On Sunday last week I started wearing contacts again for the first time in two years.
On Monday, Ruthie poked me in the eye and my contact disappeared. Into thin air.
Usually when my hard gas permeable contact lens pops out, I hear a little tick as it hits the floor. Or it lands in my lap or I find it in my bra. For twenty-five years I’ve been that Drama Queen who yells, “NOBODY MOVE!” when the tiny plastic disk hits the floor, and then it’s miraculously found among the dust bunnies. Only a couple times in the 25 years that I’ve worn contacts has it completely disappeared.
But last week as I did my usual sweep over my sweater, in my cleavage, on my lap and the floor beneath my feet, I found nothing. Ruthie whined, “Mommy, can I move? My arm hurts.” Thomas giggled. My kids sat frozen in place, literally not moving as I had commanded.
One by one I brushed my hands over their arms, their legs, and the ground near where they sat, all the while listening for that familiar tick of the contact hitting the hardwood floor, brushed loose from an unsuspecting piece of clothing. But the contact did not turn up.
I checked under my chair, under the cushion, in the laundry basket that sat next to us. I repeated all of the above several times. Nothing. It was gone, probably carried away by Murphy and his fucking Law, who was likely sitting by the pool at a Vegas hotel, smoking cigars with the tooth fairy who, by the way, never shows up around here.
It was an accident that Ruthie poked me in the eye. She was sitting on the arm of my comfy chair, playing with my hair as I searched for something on the internet. As she brushed a piece of hair from my face, her pinky grazed over my eye and I never felt a thing.
But the next time I blinked, I couldn’t see my screen.
“What just happened?!” I yelled.
As the search went on for my missing contact, I became more agitated. I was angry that it would not be found. I was angry that I can’t seem to have nice things. I was angry at Ruthie for “causing” it to happen. I was angry that I can’t afford to replace the contact lens.
There was nothing I could do about it, and this infuriated me. There was no one to blame for it, but my rage needed a target.
After hearing Ruthie’s voice echo in my ears again, “It was an accident!” I realized I’d been barking all my frustration at her.
“I’m sorry, Ruthie,” I said. “Sometimes when things don’t go my way, I want to blame somebody for what happens.”
“Like I do sometimes?”
I smirked. Surprised, and yet not, by how easily she made the connection. “Yeah. Exactly. Will you forgive me?”
We hugged and I calmed down and put on my glasses, resolved to be spectacled forever.
The next night Bryan and I were out late, and when we got home the kids were in bed. And because I can never seem to accept defeat, I lifted up the chair cushion to look for my contact one more time.
I swear I’m not making this up, but it was sitting right there. Right next to the pink pencil, Z-bar wrapper, and roughly $1.42 in change (among other disgusting things), not at all obscured from view.
It absolutely WAS NOT there the day before. I’d looked several times, feeling for it all around the couch crumbs and on the bottom of the cushion.
I should have taken a picture of it, but I was too exasperated to do anything but roll my eyes to the ceiling and beyond and yell, “THAT’S NOT FUNNY, GOD.”