My family all has bad eyesight. It’s a trait I get from my mom and dad’s sides of the family. Everyone has glasses or contacts. My aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents and me. Reaching the age to need glasses in my family is almost something to be proud of, meaning you fit in. It seems like I didn’t get the choice for them, but then again you never get the choice of eyesight.
I got glasses in the summer before fourth grade. The year before I had had a difficult time reading the board in class. At first I was not pleased to be getting glasses. I thought I would get made fun of and laughed at because of them. I probably did but back then jokes seemed to be harmless and only last for a few minutes. Trying out all the different glasses was my favorite and least favorite part of the whole process. All the different colors and styles. Purple squares, pink ovals, navy rectangles, flowers, disney themes on each side. There were too many options to choose from. Eventually I settled on a pair of pink, purple and black rectangular lensed, small framed glasses. These glasses seemed to speak to me. I was nervous and excited to wear them around. These new glasses would forever be a part of my life and I was not sure if I was ready for that.
I wore these glasses, the new addition to my image from 4th to 8th grade. When people saw these glasses, they all had different responses some better than the other. I received the usual “Four Eyes, Four Eyes” gestures and jokes that hurt like a bee, sting for a moment but then the pain slowly diminishes with time. I also received nice comments like “I like your glasses! and “Nice frames!”, which filled me up with confidence in this new style. Overtime, I got used to my addition of glasses and slowly the shock of seeing me with glasses drained away and it was a normal everyday occurrence.
My family all has different approaches to our eyesight's. My mom, always put together like a superhero, wears contacts all the time. My dad stays blind like being frozen in time, barely wearing glasses and never contacts. Glasses have not affected me in the way I believed they would. They didn’t change my personality or who I really am, but these new glasses will still always be a part of my life.
Family Waterpark Letdown
“I’m so excited. This place looks awesome in the commercial.” I said this with wide eyes peering out the window of our silver minivan, trying to catch a glimpse of the large and colorful waterpark. It was a hot summer day and you could feel the heat in the air and the sun glistening ahead, as excited for the fun day as I was.
“Girls, almost there,” my mom said over the laughing and chatter in the backseat, coming from me and my friends as our awaiting energy for the park was kicking in. “What do you think it’s gonna look like?” I asked everyone. I had never been before but the commercials gave a lot to look forward too. Huge, colorful plastic tubes soaring and spinning around the air like dandelion leaves after you blow on them on a summer's day. The hundreds of different food stands, all with different delicious desserts and snacks to sink your teeth into. Ice cream, cookies, pizza, chicken, french fries oh my! The lists of food goes on forever. Not to mention the wave pool with colored tubes for the less adventurous to float in as the waves come crashing down on it’s victims, knocking over tubes and people alike. You could say I was excited to explore.
“It’s so awesome. I’ve been before a bunch of times”, one of my friends baggily says and lifting my hopes even higher for the best day ever. The ride continued for the short time we had left, me frantically looking out the window to catch a glimpse of the almost magical land and my friends laughing and singing along to the radio.
“Girls, we're here”, my mom finally announces as we pull up to the park. Immediately, me and my friends begin to sing the Water Country theme song as our day of fun was about to begin. We pull up as slow as a turtle, no as slow as a snail. I just want to jump out of the car and run towards the entrance, I’ve been waiting way too long on that car ride. The car parks and we all get out, expecting the best thing ever to be standing in front of us, making our bodies look like ants to the people on the water slides.
I look up and instantly everything drains away from me leaving me in a pile of sad hopes and lost dreams. This place was nothing I expected. Where was the color? The theme song playing on repeat and fun characters meeting me at the door? Where was the huge water slides and the laughter of fellow park goers? “Why does this place look nothing like the commercials”, I wonder aloud not thinking of what others reactions are. My mom looks at me disappointed that I said that as all my friends run excitedly to the entrance, still thinking the day would be fun. I couldn’t get myself to run to catch up with them. What was the point? My day was already ruined. I had such high hopes that this was going to be the best water park ever and sadly that didn’t happen.
Were my expectations to high? Everyone else's too low? Was I the only one who felt this way or the only one who shared it?
The Story of Who Named Me
My name means pearl in Irish, Welsh and English. But I have never had a special connection to this meaning of pearl. The actual name and meaning aren’t as important to me, it’s the story behind the name. And there is definitely a story to my name.
My parents wanted me to be named Courtney. Courtney Curran. My brother’s name is Christopher and my sister’s name is Caitlin. Christopher, Caitlin and Courtney Curran. My parents thought that these names would be sweet and have a nice sound to our family. My brother and sister did not. They completely disagreed, saying having all our first and last names start with C was “stupid”. My parents felt strongly about this theme yet their first names do not even start with C. It’s Frank and Barbara, so they wouldn’t even fit the double C pattern they aspired for.
My family decided to vote upon my name. The top choices were Courtney, Ashley, Meghan and Rebecca. Obviously my parents voted for Courtney. My brother and sister both voted for Meghan, they named me. They never said why Meghan was their favorite but I don’t think it had to do with the meaning of pearl. I don’t know what my dad’s parents wanted me to be named or what they voted for, maybe Meghan too. I do know that my mom’s dad voted for Ashley, he really wanted that name. That’s why my middle name is Ashley, my grandpa got that choice.
So my brother and sister ended up naming me, not my parents. The funny thing is, my brother and sister don’t talk to me much anymore. They’re my half-siblings and once they went to college, they stopped talking to my family. My brother talks to us again now. He calls my dad every few weeks but we don’t hear from my sister. I don't even know what college she is in or if she graduated yet. I don’t even know her age and where she lives. The people that named me have disappeared from my life, only shadows one thinks of asleep at night.
I would never want to change my name. I feel like it fit’s me, not because of the meaning though. Whenever people talk about changing their names or what someone else could see them as, I can’t think of another name for me. Meghan fits.