I have had to take N to the optometrist today. I have turned into one of those wives who have to drag husbands to the doctors’ because the husbands were brought up to believe their health doesn’t matter and wouldn’t see a medical professional even if they are bleeding on the sidewalk. (Parents of boys, please do something about this because convincing adult men that if they wriggle in pain it might make sense to see a doctor gets very daunting. And don’t even get me started on the story of a man I know who suffered a stroke yet concealed the symptoms for a week to avoid looking like a cry-baby.)
The optometrist discovered that N’s vision had slightly deteriorated in the past 3 years.
“You must be a very smart person,” the doctor declared brightly. “Near-sightedness is an illness of people from higher social classes, the overachievers, ones who always read, learn, and try to make themselves better.”
With my perfect vision, I immediately felt like a low-class underachiever who wouldn’t know a book from her elbow.
People love identities so much that they can construct one out of anything.