Through The Eye Of A Needle

Body language experts tell us that to cross our arms in front of our chests is a very defensive gesture as in: “Don’t come close to me – I am not allowing anyone into my space”. But, humour this blogger for a moment and do it.

Now look down at your arms and note which one is on top and which hand is slightly exposed and which is snugly tucked away from view?

When your hands are out and free again to gesticulate, in “pause” mode (when loosely clasped), which forefinger is on top and which little finger is underneath?

Or here’s a more intimate question to answer: When you get dressed in the morning, which leg goes in to your under pants first? Chances are that it is always the same arm on top, finger underneath and foot first.

If you try and make these subconscious gestures the other way around they feel very odd and strange possibly even resulting in a comical hop around the bedroom on one leg as you struggle to regain your balance and composure while getting dressed.

As a child watching frightening television I would hide behind the sofa and peak out from time to time to check that the cowboys were winning or Robin Hood would escape yet again from the clutches of the Sherriff of Nottingham (I clearly had a much lower fear threshold than the children of today).

A generation later, I would watch my daughter’s personal TV escape mechanism when things got too scary:  to turn her head to one side and literally peer out of the corner of her eye at the set when she felt brave enough to take in the action (a new mother herself, she still has the same habit).

So when it came to threading a needle after Laser Eye Surgery, I did what I have done a thousand times before. Pulled off a piece of thread, cut it, licked one end, rolled it between thumb and forefinger and endeavoured to push it through the eye of the needle.

Of course, before surgery this chore would have been carried out relatively easily with the strongest of my array of reading glasses perched on the end of my nose. But now – glasses free – I am having trouble … and I don’t like it.

Could it be that I have discovered the only downside to the otherwise thrilling results of blended vision? I do hope not.

After several attempts and a very sticky frayed cotton-end, I finally managed to thread my needle… but I am impatient with myself and not happy.

I raised the question of my sewing problem with Glenn Carp on my next visit to the London Vision Clinic.  Happily he had the answer. He asked me to show him my technique.

I duly performed a mime of the process (having edited out the swearing and licking and rolling bit).

“Ah ha”, he said,“ You see you are doing it directly in front of your face – probably as you have always done it”.

Well of course, you would wouldn’t you? I sat back and crossed my arms defiantly (incidentally, with right one on top).

“With your new, blended vision, you should put the needle and thread slightly to the right – towards the right eye which has been set for nearer sight.

And, you know what? That slight change in habit … makes all the difference and I can now happily thread needles again.

That said, please don’t bring me your buttons to replace or tripped hems to stitch up – I’ve got enough odd jobs waiting in my own overflowing sewing basket.

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