Post 29:
“Four Eyes”

Post 29: “Four Eyes”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

December 8, 1982 – GOOD

“Mary has trouble seeing in class. She gets glasses. Nellie & Willie call her Four Eyes. She hides her glasses. She tells Pa that she lost them. She competes in the history contest and wins. She shows Pa her glasses & she wears them from now on.”


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From Anne —

I got my first pair of glasses around the same junior-high-ish age as Mary did, but I don’t remember being inordinately traumatized by it. Braces were much worse. No prairie girl who could have known she needed—or lamented—braces. Like scarlet fever, blizzards and corn pone, crooked teeth were a fact of life. Bad eyes, not so much. Why the hell doesn’t Mary ask for glasses, or at least tell someone she can’t see sh**?

After all, if she thinks glasses are bad, she hasn’t seen anything yet. Her future doesn’t look so bright. If I’m being mean here, and inflicting this run of awful puns, it’s because Mary is a total nincompoop in this episode, and Pa is way too nice to her for lying about having lost her glasses, and for not being honest to begin with about the fact of her nearsighted-ness. Her communication skills suck.

Even more wacky is Miss Beadle’s pedophiliac, sex-addicted beau, attorney John Stacey. What’s up with him? And why isn’t he a recurring character?

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From Tracy —

I’m with Anne on this one. Why would someone supposedly as smart as Mary not know they weren’t seeing right? Still this was a great episode for me as a kid because we finally get to see that Mary is not infallible. She’s vain! And she’s capable of lying to Pa! (Gasp!!) It was such fun to watch for those squarely in the Laura Camp.

Early School Eye Testing

Both of my parents needed glasses by puberty so it was inevitable I would too. When Anne and I went through “grammar school” eye chart testing was being done in schools at every grade level was de rigger. But I trumped my parents — I needed my first glasses by second or third grade. Blame it on my bookishness or my sitting to close to the TV (because I needed glasses). Of course my prescription was changing so fast I had many moments like Mary’s where she gets to see clearly for the first time in a long time. And they were always glorious.

Oh and I didn’t mind Miss Beadle’s beau at all. He added some much needed spice. I love how Anne doesn’t like him at all but then wonders in the same breath why we never see him again. (Ha!) Why? Because clearly he’s clearly a player. A guy who had a sexy school marm/mark in every village, hamlet and grotto.

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