There I was, a beer cafe in Hornswood, with the other parents of my kid’s sporting team. Like bearded, broadsword-wielding Vikings, the dads were consuming numerous litres of lager and slabs of pig, while the mums swilled champagne and wine and nibbled.

It makes me sound like a decrepit old grandpa, but I wear “blended bi-focals”, which I took off and placed on the table. They’re fairly low prescription, but my eyes hurt if I don’t wear them.

A female friend of mine, who needs glasses 24/7, picked up my glasses and slipped them on. I knew what was coming. I’d heard it many times before. I tried hard to distract her.

Me – “I um… I think your husband’s boring.”

Glasses needer – “Are these even prescription?” she asked with a smirk. She was not going to be distracted that easily.

Me – “Yeees,” I answered defensively as I reached out my Stein-hand for her to return them.

Needer – “These are just like looking through plain glass,” she pointed at my glasses on her face. “Mine are twice as strong as these Jase. Twice! Why do you even bother?

I felt incredibly inadequate and that I was somehow cheating, wearing pathetic, low-prescription ones, in the presence of a true needer.

Needer – (slowly), “I’ll… bet… you… just… wear… these… to… look… good. Right Jase? Am I right?” The needer was having a good old time.

Me – “No, I hate wearing them, actually I…

Needer – “Not nearly as strong as mine,” she interrupted.

Though she would never usually mock anybody about anything, the needer looked me in the face and just shook her head in disgust. She gave my glasses back with a dismissive wave. I took a big swig on my rapidly warming Stein and shoved some schnitzel into my mouth. I wished my eyes were worse.

On a different occasion, I was playing pool with a few of the boys. With blokes, we are a little more basic with our glasses-mocking. It’s all about thickness.

Male needer – “Fu#k mate, these glasses are so bloody thin. They weigh next to nothing. Look at mine, they’re like the bottom of schooner glasses. Why the fu#k do you bother with these tiny pieces of crap. Hey Dicko, check out how thin these glasses are.

Dicko, also a needer, chimed in. “Jase my daughter has thicker glasses.

I wished my glasses were thicker. Damn my low-prescription blended-bi-focal-requiring astigmatism. DAMN IT ALL TO HELL.

I just don’t know why all you needers have to get up us low-perscriptors. It’s not our fault you know. As we age, our eyes will get worse and eventually you won’t be able to look down on us any longer.

I gaze closely at computer screens, deliberately don’t eat carrots and read in terrible light. I do everything that my mother used to tell me not to, hoping it will make me go blind. So one day, one day, I too, will be a needer.

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