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Cannon: If only we could see ourselves as others see us

Published December 2, 2011 6:13 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you read my column last week, you know I recently had cataract surgery. As a result, I have special "fiber optics" in both of my eyeballs, not unlike a pre-lit Christmas tree or possibly Lee Majors, aka "The Six Million Dollar Man."

It's true! I have superpowers now! For example, if you are standing a mile away from me, I can still see your facial pores.

Yup. I'm just all about the HD vision these days.

Anyway. It has occurred to me that humankind would benefit greatly if somebody invented a procedure to help us see more clearly in other ways.

For example, wouldn't it be awesome if you could tell just by looking at your friends that you've already told them something before? Then you wouldn't have to ask, "Have I already told you this before?" And then your friends wouldn't be put in the awkward position of deciding whether they should lie just to be nice or tell the truth, as in "Yes! You've already told us this before. You've told us this so many times before that our ears are about to fall off."

See how socially useful a surgery like that would be?

In fact, improved social vision could help in a number of tricky situations — seeing when you should back off from your teenager and give him some space, for instance. Or seeing that he really does want to talk to you, even when he acts like he wants you to back off.

Or seeing that your neighbor needs your help even when she says she doesn't.

Seeing when you've worn out your welcome as a house guest.

Knowing when you should say, "Yes, actually, those pants do make your butt look big," and (more importantly) knowing when you shouldn't.

Improved social vision might save you from getting blindsided by the significant other who's about to dump you. Or the boss who's fixing to fire you. Or the Parent Teacher Association president who wants you to be in charge of the school carnival. Or the television network that suddenly pulls the plug on your favorite show, thus depriving you of socializing with your BFF TV friends. (I still miss you, Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt!)

None of these things will surprise you because (of course) you would have already seen the handwriting on the wall thanks to your superior bionic vision!

It would also be great if improved vision could help you assess the clothes you're wearing today and see how stupid your kids are going to think you look when all of you watch home movies 20 years from now. We just had this experience over the recent Thanksgiving weekend, by the way, and oy vey! Apparently my hair spent the '80s thinking it belonged to some front man for a glam metal band.

But whatever.

The truth is that no vision surgery will help you see into the future, which can be a problem when you're investing in the stock market or planning an outdoor wedding or drafting a fantasy football team. (For those of you who drafted Peyton Manning this year: A) I'm sorry and B) you know what I'm talking about.)

Still. Things might go a little bit more smoothly if we could get rid of our blinders. I'm totally up for a surgery like that.

(Have I already told you that before?)

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com or facebook.com/columnistcannon.






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