The Spaghetti Factory incident


I took Ryan to a Rock game back during the winter. It was a Saturday night game, so we went out for dinner (at The Old Spaghetti Factory) with the rest of the Rock gang before the game. Ryan and I got there quite early, so we sat in the lounge with a couple of drinks and watched the hockey game, which was on a TV in the corner. After a minute or two, Ryan stood up and walked over towards the TV. He walked more than half the distance to the TV, so by the time he stopped, he was closer to the TV than he was to me. He walked back, sat down, and told me “It’s 4-3 for Detroit”. I was stunned. Not because Detroit was winning, but because I could clearly see the score on the TV from where we were sitting.

Gail and I had talked a few times about taking the boys to get their eyes checked, but just never did it. After “The Spaghetti Factory Incident” (with apologies to Guns ‘N Roses), I called the optometrist that same week and made appointments for all of us. Gail hadn’t had one in a year or so, and I hadn’t had one since about a year after my laser eye surgery, which was eight years ago. My eyesight wasn’t terrible before my surgery (something like -4.75 to -5.00 in each eye), but Gail is almost blind without her glasses or contacts. She’s in the -13.00 to -15.00 range and her grandfather was just as bad, so we kind of figured that the odds of both of our kids growing up with good vision were pretty slim. We were right — Ryan needed glasses. Nicky’s vision was smack dab in the middle of the “normal” range for his age group, so that’s good. Even after eight years, my overall vision is still better than 20:20, so I’m still very happy with the results of my surgery.

One thing we’re very happy about is the greater level of acceptance of kids with glasses than when we were kids. Gail first got glasses in grade two, and vividly remembers constant taunting from other kids; she was called “four-eyes” more often than she could count. I remember feeling sorry for kids that I knew who got glasses because other kids would tease them (I like to think that I didn’t partake in the teasing, but I probably did). I didn’t start wearing glasses until grade 10, so we were beyond that — at that point they were teasing me because I was a dweeb, not because I wore glasses. The glasses just completed the dweeb ensemble.

Anyway, a few kids in Ryan’s class have gotten glasses in the last few years, and nobody gets made fun of. Ryan said that one girl was nervous about getting hers, and the whole class made a point of telling her how great they looked on her. When Ryan found out he had to get glasses, it didn’t phase him at all. There was no complaining, no fear, no worries, no problem. He whined more the last time he had to get a haircut. We picked up his glasses a couple of days before we left for France, and he’s been doing great with them.

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