An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

05 August 2007

Myopia, genetics, and the joys of being kikay

I started wearing eyeglasses when I was thirteen, with a very light prescription to correct slight astigmatism. The approach did not work, as I, decades after, am now saddled with a diopter of -6.00 in my right eye and a little bit more for my left, both eyes with a far higher grade for astigmatism than when I started, and with an even higher grade for nearsightedness to boot. Take off my glasses and I am almost blind; all I can see are colors, but not boundaries between colors, and everything looks like an undulating blob to me. Without my glasses, I look at my sister twenty feet away and I mistake her for either a very tall plant or a strange floor lamp. She, on the other hand, equally blind, must mistake me for either a doorpost or some thin piece of furniture.

Just to give you an idea of what we have to deal with, blur the rightmost image three more times, and that's what we see at a twenty-foot distance. Compare that with the normal vision shown by the leftmost image.

It's annoying at best, and exasperating at worst. Also, it's not very convenient to need glasses when I am watching TV while lying down, or when I have to stand outside under an umbrella or an awning while the wind is driving rain into my face and spattering my glasses with water. The worst is when I'm carrying heavy things with both hands while it's hot and my glasses are sliding down my sweating nose and I can't push them back up with my hand so I have to walk the rest of the way with my entire head turned up, my glasses tottering on the tip of my nose.

It runs in the family, this cursed, inconvenient blindness. Da started wearing glasses in grade school, I at thirteen, my brother at ten, my sister at eight, and my other brother at thirteen. Ma, who has been having splitting headaches since time immemorial has always declared that her eyes must need prescription glasses of "one thousand," yet she is the most clear-sighted of us all. When I used to go to Sunday mass with all of them, we would sit side by side on a single pew, a row of tall, thin, quiet, bespectacled, somber-looking people who stood up and sat down and kneeled like robots, plus one plump, non-blind woman who sang and prayed and mumbled and cried in turns who stood up and sat down and knelt with a passion. Bad vision must have made stoics out of us. There must be something in church we could not see and thus could not move us.

For a time, we wore contact lenses -- Da when he was in the United States, I when I was twenty-three, and my sister for about a year, just recently. Da has had LASIK surgery since then, and is now living the life of a normal person. The rest of us are back to wearing glasses. I am not qualified for LASIK because of my high cylinder, I have gotten allergic to contact lenses, and thus I have no choice but to wear glasses. I am pretty much resigned to my lot. I may be blind, but I get by. But it doesn't mean that I have to have the same kind of glasses as everyone else.

Thus I emerge with a new collection: vintage "cat's eyes" eyeglasses.

Such spectacular spectacles! Can you blame me if I have been buying them like crazy?

They don't make them like these anymore. Finally I can stop looking so generic. And finally there is something I can collect -- besides books and fountain pens and fountain pen ink -- that will actually show on my face. Shopaholic meets kikay. (Or is that redundant?) Life is fun and pretty, thanks to fabulous well-kept eyeglasses from the fifties, and an Ebay seller with equally fabulous taste!

More posts as my new glasses begin to arrive, a few at a time. And I just found out something very interesting which is now making me appreciate my fledgeling collection even more. There is history in the wings, and a story here somewhere. Do you see it?


Blogger Sexy Simone said...

You've been reviewed

11:28 AM  
Anonymous stryker said...

nice blog and posting.

recently i bought my eyeglasses for 30US$. i have -0.25 on my left eye and -0.5 on my right eye.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hey, stryker. Wow, your eyes must be pretty tough. Just a slight nearisghtedness, even with all the computer work you do!

Thanks for dropping by. :)

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Teddy Recto said...


Your look deserves high fashion eyewear.

I like your new pic.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hindi na parang nakaupo sa burol, diba, Manoy Ted? Haha! I'm so excited! It's just so annoying that we don't have these kind of glasses here, but I'm also enjoying the search.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Dewey said...

I just love the vintage glasses. And I love that you'll have so many choices of what to wear. Even though my health insurance allows me to get new glasses every year, I've been wearing the same ones for almost 10 years! I'm so boring. :)

1:19 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, Dewey! I'm just a girly-girl that way. :)

But ten years? Wow, you do prefer the familiar. But I can understand the sentiment.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to wear coca cola eyeglasses. Contact lenses are a pain.I thank modern technology for the return of my eyesight (nearsightedness) to 20/30. I had RK (Radial Keratotomy) 16 years ago, before the FDA approved the laser procedure. RK is the best investment I ever did. Now that I am older, I use reading eyeglasses. Reversing the aging process is something modern science has not discovered yet.

Love your vintage eyeglasses. I think I have one tucked somewhere in my closet. I used it in of my Halloween parties. I will give it to you when I find it.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Wow, thanks, Anonymous! :) I wonder what those glasses look like, since you used them as part of a Halloween costume.

Hmm. "Coca Cola glasses." You are (were) worse than me! But I'm glad to hear your eyesight is now close to normal. Don't worry about the reading glasses, though. Reading glasses are nature's great equalizers.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous baduh said...

I don't know why I signed as Anonymous. It is me, Baduh. I went as one of Cher's character on her old TV show. Impersonatng Cher? Yeah, I dream a lot and too much!

10:25 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hey, Baduh! It IS you!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Shay said...

helo anne! found u via pangangalgkalag. collecting interesting blogs right now and hope u dun mind me adding u. blessings!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous eon said...

just skimming through your posts piqued my interest.

I've added you to my pinoy literati links, along with fhbatacan, iancasocot and butchdalisay.

hope you dont mind. ^_^

1:06 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

shay and eon, feel free to link. :)

Thanks for dropping by.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Paolo... said...

hey just dropping by...
nice blog! love your post!! :)

5:32 PM  
Blogger Jerome C. Herrera said...

Good Day!

My name is Jerome Herrera. Recently, I have decided to create a website named Espaniero, an Online Spanish Conversation Group for Filipinos. Espaniero will benefit learners and speakers of the Spanish language
much. I was wondering if you are interested in a link exchange. A link exchange would definitely be a big help to our advocacies. Espaniero is located at

If you are interested, email me at

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Papersurfer said...

The terrible Goddess is blind as a bat as well - I think it's rather sexy.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Farrah said...

Love your cats eyes glasses. Dunno if it would work for me though...I too wear glasses, but tend to get the more generic kind. Ive been wearing glasses since I was 6.

Thank you for sharing your blog with the ebay community. I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future...


11:13 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hi, Farrah! Thanks for dropping by. I've been buying so many because I cannot fit them before buying, so I'll just make my choices when I have bought enough. I still don't have enough at 14 pairs. Being an Ebayer and a girl yourself, I'm sure you can see the logic behind this. Haha!

We do love our shopping, don't we? :)

Would love to visit your blog, but access to it is limited. :)

Take care!

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice cat-eyes. I also saw your collection on and wonder how you are liking the made in France non-traditional color with 2 little stars pair. I have been looking for exactly that pair for a long time. Do you know where I can find one? Whould you be interested in a trade???

12:50 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hey there! Actually I like that pair so much it's one of my daily wears. It fits my face's shape and size, and the cat's eye shape is really recognizable. I will email you my eBay seller's contact details instead. She has a lot of them for sale. :)

Thanks for visiting!

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, You have done a great job. I'll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this web site.
Also see my site > vision without glasses

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi just want to share this facebook page that I find it interesting and helpful, its has trivia, facts about our human eyes and also have a tips on how to take care of our eyes, some are even asking about their eye problem and doctors do reply

3:27 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks for dropping by, and for the link. Will check it out now. Thank you!

3:35 PM  

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