The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 25, 2013

The eye of the beholder

By B.J. Drye, Editor
CNHI

Monday, February 25, 2013 — It’s not polite to stare.

How many times have we heard that?

Well, I’ve come to the point that I don’t really care if I stare. In fact, I have to.

So if you see me out at a meeting or event and I don’t recognize you, don’t take offense to it. I rarely recognize anyone until they get really close to me, unless it’s someone I’m familiar with. I can make out familiar shapes pretty well, so if you have a recognizable shape or feature, chances are I may remember you.

It really bugs me though that I often have to sit up front at events and not have the leisure of sitting in the back, with an easy escape route. But being up front does have advantages. Even if you are not the guest of honor, you sometimes feel like it, since everyone is looking in your direction.

I guess that can be a disadvantage. (Note to self: comb it, brush it, floss it and zip it. That should cover everything.)

Sometimes I feel like I’m staring out into space. If I’m off with someone and we get separated, I hate to admit it but I feel most vulnerable. I know my sight could be worse, and there is a good chance it will, but the sense of the unknown is troubling.

It is true though that when one sense is bad, another often compensates. I have always had good hearing. Sometimes too good. I hear things I shouldn’t.

Not mafia type things, but things you just wish you could push right back out your ears.

But it should make those around me very cautious. Do not talk about me. You never know when I’m in the vicinity.

That actually is a good trait for a news person. It is something of which my reporters need to take note, and hopefully they are reading this column. Keep your ears open. Even when you are not on duty, you hear news, you hear ideas, you learn the ways in which people communicate.

In fact, that is a good tip for everyone, not just journalists. Take time to listen. Many people like to talk, but it is the great leaders who know how to listen and take time to listen.

Hmm, seems like I heard that mentioned somewhere lately.



That is where this column was supposed to end.

That was until Wednesday morning.

Then I learned a new meaning for “the I’s have it.”

I woke up Wednesday morning with a tired eye. It didn’t seem too unusual, since my eyes are usually tired.

I had just went to my eye doctor the day before for a pressure check. All seemed normal then, well, as normal as can be for me.

But on Wednesday I could hardly open my left eye, and it looked really red, especially under the eyelid.

I thought I had burst a blood vessel.

My eyes were not bloodshot from a night out of partying, far from it.

I know he probably will not like seeing this public praise, but I have the best eye doctor in Stanly County. (Dr. Eddie will probably say his wife is better.)

I went in Wednesday morning to find out an answer and he gave me one, began a series of treatments and sent me on my way as an emergency case to my specialist in Southern Pines.

The specialist concurred that my eye was inflamed.

Inflamed? Like a muscle?

I guess I’ve been flexing my eyes too much, or the weight of my extremely long eye lashes got to them.

But seriously, it is a condition that happens with characteristics of my medical history. So I’m on a treatment of drops, drops and drops for the next few days at least.

Instead of counting sheep, I’m counting drops.

I try to joke about it to relieve the stress and anxiety of what may be going on inside my head.

Yet, eye care is a serious topic. No one truly understands the troubles with which someone deals. I’ve always loved the adapted quote from Elvis, “Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.” My shoes, as many of you know, are an entirely different story, but the quote applies here as well.

Eyes really are a window to the soul.

My windows may be fogged up from time to time, but the lights are still on inside the house.



B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Send comments or story ideas to bj@stanlynewspress.com or PO Box 488, Albemarle, NC 28002.