When I was 13, I made the jump from wearing glasses to wearing contacts.* The guy who fitted me for the lenses was fat and gray and smile-free.
He instructed me to balance the lens on my finger, hold it up to the light and look for the tiny letters etched at the edge: "AV." This procedure, he said, was to ensure I wasn't putting the lens on inside out.
My 13-year-old brain heard this and concluded: He's making a little joke. So I gave him a hearty laugh.
You're probably thinking, "Why would someone think that was a joke?" If you are, you're in good company. That is what 28-year-old me is thinking as well. The only explanation I can come up with is that maybe I always associate putting things on inside out with humor? And maybe I was in a good mood and expecting a joke somewhere along the line and latched on to the closest thing?
But anyway. It wasn't a joke. The smile-free man had to interrupt my laughter to tell me that he really meant it, that it was easy to put contacts on inside out. I had to wipe the smile off my face and pretend the laughing episode hadn't happened.
I think about this every time I hold my lens up to the light. It's something that will haunt me until I either get corrective surgery or die.
But even if I manage to rid myself of this awkward memory someday, there are plenty more** where that came from.
*You know the old saying, "guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses"? Which maybe my brother +David made up? Well, apparently in my case it wasn't the glasses preventing the passes. The saying could have been revised to just "guys don't make passes."
**Like the time I told the father of a child I babysat that I didn't know DVDs were considered videos just as he was telling his small daughter that she was a ding dong for not knowing that. Or the time I didn't have anything to say to a girl who was looking for conversation so I mentioned that "these pens suck" only to realize that the pens in question were the ones she'd given me for my birthday. Or every time I take my baby in for a check-up with the doctor and knowingly cite something I think I know about babies, only to find out I'm apparently one of those moms who believes every stupid thing she reads on the internet.