Every male in my immediate family is practically blind. If I don’t have my contacts or glasses on, I can’t see something 5 feet in front of me. Lots of things suck about being semi blind and having to wear glasses. I’m always worried my glasses are going to break when I travel. I have to use my hands to feel around for my glasses when I wake up in the morning (I have no control over my strength so them getting smashed is a constant worry). Sometimes when my wife and are going to bed, I’ll take my glasses off to roll over to go to sleep while she continues to watch TV, and I hear something that piques my interest and have to ask my wife what’s happening on the TV. I don’t think it registers to her that I can’t see, so she kind of ignores me because she thinks I am joking around with her. By the way, she is correct for doing this because I joke around with her quite a bit. She has an innate button that allows her to know when she should listen to me and when she should just go on with what she’s doing. I talk a lot. Like, you can’t imagine how much I talk. Odd for someone who is anti-social, right?
Once the TV was still on Sportscenter and I had already taken off my glasses while she was reading, and I heard a newsflash about a trade as I began to doze off. I popped up and asked her who was on the screen. “What’s the person’s name on the screen?!?” I asked. She just kind of ignored me and kept on reading. “I can’t see, [Wife]; who are they talking about?” I said in a sad, pathetic voice. She benevolently let me in on the news.
This got me to thinking: I’d be a horrible blind man. First, I’m not self-sufficient enough as I am. I rely on my wife for more than a grown man should. I don’t know how to use my health insurance or when to pay bills. I imagine if I were blind, I’d just become ultra-dependent on her. She’d need to feed me and walk me to the bathroom. You know when you see blind people with canes and dogs helping them move around? I don’t think I could do that; I’d need an electric wheelchair. I’d get a wheelchair with bumpers on the front and back and just bonk into things to find my way around. My way of getting around would be to run into something and then process for a moment, hmmm… there is a wall in front of me. How about moving my wheelchair controller a tad to the left? Bonk!
I’d also stop doing the things I don’t want to do anyway. (I can’t see the damn toothbrush! How am I supposed to brush my teeth?) The shower would be another problem. I’d just have to cart my wheelchair outside and have my wife hose me off like a circus animal. Maybe we could go to a do-it-yourself car wash where people put quarters into a machine and they get soap, water pressure, wax, etc. I would be like my dogs that get washed every few weeks.
Well, hopefully, I don’t go blind because I don’t think my wife could take this. I mean, I might as well be a vegetable, right? I could just be put in a bed with some good Justin Townes Earle in the background and just ride out my life.*
*By the way, this is in no way meant to be disparaging to blind people. I have the utmost respect for them and the difficulties they have to go through on a daily basis. I just mean that I am a lazy, inept person who couldn’t possibly be as inspiring as they are. Seriously, I used to get teary eyed when I was in college and I saw this guy who had a seeing eye dog go to the gym every day. I couldn’t do that. One of my dogs is a pug who would get tired after 30 yards of walking, and the other is a pug/terrier mix who would be all over the place.