I was in a pizza restaurant dithering over what to chose. “My God,” said my newest colleague. “Your eye sight is terrible. You should go to Pakistan and get that fixed. My wife had terrible sight. Not that bad, but she really did have trouble. She went to Pakistan and got it sorted. She can see fine now.”
I said that it wasn’t an operable thing and that I had made my peace with it a long time ago. He leant in and wagging his finger at me said, “Have you been to Pakistan?” I said I hadn’t. “Well there you are then. If you haven’t been to Pakistan how do you know?”
I explained that I was in no doubt that it wasn’t operable. “But you’ve never been to Pakistan,” he said leaning back in his chair and throwing the menu down on the table in a kind of “I rest my case” gesture.
“If you were serious about it, you’d have been,” he said, shaking his head and frowning.
“I’m not,” I said and that was the end of that.
People have interesting ideas about what they feel able to comment on:
On holiday in Thailand, a Brit that I kept bumping into, bounded up to me while I was waiting to cross the road. He leant in and in a sort of sideways voice asked, “what’s up with you anyway?’ I looked quizzical.”Well, there’s clearly something up with you.”
I was genuinely mystified. “I’m fine.”
“You’re obviously not. You can’t see. Have you been to see a doctor because you need help.”
“Go away,” I said, or words to that effect.
I had arranged to meet a friend in a pub. He wanted to introduce me to someone he thought I might enjoy meeting. As I came through the door of the pub my phone rang. I checked the screen to see who was calling. “It’s me,” he said. “I’m at the bar. Walk straight ahead.” So I did.
Before we had a chance to say hello his companion put her hand on my arm. “I don’t know if you know this, but you’ve got a serious problem. You need help.” Then very slowly, she mouthed the words “I’m a doctor. You need to see an optician because you cannot see. You have a problem with your eyes.” My friend had his head in his hands. “Don’t do this. Don’t do this,” he was muttering. “She knows…. She Knows….Oh God.”
While buying sheepskin slippers recently, the woman who was serving me asked if I had cataracts because she would recommend having them removed. “I’ve just had mine done and it’s fantastic.”
“How wonderful,” In an effort to keep it simple I added that cataracts weren’t the problem.
“Is it glaucoma?” she asked enthusiastically.Before I could get to the end of “No” she said excitedly “Oh,” and now she was clicking her fingers with the general sense of being nearly at the answer. “macca something…I know it…. don’t tell me…it’s mac-o-something.”Her husband interjected. “Don’t be stupid. It’s something to do with your hair isn’t it?” I knew what he meant so said “Yes,”
“I knew it the moment you walked in. I’ve seen your people before.”
Curiosity is a powerful driver. It never ceases to amaze me what people will do in the quest for knowledge. However poorly executed, of all the intrusions into the detail of my personal biology, my exchange amongst the sheepskin was, I think, born of a genuine desire to try to understand and help. What’s more, I got 20% of the price of my new slippers.
Here’s a great link: https://fcunitedtom.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/youre-not-blind/