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Shed A (Little Less) Light On It: One-eyed Willie Thinks You May Look Better In The Dark

June 16, 2010

by Ashley Akin

I have bad eyesight. Not the kind that can be corrected with contacts or Lasik or, it turns out, years of wearing a patch over one eye to elementary school and walking into walls in front of 6-year-olds who are less than sympathetic to your ophthalmologist’s wishes. It’s OK, though – my doctor wrote the DMV a note when I was 16 that magically allowed me to get my license anyway. And I think the fact that my car now looks like a ball of wadded-up aluminum foil yet I’m still legally allowed to drive is a great testament to the fact that even a half-blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.

Because of this, I require a lot of light… to do anything. To fold clothes requires all lamps and overhead lights to blaze at the full 100 watts, and anything as intense as reading merits the involvement of floodlights and a fire hazard of candelabra. It should be noted that my baby boomer parents probably contributed to this disability as magazine reading at our house often included a surgical lamp and a magnifying glass. “Can you even see that? Paul, get in here and tell her she can’t see that. And bring a lamp!”

In any case, I recently ordered an free energy conservation kit from TVA in the hopes that I could turn all of the energy-saving mindspew I’ve been forcing on everyone else inward. [Sidenote: There’s a whole energy campaign about the “energy sucking vampire” within all of us, but my Googling went haywire when I tried to find out about it; I ended up spending half an hour reading about ancient Russian vampires who suck the energy out of any conversation and generally annoy everyone with their overstated melancholy. Then I realized I’m pretty sure I used to work with some of these people. And then I got disturbed that vampires had actually crossed the threshold in my brain from the cuddly-Taylor-Lautner-shirtless  section into the part where I keep reality, and I had to go get a latte.]

Anyway, I filled out the 5-minute TVA survey and had the free kit in my hot little hands in a few weeks. I did have a small panic attack when I realized the bulbs maxed out at 60 watts, but my lamp was burned out and the new GQ was on my table, so I didn’t have much of a choice. I popped it in and prepared to go all squinty-eyed with indignation at being unable to read about America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges (you’re welcome for that link). To the utter surprise of my half-blind behind, it was actually quite pleasant. The lighting was warm, the words were clear, and I didn’t even have those little stars flittering around my eyes when I stood up… which could be because I decided to forgo the glass of Red for this story hour, but either way, it’s a win.

Whatever the reason, I’m telling you this switch was a comfortable and cheap one that I am glad I made. And what’s more: CFL’s will save you about $30 over the life of the bulb, will last you 10 times longer, and will use 75% less energy than their traditional counterparts. Now those are some numbers that even my brain on red wine can handle.

And if you still can’t get with the lower-lighting, here’s a final thought: soft lighting reduces blemishes or crow’s-feet or that zit on your nose to almost nil; just look what the hazy lens did for Robert Redford in Up Close & Personal. He scored Michelle Pfeiffer for cougars’ sake, and that’s just a flat-out (fictional) fact. We love you, “Tally Atwater” – even if you can’t say your “s’s” on camera!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 21, 2010 8:42 pm

    Why do I feel like I know the same Russian vampires that you know…?

    Your writing makes me laugh out loud. Love it!

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