We asked 15 famous people to tell us about the one thing they bought when they hit the big time and got their first paycheck — the gift they dreamt of getting themselves one day and finally did. Here, journalist and author Taffy Brodesser-Akner tells us about her dream daily contact lenses. Find more celebrity splurges here.
From the time I was in my 20s, I always said that I’d know I arrived when I finally was able to buy daily contact lenses — the kind that you dispose of every day. I’d heard of them in theory when I worked a summer job at the Cohen’s Fashion Optical at the Walt Whitman Mall after high school ended and I was waiting to go off on my gap year. I’d sell them, even though I myself wore two-week disposable Acuvues, which I’d started wearing when I was a senior. (My father wouldn’t let me get contacts until then because he said my eyes were still growing, which was a blatant lie.) It was already such a miracle that you could have contact lenses that were soft and permeable and that didn’t need draconian cleaning arrangements that just my two-week Acuvues felt like freedom.
It was ten years later before I heard that dailies were now sold regularly; my ability to purchase two-week Acuvues was always precarious, and I wore them for four weeks at a time. The dailies were just too astronomical and wasteful to think about. Every night — probably literally every night — I would slosh around my two-weekers, in an attempt at a cleaning ritual, and I’d think of a successful version of myself that took the contact out and just flicked it across the room, like Marie Antoinette.
When I got my first payment for the TV show, the first thing I did was order these dailies. (First, it was the One-Day Acuvue Oasys, but then I found that the Alcon Dailies left my eyes less dry and also they have a mail-back recycling program for the packaging, whereas with the Acuvues, you’re left to your own devices and your own town laws).
These things are terrific. They alleviate the chances that I end up with protein deposits from unclean contact lenses, which I was at risk for because I was so lazy about cleaning them. (You’re not supposed to just slosh them around the way I described above.) I haven’t had to handle a bottle of Renu in years now! I used to be stuck in an endless loop of wondering whether self-care is cleaning my contacts or if it’s deciding not to. You know? Now I don’t have to feel bad every night wondering what’s wrong with me that I don’t have it in me to clean them properly. (Now I just wonder that about cleaning my face.)
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