LITTLE)).

This little quip hit me very profoundly yesterday (I’d started to notice, but OH, THE DENIAL) as I sat down to have my stylist trim my hair. See, when you TAKE OFF YOUR GLASSES for this procedure you are granted a fortuitous amount of “airbrushed” effect on your reflection. With contacts, you must STARE IN THE LOOKING GLASS WITH CORRECTED SIGHT. That’s when you know, deep down in your heart, that the “luggage” joke can rightly be applied to the immense bags under your eyes.

Having been blissfully unaware of and not requiring (I THOUGHT) “under-eye concealer” all these years, it’s disturbing that I’m contemplating it now. Maintenance is a bitch.