Yesterday I took my oldest daughter to be fitted for contacts. She has been wearing glasses for a couple of years, but liked the potential freedom contacts would bring. She got her good looks from her momma and her bad eyes from me. She earned her contacts by overcoming adversity to make straight As. This is a big deal in our house. While school comes easy for my youngest (she made straight As too, BTW), God wired Mollie Ann to think three dimensionally and learn in a way most schools don’t teach, with the vigor and vitality of the Energizer Bunny. This year, we made the difficult decision to transfer Mollie Ann after the first quarter and she rose to the occasion. Like you, I could not be prouder of my kids.
Personally, I have been wearing contacts for 25 years. I put them in every morning and forget about them until I take them out before settling in at night. I can remember when I first started wearing them back in the 9th grade, it changed my world; at baseball practice, all of a sudden I could see the laces of the ball in the batter’s box, giving me the ability to predict where the pitch was going to go. I eventually became a pretty good hitter and a college prospect. Due in large part to better vision, I got to play a few years of baseball after high school and was a part of Ron Polk’s team at Mississippi State in the mid-90s.
When Rachel dropped Mollie Ann off to me at the office, she had a big smile in anticipation of her appointment. We took the quick drive down to Belhaven, and she plopped in the chair in front of the mirror and held her shoulders back like a confident young woman who knows what she wants. With a little bit of instruction, a blink here and a wince there, she could see clearly –glasses free, the world in high definition again, like it was designed to be seen. It was a little harder to get them in this morning before soccer camp, but it was not as difficult as I remembered when I first started my adventure with lenses. Certainly, I have not wished nearsightedness on my kid, but it is a fun little thing we are able to share. It makes us alike. We get each other.
Being divorced is like getting contact lenses. When you are married, people see you as having the conjoined identity of your spouse. “That’s Craig, Rachel’s husband,” one might say. Just like a remark about you could be, “That’s Becky –tall, wears glasses, she’s a drug rep.”
Obviously, one can seamlessly transition from contacts to glasses on any given day, and this is not the case with marriage and divorce –I completely understand how I am oversimplifying something excruciatingly difficult. If you get a divorce, just like if you start wearing contact lenses, not only do you see the world a little differently, the world sees you differently too.
But it does not have to be a bad thing.
With my glasses, I have limited peripheral vision, but not with contacts. When I wear glasses, I have the tendency to fiddle with them, but not my contacts. I feel lighter in contacts. I hate to sweat in my glasses, but I don’t mind it in contacts. I know it sounds weird, but I am a different version of myself in contacts versus glasses, and if you journey through divorce, you will be the same but different too, and it is okay.
Craig Robertson is a divorce attorney practicing throughout Mississippi.