Melissa Carter: Vision, vanity and breaking my streak The GA Voice Editors June 22, 2012 That's What She Said Lately, experiences are starting to crop up that have made me realize good vision outweighs my pride. For example, on our last road trip I asked Katie to let me know when we reached our exit. Why? I couldn’t see the numbers on the overhead signs. Recently, I attended orientation for my part-time job at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. During a session that involved audience participation, I asked a man at my table to please read to me the questions that were projected at the front of the room. I noticed someone at the table next to us watch from the corner of his eye, and felt confident he thought I was illiterate. The final lesson came when I met my friend, Jenn Hobby, for lunch at Souper Jenny. When you enter Souper Jenny, you immediately order from a food bar, with dry erase boards behind the server that explain all the items offered. Of course, I couldn’t read a word of the menu. Too proud to tell Jenn I needed her to read the menu to me, I simply asked her what soups she recommended. She was too busy reading the boards to respond to my inquiry. Becoming a little warm from embarrassment and the anxious need to keep the line moving, I recognized what looked like chicken in one of the soup bins. So I pointed and simply ordered “the chicken” then let my words drift off, allowing the server to assume what kind of soup it was that I wanted. Now it was time to choose a sandwich, but unsure of what choices I had I cleverly asked, “what is your most popular sandwich today?” The server pointed to a tray close to me and explained the steak sandwich had been the popular item of the hour. I responded by ordering one. Relieved, I felt confident I had masked my blindness from my friend and the entire Souper Jenny staff. Instead, they likely think I’m a meat freak who orders chicken soup and a steak sandwich — together. I also had the sense I just became my dad, whose hearing was impaired by his military service decades before I knew him. He was too proud for a hearing aid, and used the smile-and-laugh tactic to get around a conversation he couldn’t hear. Frustrating for my mother back in the day, I understand how Katie must now feel. Just wear your damn glasses, I can hear her scold, knowing she is right. It isn’t female vanity that keeps me from donning my glasses. Instead, I have been trying to break some Carter record as the only family member that doesn’t wear glasses. By giving in and putting my glasses on I break my streak. I am not quite sure why I keep hanging on to this internal competition, but what I do know is I need to learn how to give in gracefully every now and then. So, I will make sure to take my glasses with me wherever I go so I can avoid embarrassing moments like those mentioned. Then again, if I don’t have them on all the time, my streak remains alive, right? I win. Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huffington Post. She broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in Atlanta and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCarter SHARE ON Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website − 5 = two Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.