A big fat yes in fact. Am I proud of this fact? Not really, but it is the truth.
Case and point: A couple of months ago I scratched my cornea. How? I have no idea. Most likely by doing something rather strenuous, like breathing. At any rate, I trotted over to the ophthalmologist with my good eye to see what could be done.
Here is a re-cap:
Doctor: You have an abrasion on your cornea.
Doctor: You need to take these eye drops for two weeks and not wear your contacts.
Me: Uh, it’s summer.
Doctor: Yes, it is.
Me: Well, I am going to the beach next week and I don’t have any prescription sunglasses.
Me: And the sun hurts my eyes, I really need my sunglasses. (My Thoughts: Plus, I got them from Target for $5.00 and they are super cool, like something I saw JLo wearing in US magazine.)
Doctor: Well…you could just wear one contact.
Me: Oh, I can’t do that. It will drive me nuts.
I began to look sad and forlorn for effect at this point.
Doctor: Well… use your best judgment. You can wear your contacts for just a couple of hours at a time when you finish your medicine.
Me: Oh, thank you, I will!
And I paid the bill, filled the prescription, and started wearing my contacts three days later. Apparently my “best judgment” was to pop in my faux eyeballs, even if one eye was a bit blurry.
Here is where that act of genius got me (Doctor’s office two weeks later):
Doctor: Well, the abrasion is better, but still there.
Me: (shocked) You’re kidding me!
Doctor: You should wear your glasses for another month and then come back and we’ll see how it is.
Me: (My Thoughts: Silently crying to myself as I have sixth grade flashbacks of a little girl in her Coke-bottle glasses and an unfortunate bob haircut.)
So why did I let vanity get in the way of my “health.” It was only for a short time and really, who cares what other people think of my lame frames?
Uh, apparently I do.
I am sure many others have their vain points. Some people will only be photographed on their right side; others won’t be caught dead outside the house without their Coral Gables lipstick (my dear mother); and others didn’t enter society until Spanx were invented.
Yes, we all know there is a huge market out there to help us de-wrinkle, sparkle, and look ten pounds lighter, blah blah blah. There are books written, fables told, and movies made about the perils on vanity. It is even one of the seven deadly sins.
Yet, here we are, slathering, injecting, and running around with a scratched cornea, all in the name of beauty.
I am not here to shake my finger at vanity and figure out a solution. Instead, let us flip the script, if you will, and look at vanity in a positive light.
1.) A little vanity is a good thing. If none of us cared about how we looked the world would be overrun by split-ends and body odor. Taking pride in our looks (not to an extreme level) helps us take pride in ourselves. Or so they say.
2.) Vanity is keeping people in jobs. I am not sure of the numbers, but people spend a crap ton of money on personal trainers, Botox, make up, and old lady face creams to keep themselves younger and brighter. If we as a society did a 180 and stopped this spending, our economy would flop faster than a woman’s unsupported breast. Seriously, it would be way worse than the housing market issue.
3.) If people weren’t just a little vain, we would vote even crazier people into office. Think Jimmy McMillan, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Enough said.
So let us raise our jars of night time firming cream to vanity. Take pride in knowing you are helping society with your spray on tan. Let us walk hand and hand as friends with our minor narcissism.
As long as we can see out of both eyes.