I’m at the optician with my new prescriptions. And this time I’m prepared. The last time I picked out new glasses, I couldn’t see what I looked like in them. At all. And most of them were rolling around on my face like an uncinched saddle on a pony. I brought a dozen pairs to the optician’s desk and he took one glance at me—no calipers were involved—and shook his head. “You need to stick with petites,” he said, repossessing most of them. That whacked it down to two candidates. I had him choose. The second optician agreed with his choice.

I never liked them. The other pair must have been awful. So this time I brought my phone, because I am almost modern. I started down the long Wall O’ Glasses and picked out a pair. Took my glasses off, put on a pair of frames, picked up my phone and took a selfie, put the phone down on the ledge, took the frames off and put the glasses back on, and moved down the line. It was a far clumsier project than I’d anticipated. I was dropping frames on the ledge every few inches like a wombat dropping dookies. Whenever I had frames on I couldn’t see where I’d left my phone and spun in place for a while. A few times I put my glasses on over a pair of empty frames because I assumed I didn’t have any glasses on. Before long I had left a crumb trail of frame possibilities on the little ledge and was at the end of the line.

And it was depressing. Looking at myself from three inches away is a flat horror show. I’m not sure I was aware just how much my own nearsightedness was photo-editing my face for me. Good heavens! Do I owe my pleasant disposition to a combination of forgetfulness and poor eyesight?

“Ms. Brewster?” The optician was looking around. I can’t hear when I can’t see, either. Dave intervened. “She’s the little one over there scratching her butt and picking her nose,” he said helpfully.

Finally I gave up and settled on five or six pairs and went over to the desk and we had at it. I kind of liked the tortoiseshell number, but no one else did. Dave didn’t weigh in. He makes a point of telling me I’m beautiful no matter what, so he’s useless in this situation. The opticians liked the bluer ones. Nothing was quite right. Were there others?

“You could try the children’s frames,” the optician said, knowledgeably. Are you fucking kidding me? She was not. Every one of them fit.

Almost everyone has something about their appearance they’d like to change, ideally. 98% of the things I’d like to change are right on top. Yes: my head is tiny. Holding it up is not really asking much of my neck, which is why it has gone into retirement as a bag of goo. My little head perches on it like the topknot on a brioche.

And what a prize that is. The selfies say it all. My skin is welling up out of my black lagoon of a face mask, baggy and lethargic, with the texture of overproofed bread dough imprinted with burlap. Ads for burqas are spontaneously popping up on my facebook page. I’m not sure I want to be seen in public anymore.

At least I can make everyone go away by taking my glasses off.