Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vision Question

I had my eyes checked back on Thursday. I've noticed some fuzziness in my vision at certain distances. Plus, I accidentally destroyed my prescription sun glasses and ned a new pair. So I made an appointment a couple weeks ago.

They mailed me some paperwork to complete, which I dutifully did, and bring with me to my appointment. It's the usual personal information, medical, and family history stuff, but there was one item I had no idea how to answer.

Ethnicity: ______________

I had already admitted to being a male Caucasian. I know, that is sex and race, not ethnicity. But I don't consider myself to be part of an ethnic group other than Spokanite, which probably doesn't count. So I left it blank.

Turning in my nearly 100% completed paperwork at my appointment, the technician began entering my information into the computer. Then she asks me,

"Are you a Latino?"

"No. Why would you ask me that?"

"Because you left the ethnicity question blank."

"I had no idea how to answer it."

"Yeah, the government requires us to track it. I think it smacks of Hitler."

"How's that?"

"What business is it of the government's to know if you're Latino or not?"

We proceeded with the vision examination where she told me when I got the letters right and helpfully provided, "The next two are numbers," at the appropriate times. The vision exam doesn't seem well done if you're looking at the same letters and numbers the entire time. I knew what they were but I wanted to be able to see them clearly so I was holding out for clearer vision while she's flipping the eye piece and asking, "One or two?" "One or three?" And so on.

Then it was on to the Blind The Examinee part. Numbing and pupil dilation eyedrops were dropped and I mostly held still while a blue light got closer and closer until it touched my eyeball. That falling into a deep blue pit feeling was unnerving--both times. She had to start over if I blinked when it touched and with just a hint of menace she informed me she would have to "help me" hold my eyes open if I couldn't do it myself. I got away with blinking once on each eye. Afterwards I had the bright light shining onto every part of my retina, turning my vision into one giant Sylvania blue dot. (Yes, I'm seriously dating myself.) And then I was Mr Squints the rest of the day and as my overinflated pupils left in every photon they could find.

I think Spokanite should be an ethnic group and I plan to use it when I can, Hitler be damned.

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