Is that a stye in your eye or are you flirting with me?

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

It all began several mornings ago.

Geoff (hopeful): “Are you winking at me?”

Me (indignant): “I’m not winking at you. I just woke up. I’m half asleep.”

Geoff (disappointed): “You’re eye is completely shut. Don’t you feel that?”

I walked to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My left eye looked tired, bag-ridden and wrinkled. Perfectly normal. However, my right eye - up to my eyebrow and down to my cheek - was far more swollen than usual. Like a grapefruit. Or a puffer fish.

My mind raced as I tried to determine why I looked like I had just lived through ten (okay two) rounds of a boxing match. Did I doze off on a wasp? Did I sleep-punch myself in the head? Really, anything was possible.

I have a tendency to worry  fret  freak-the-hell-out and so, I decided to calm my fears by self-diagnosing with the help of the Internets. Because, only good things can come from Googling symptoms at six o’clock in the morning. Am I right?

Bug bite. Allergic reaction. Stye. Flesh eating disease. Eyelid cancer... the possibilities were endless but one thing was certain. My meticulous research ultimately pointed to just one outcome. I was going to die later that afternoon.

After a brief (but effective) panic attack, I pulled myself together and focused on the facts. I didn’t have blepharitis because apparently that involves a lot of involuntary teardrops and the tears rolling down my cheeks were entirely deliberate. I also determined that didn’t have conjunctivitis because my eye was nowhere near the shade of my daughter’s Dora the Explorer chair.

Then, it became clear. I didn’t have pink eye… I had WINK eye.

My right eye had simply gone rogue and was on its way to developing a personality fully divided from the rest of my body. Yes, my eye was crossing over to the dark side. My eye was becoming a slut.

For the next few days, I wore dark glasses whenever I left the house, which was rarely. Remembering to keep the glasses on while out and about was problematic as my memory is for shit. All was fine until I went bare-eyed through the Tim Horton’s Drive-Thru, thus giving a sixteen-year-old boy the shock of his life.

Poor kid. One minute he’s dizzy with the joy of preparing iced cappuccinos for a gaggle of giggling tweens and the next, he’s staring at a woman with matronly arms who is winking suggestively while waiting for her double cream.

This is why I decided that - for the greater good -  I should stay home until my condition improved. Or at least until my 3 year old stopped saying, “Ew mommy, your eye looks really moofy.” 

Still waiting…

No, really.


  1. Odd, Sharon got some kind of eye infection last week. It lasted a couple of days, but the malady was not as dramatic as yours. She thought that the baby poked her in the eye (which tends to happen frequently). Hope it clears up soon.

  2. It would appear as though Sharon's eye and my eye have been hanging out in the same dodgy places. I'll live. I look almost normal again.

  3. Normal is good, and I think Sharon would agree!


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