Love at First Sight
Once upon a time, I was merrily working away on my computer at Amazon, preparing to present to a class with my boss later that evening. Suddenly, something disrupted my vision. Oh weird, I thought, as I cleared my eye. Then it kept coming back. Yeesh, I must have put on way too much mascara this morning. Then I looked closely with my phone camera in selfie mode and then with the compact mirror I carry with me to help feed my vanity. Something was wrong. As soon as I’d clear the gunk, it’d come back. My manager, Matt, walked into the room and immediately knew something was awry. He examined my eye from outside the ritual circle he placed around me. My teammates, all men in their late 20s and 30s, my bros, also eyed me from afar. “It looks like Pink Eye,” my manager declared gravely. “Go see a doctor, right now. You’re eyes are so important. Don’t take a chance.” Matt said a few “Hail Marys” and threw some Holy Water at me before confining himself to his office. Which he locked. Though his words, filtered through the glass, made him sound like he was talking to me from the bottom of the ocean, he continued to encourage me to leave from the safety of his office. My ragtag Sales teammates teased me mercilessly on the way out: “Melissa, have you been rolling around in poop?” Roars of laughter. “Smelvin, what’d you do?!” More guffaws. “No way!” I responded, half laughing, half concerned. All distressed. “I am the biggest germaphobe I know!” But still…I wondered.
These thoughts haunted me as I Ubered to a nearby urgent care center. I pumped the hand sanitizer several times on my way in.
The doctor examined my eyes with an ophthalmoscope. All was still until: “Wow…your eyes are so dark…Almost black,” he marveled, quietly, as he gazed into them. Were doctors allowed to say things like that? A smile tugged at his lips. My heart skipped a beat. Oh my god, could he feel it too? The tension was palpable in that small examination room. I could read between the lines. But I literally had gunk streaming out of my eye. There was no way he was coming on to me…right? On the other hand, my eyebrows were phenomenal (I had just gotten them threaded) so…maybe he was?
As goo oozed out of one eye, I took a good look at him with my working one. He was very cute. Should I ask him out? Is he going to ask me out? Should I follow up with him afterwards? Thank God I wore my flattering cardigan today. I asked him if there was any way I somehow came into contact with, well, feces. He assured me that I had not. I had maybe touched a doorknob with germs on it and then accidentally touched my eye. “It is like getting a cold in your eye,” he informed me. “You’re not un-hygenic,” he added, sweetly. HA. Take that, a-holes, I said internally as I thought back to my team. And it made me love him more.
The doctor wished me well and told me I could grab my medicine right outside in the lobby. Once I collected my meds, I slowly headed towards the door, hoping he’d come back out to see me. As I expected, the doctor raced into the lobby, asking me to wait a moment. Oh my gosh. Here we go, I thought. Hope welled inside me like a ballon. This was it. He was going to ask me out. I imagined sharing the story of how we met at our wedding: “Our eyes met across the ophthalmoscope. Despite the goop coming out of my eye, he saw the best in me. He found me attractive at my worst - at my lowest. That’s how I knew he was the one.” “Yes?” I asked, fluttering my good lashes, all demure-like. “If you keep experiencing symptoms, be sure to press a warm compress against your eye. It’ll help,” he advised, encouragingly. “Oh, great, thanks,” I mumbled as I deflated.
I later noticed his name on my prescription bottle. Technically, he couldn’t ask me out because he’d be breaking, oh I don’t know, probably all of the HIPPA laws, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t ask him out, right? As I pondered this for the next few days, my symptoms were not improving. I then went to see an optometrist who told me that the medication that was prescribed to me was for bacterial infections when this appeared to be a viral infection. Viral Conjunctivitis. Gross. He prescribed me something that immediately alleviated my symptoms. I then decided that I didn’t want to ask out any doctor who was capable of prescribing me the wrong medication. No such doctor was worthy of my affections. Even so…I still think of him often and the incredible moment we shared across that ophthalmoscope.