My favorite color is green. I have green eyes. So I purchase almost everything in green: clothes, towels, jewelry. Years ago I faithfully followed instructions in an interior decoration magazine. I purchased a green sofa and green carpeting throughout my house.
So when my 44-year-old only son finally married five years ago, the color of my mother-of-the groom dress was a no-brainer: some shade of green. I scoured the specialty stores for the perfect dress. Anyone who knows me well understands my favorite hobby is bargain shopping. I am on first name basis with all the sales staff of thrift stores, auction houses, garage sales and consignment shops. Yet my goal was to look smashing as well as fashionable at this once-in-a-lifetime social event.
I was prepared to spend big bucks for the latest, most flattering style. No more vintage shops for me. At last I found a treasure at the chic department store Dillard’s. The saleslady assured me her bridal party dresses had arrived that very morning.
The second dress I tried on was the charmer. I was rewarded with what I described as the captivating elegance of a long green floor length iridescent dress with a full skirt and matching jacket with rhinestone clasp. Everyone in the bridal department within earshot assured me I looked gorgeous and it was ideal for an outdoor afternoon wedding in Southern California.
Yes, it was a big hit at the nuptials. My competitive daughter declared it was the prettiest outfit at the wedding, with the exception of the bridal gown. I wore green eye shadow to further enhance my green eyes. I have since worn The Dress at formal nights on cruises and on New Year’s Eve. It is an understatement to state I was very pleased with myself and unusually smug.
Six years later I find myself sitting in the office of a highly recommended ophthalmologist. I am very afraid. I feel a fluttering in my left eye, which has lasted for one week. Has someone has taken a paintbrush and poked my eyelashes? Do I have glaucoma?
It took courage to face the doctor because I have deep anxiety about anything medical. But I certainly don’t want to lose my eyesight. Two technicians put drops in my eyes and led me through a series of tests, asking me to read various eyes charts. “What eye charts?” I could scream. Are they trying to trick me by playing gaslight with my emotions?
Finally the doctor arrives and assures me I do not have glaucoma. It was merely a twitching of the eye muscle, similar to a hiccup. “But not so fast,” he warns me. “You have thick cataracts and need surgery.”
He insists on an immediate decision. He assures me the day surgery will take 40 minutes. The procedure is done under anesthesia. It won’t be painful because I will not be conscious.
I reluctantly make a date with his appointment secretary. I agree to have surgery on my dominant eye, the right one.
The doctor was correct. The operation was not painful and I survived. I followed his instructions faithfully. For the next three weeks my husband put three different drops in my eyes about six times a day. And gradually I began to see objects in depth. Purples and yellows were so bright they screamed at me.
But the greatest astonishment was I discovered my closet was full of bright blue clothes. My jewelry was all blue. My cherished Mother of the Groom dress is blue and not green. Wow! What a trick fate has played on me. Disappointed, I will still keep The Dress because it has brought me many fond memories.
Reluctantly, I was forced to withdraw large sums of money to replace my blue bath mats with green ones to match the wallpaper in my bathrooms. My successful eye surgery demanded I rush to the jewelry store to locate green rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. I also must buy more green sweaters and blouses.
My biggest regret is I cannot send my retail therapy bill to the doctor. Alas, I must pay his bill for granting me the ability to see things clearly.
But to be fair, the doctor did change my life. I can now drive at night. And I won’t be so hesitant in making an appointment to have the cataract in my left eye removed. This time, I hope the price includes a new wardrobe.