Here’s my question: Why is it we don’t trust our eyes?
By now, you may know that at Sunday’s Oscar’s, Warren Beatty hesitated after opening the envelope for the Best Picture recipient. He looked at the card and then inside the envelope again. He looked at Faye Dunaway, began to say, “And the Best Picture goes to” and then handed the card to Faye Dunaway. Faye Dunaway immediately said, “La La Land.”
Lots of applause, people coming up on stage, making speeches, and then more confusion. Turns out “Moonlight” and not “La La Land” had not won Best Picture.
The category was Best Picture, and as beautiful as she may be, as picturesque as she may be, Emma Stone is not a motion picture. Thus she could not be considered for the Best Picture award at the Oscar’s.
The mistake was corrected as gracefully as it could have been. Warren Beatty later said the card had Emma Stone’s name as Best Actress in a Leading Role, in “La La Land.”
So back to my question: Why is it we don’t trust our eyes? Why don’t we trust what is right in front of our eyes?
Sometimes, that question is literal, as in Warren Beatty’s case. At other times, it’s figurative.
For example, sometimes we wonder why we keep doing the same thing over and over. We wonder why things never change. I would dare say sometimes it’s because we don’t want things to change, and at other times we just don’t see how they will change. We don’t want to see what’s wrong. We don’t have vision.
Could be that we’re hopeful? We see what’s in front of us, but we don’t want to believe it. I wonder how many people have gotten bitten by a snake because they saw a snake, couldn’t believe it was a snake and ignored the snake.
I wonder how often we stay in a rut because we don’t want to see that we’re actually in a rut.
Maybe in Warren Beatty’s case, he clearly saw that the card said Best Actress Emma Stone for “La La Land” but could not believe his eyes. Maybe he was thinking, “Why does this card say Emma Stone when it should say the name of one of the movies?” So when he hands the card to Faye Dunaway, perhaps he was hoping that what his lying eyes were seeing, hers would see also. Maybe she would notice, and maybe she would mention to someone that the card had the wrong information.
Was he afraid to trust what was right in front of him?
Instead, Faye Dunaway glanced down and saw the part of the card that said “La La Land,” which was the name of a movie eligible for the Best Picture Oscar. Warren Beatty got no validation that what he had seen was an error.
Have you ever turned to someone for validation or for unspoken support of what you knew to be something wrong? Did you get what you were looking for?
You knew that what you were seeing was wrong but yet no one else accepted the wrong as a wrong. Did you stand up and say, “This is not right?” Did you go along knowing that what others saw as right was really wrong?
What about now? Do you question things that do not seem quite right, things your gut checks as wrong, or do you still just go with the flow?
Seems like this should be clear-cut. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, even when your eyes and those around you try to trick you into believing otherwise.
The real question is “What are you going to do about the trickery?”
I realized I had a problem when I put on the glasses of a 74-year-old woman; six years later, I can see clearly, thanks to technology and Bobby McFerrin.
My mother, her oldest sister and I were heading to lunch at a restaurant named for the county I grew up in, and my aunt was giving directions.
Sadly, I could not read the street names, but I could tell the difference between a street with a long name and one with a short one. When I put on those glasses, I could actually read the names of the streets.
I knew then I needed my eyes checked, as my vision had apparently been blurry for a while.
How did I become someone with nearsightedness, an astigmatism and presbyopia?
First, regular glasses. Then, progressive lenses so I didn’t look older than I felt by wearing visible bifocals.
Every year, the prescription got stronger and stronger.
Each year, I grew to hate being dependent on glasses.
Then, while at work, I had a conversation with someone who mentioned he had had LASIK surgery on both eyes, had 20/20 vision and no longer wore glasses to see things at a distance. He did say he had to wear them for reading, however.
A promised email message from him gave me all the information I needed to book a consultation. (Note, LASIK is an acronym, but I won’t bore you with the words here. Just know that the first two words are “laser-assisted.”)
Then, the week before my surgery, I talked with another guy who had had the surgery just days before at the same place. His vision went from 20/300 (and wore those really thick glasses) to 20/30 without glasses.
He said the surgery was the third best thing he had done in his life, behind getting married and going to Africa.
I was convinced I was doing the right thing, and then I read the patient information booklet the doctor had given me.
Blah, blah, blah.
During the first procedure, my vision could go blurry, or I could lose it?
Then, I saw the word “temporarily.” Whew!
Other concerns were that if something went bad in one eye, it could happen in the other. One reason to have the procedure on one eye at a time.
I had scheduled the procedure for my right eye only, as my reading vision is still decent. I just wanted to drive and watch movies without glasses.
On the day of the 8:45 a.m. procedure, I had my ride drop me off early and told him to come back around 11 to get me. The literature had said to expect to be in the office two hours.
In the office, the doctor asked if I had any questions. I had already read the procedure is painless, requires no stitches and has immediate results. He explained that the procedure had two parts, the first for cutting a flap on the cornea, the second for correcting the vision.
He also explained my other main concern: What if I blinked? My eyeball is fitted with a contraption that prevents blinking.
When we got into the procedure room, an assistant put numbing drops in my eyes, and I quickly reminded him I was having surgery only on one eye. He said the numbing of both prevents sympathetic reaction from the other eye and then put a patch over my left eye.
Then, the doctor asked what music I would like to hear. That’s where Bobby McFerrin came is: I asked for “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
I never heard the end of the song; the procedure was just that quick.
First came the suction and burning smell of the laser flap-cutter as the doctor told me I was doing fine.
Then, I walked over to the other machine, where, from my perspective, the procedure looked like I was in my car while going in a drive-through car wash.
Lots of water and a squeegee cleaning it off.
At 9:15, back in the lobby, I called my ride.
As I rode home, I read the billboards. Who reads billboards? I felt like a child on Christmas morning.
That night, I watched TV without glasses.
Three months later, I still see clearly.
If you’re tired of glasses, consider LASIK. I chose LASIKPlus because both guys raved about it and because the doctor has done lots of these surgeries.
If you’re nervous about the outcome, I would say one thing:
Don’t worry. Be happy.