Contact lenses are great: They sit on your cornea and fool people into thinking you have perfect vision. They are also a nightmare for a number of different reasons with varying degrees of rationality.
Here are my personal top five contact-related fears, ranked.
5. Wearing my final pair of contacts past their supposed expiration date is actually very bad for my eyes. In this fear, I wear my final pair of contacts for ten or so days past my change-out date, because my contacts prescription has expired and I cannot buy any new contacts until I see my ophthalmologist, because the contacts industry is a racket. I wake up and cannot open my eyes. I go to the mirror—still, I cannot open my eyes. Eventually I find out that my eyes are open, actually, but I am just blind now. Why didn't I think order new contacts when I knew I was running out?
4. I misidentify the contact disinfectant with 3% hydrogen peroxide for normal contact solution again. Once, a roommate of mine had a 3% hydrogen peroxide lens cleaner called Clear Care. It is apparently supposed to be used with a special contact lens holder that neutralizes the peroxide. Hmm. Because the bottle and label and most of the language included on the label looked identical to that of non-cornea-burn contact solution, I used it as if it were non-cornea-burn contact solution. Trouble was, it was cornea-burn contact solution. Lesson learned, I guess. I never used my roommate's contact solution again and, after several rounds of eye-flushing and screaming (genuinely), my eyes were left without permanent damage (as far as I know). In this fear, they are left with permanent damage. I am blind. Why didn't I just buy more of my own contact solution when it ran out? Why didn't I read the label more carefully? Why was I born with imperfect vision when some were born with perfect vision?
3. Some sort of apocalypse or monster scenario. Everyone loves the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last," in which the man with the glasses survives the apocalypse and breaks his glasses just as he sits down to read a stack of books. Even though his wife and boss are finally dead, the poor man still cannot read books. A nightmare, yes. But what if Henry Bemis were a contact lens wearer? No chance for a new pair, or a case to store this pair in. Plus all that dust. Immediately hopeless. Now that is a real nightmare. Also a nightmare: any sort of thing you see in a movie where people have to hide from a monster or survive a zombie apocalypse or I don't know what. Strange, to me, that you never hear any of those people complaining about their contacts. It would be a constant struggle.
2. I am kidnapped. My kidnappers see me walking home with a backpack and take me for a vulnerable child whose use of an iPhone 5 while walking denotes wealthy, if detached, parents. They pull over to the side of the road and because, despite my appearance, I am an adult whose fear of being kidnapped has dulled over the years, I think nothing of it. Two men jump out of the kidnapping van and throw a potato sack around my body. Oh no. Anxiety and an inability to think on my feet and react properly in even benign social situations keeps me from getting out of the potato sack and running away. I am taken to a cold, dark, probably even wet location while my kidnappers dilly-dally around. I don't know when they'll make the call to ask my parents for an unreasonable amount of money, or send it to them in a note full of magazine cutouts, but I can tell it won't be soon. Maybe they never will. "I have contacts in," I call out. No response. "I can't keep them in overnight, and the left one is already sort of messed up," I continue. No response! My hands tied behind my chair, I am useless to remove my contacts even if I decide I'd rather be nearly blind than suffer the pain and damage leaving your contacts in for extended periods of time causes. "Do either of you wear contacts?" Now pleading, I yell, "DO YOU HAVE A CONTACTS CASE I CAN BORROW?" Again, my kidnappers give no response. Oh my god. No. Oh no.
1. I die unexpectedly. Maybe I fall in front of a train, or I don't look both ways when I cross the street because it is my turn to walk and a bicyclist runs me over because apparently they're so special and they don't have to follow any rules. Maybe someone murders me? In any case, I am taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, or maybe I'm pronounced dead at the scene. My body is sent to the funeral home. Oh no. Hold on—did anyone check to see if I had contacts in at the time of my death? No. They didn't check at all, and they also don't check at the funeral home. Doesn't being an organ donor mean they take my eyes? Don't they want them for something? No. Not this time, at least. My contacts are plastered to my eyes until my eyes fully decompose. In heaven, I wear contacts.