Friday, August 19, 2011


Recently, my youngest daughter Olivia began wearing contact lenses for the very first time.  She did remarkably well when learning how to put them in and take them out at the eye doctor's office, and her first day as a contact lens wearer ended quite successfully... then came day two.  I received a phone call from Liv explaining how, while attempting to put her lens in her right eye, she somehow lost it.  Thus, she became acquainted with what is undoubtedly, the bane of every contact wearer’s existence; the issue of the lost lens. 
I have worn contact lenses for 35 years now, and as such, have acquired a virtual treasure trove of knowledge as to where an elusive lens may have disappeared to.  Over the years I have found missing lenses on my clothes, on the floor, on the bottle of solution, and occasionally, still in my eye.  The latter is perhaps, the most perplexing, because one would think that it was impossible to lose a lens in one’s eye and fail to realize it.  For those of you unfamiliar with contact lenses, I can assure you that it is not.  Somehow a lens can make its way up into your upper eyelid and sit there unnoticed, while the user spends hours looking for it in a myriad of other places, before realizing it is still in one’s eye. My favorite loss and recovery stories though, involved two of my friends’ lost lenses, and I share these remarkable tales whenever I run into someone despondent over the loss of their own lens. 
The first involved my friend Linda, who lost one while swimming in her above ground pool.  It never fails to amaze me that, given the gallons and gallons of water in one’s pool, not to mention the splashing of that water which, in a second, could propel it over the side, it is still possible to locate a clear contact lens intact, to lose again another day....Linda did it though.
The second happened when a group of friends from work gathered at a bar called “Roger’s Roost,” to show off our lack of skills while playing pool, and to watch some hockey as we shared a few beers to make the pool playing less painful.  This particular bar, for those of you who have never been there, provides baskets of peanuts for the customers to enjoy, and also, to make them very thirsty. To ensure that the customers don't have to waste time properly disposing of their empty peanut shells when they could be ordering more beer instead, the owners simply allow everyone to throw them on the ground to be cleaned up later, by an underpaid staffer, once the bar has closed.  Somehow in the midst of all this beer drinking, bad pool playing, and hockey watching, my friend Anna lost a contact lens.  The bar, of course, was very dark, which poses an additional problem when looking for a lost lens.  As our group gathered around her, scanning the floor for the proverbial “needle in a haystack”, a couple of gentlemen noticed our plight and gallantly offered some mini-flashlights that they happened to have with them, to help us in our efforts.  We rummaged through the discarded shells on the floor, now illuminated by our mini-flashlights, until finally, we became too parched to continue.  At that point, exhausted and thirsty from her efforts, Anna raised her mug to satiate her thirst and there, glistening on the side of it, was her contact lens!  We considered it a victory for beer-drinking, contact lens wearers everywhere.
In Olivia’s case, her lens could not be located, but the eye doctor graciously provided her with, not one, but three new lenses to address her problem.  She now has a lens to replace the one that she originally lost, and two more to replace that first set, when she loses those two tomorrow!


  1. Never had contacts HOwever had to remove some from my drunken friends eyeballs. I just sort of squeezed them like a pimple and they came out. Put them in the case !!!

  2. well done, jan!! ...and your story was quite amusing, too!!

  3. finally your bloggers block is gone...i check this everyday to see if there is anything i can read...thank you for posting again.
    i had totally forgotten about that darned contact lens and the beer stein....i now remember it like it was yesterday.

  4. thank you, anna. it is good to know that you read my blog, since you have been in it on more than one occasion. i should have included how, while i am playing pool badly, i do it with my very own fancy pool stick that you got me for my birthday!