Solutions for a red eye

Solutions for a red eye

Women and Adversity: Accepting a red eye

It was an accident.

I lifted my left hand to scratch the corner of my eye, and the long nail on my index finger nipped the white. Within minutes the entire white of my eye was beet red, ruby red, red red. Entirely. It was grotesque.

I was leaving the next day for my high school reunion and would see people I hadn’t seen in decades. Hmm. What to do? I considered not showing up. I considered wearing an eye patch. I considered composing a long explanation. I stopped at a pharmacy on the way to the airport, but the pharmacist said no drops would help, and I should see a doctor.

I did none of the above.

When I walked into the reunion, the second person I saw gasped. “Your eye is red!”

“I nicked it with my fingernail.” End of story.

The next person asked, “What happened to your eye?”

The same explanation.

I repeated my story several times until word got around. When someone echoed what the pharmacist had said, I answered that it didn’t hurt and I could see, so a doctor wasn’t necessary. As far as I know, no one avoided me because of my eye.

What did I learn from the experience?

I like the last suggestion Courtnie Erickson offers at

Look for the hidden lesson.

  • I learned not to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
  • I learned that a former classmate, who was a dear friend in high school, is very ill. I would never have learned that if I hadn’t gone to the reunion.
  • I got the address of another classmate, also a dear friend in high school. I would not have gotten that if I had avoided the reunion.
  • I reunited with a high school friend I haven’t seen in years, and we reconnected.

All that would have been lost if I hadn’t gone, and it offers several ideas for How-to stories

  • How to face adversity
  • How to learn from adversity
  • How to accept out-of-the ordinary experiences

Another site that offers suggestions on dealing with adversity is:



Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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