‘That Champagne Will Cost You An Eye’

‘I’ll take it’ — A Traumatic Day Ends in Bubbles

On Monday, I had a rather traumatic day.

The previous Saturday, I bought a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot brut (Ponsardin, non-vintage).

What Does One Have to Do With the Other?
One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2008 was to buy and drink one relatively expensive bottle of wine, in the $50 range. Drinking a nice bottle of wine didn’t sound like a horrible thing to put on my to-do list, so I made a mental note of it and the next time I passed by the wine shop (which is suspiciously right next door to the bank), I went a-looking.

The half bottle was about $26, and Veuve Clicquot is a label I’ve been curious to try for some time. I brought it home, stashed it in the fridge, and decided that if an occasion to drink the wine didn’t present itself by my birthday, well, bottom’s up then.

An opportunity did present itself.

My Summer of Doctor Visits
I almost never have to see doctors. I am in very good health and I see an OBGYN annually like clockwork. This summer, having relocated, I had to find all new doctors, and a few of them wanted me to come in needlessly “just to be sure” everything was fine and dandy.

First, one doctor wanted to test all my hormones levels. Everything was normal.

Then another wanted to check out my cholesterol, iron, and whatever else doctors routinely measure in blood. Normal normal normal.

Another doc sent me out for two ultrasounds. All my parts were there, and they all looked normal.

Another one wanted to cut off and inspect two freckles. Normal.

The dentist told me to floss better in the front, then rescheduled me for a cavity filling. And at that point I said, “Enough already! No more doctors this year.”

Then, Monday morning I woke up and my eye hurt. This was not normal.

It felt like something was in there, like a really big eyelash. I checked, but there was nothing. I rubbed it. I flushed it. I put drops in it. Nothing changed. It still hurt.

If I leave it alone, I thought, maybe it will just go away.

A few hours later, I was flushing the eye again and icing it. Boyfriend shone a flashlight in there (or what the British would call a “torch,” which sounds so barbaric in this context) and said he couldn’t see anything either.

Some of the details, I’ll spare. But finally around 3 o’clock, I was at an ophthalmologist’s office. He looked in my eye and said, “You’ve abraded the hell out of your cornea.” Then he flipped my eyelid inside out and announced, “No wonder you’re in pain. You have a piece of metal in there. It looks rusty, too.”

There was a numbing eye drop involved, some prescription anti-inflammatory stuff, and a “contact bandage,” but all those things don’t hold a candle to the moment when he plucked a rusty piece of metal from the inside of my eyelid.

O the relief!

And yet, a list of unanswered questions began to accumulate, and at the top: “How the hell did I do that?”

Back at Home
“How the hell did you do that?” Boyfriend asked.

“I don’t know.” I still don’t know. “But you know what I do know,” I said to him. “We’re drinking that freaking champagne tonight to celebrate the removal of rusty metal shards from eye lids.”

I feel like I worked for that champagne.

What separates the Veuve Clicquot from most other sparkling wines I’ve had is the complete absence of an after-taste. It was deliciously crisp but mild mannered, like a firm pear, and very effervescent.