I need help with red-eye reduction.

You know how most photo editing applications now come with a tool to reduce red eye? I’m afraid that won’t help me. My own red-eye problem is not due to a flash.

I noticed a smallish bright red spot on my eye some time this morning, and didn’t think anything more of it until this evening when Phoebe looked at me an exclaimed: “Your eye is really red!”

“Oh, right, I noticed that this morning,” I answered calmly, and we continued with other things.

Half an hour later or so, I walked into the bathroom to get Theo started on his bath. I glanced in the mirror, and holy crap was my eye red! This was no longer a little spot. Red was covering most of the visible white of my left eye.

Dr. Google informs me that I most likely have a subconjunctival hemorrhage¹, a largely benign condition involving a broken blood vessel in front of the white of the eye. (And yes, I am considering calling my real-life physician in the morning to see if I should get a second opinion.) The good news is that it will go away on its own, and doesn’t need treatment. Less good is that it will take at least a week. Possibly more like 2 weeks. Possibly longer.

I’m not usually one to spend a lot of time worrying about my looks, but I am also used to not looking like an extra from a horror movie. (At least most days.) My eye really is quite startling to look at, and I am quite likely going to freak a few people out over the next few days…(weeks?). After all, people are very squeamish about eyes. (Myself included.) According to TV Tropes, “Eye trauma is one of the easiest ways to gross people out.” (Yeah! I got that.)

Also, it happens that I am going to a wedding this Saturday, where I will possibly be meeting dozens of people for the first time. People in my field, no less, as the friend who is getting married is also a linguist.

So, I’m trying to figure out ways to gracefully avoid freaking/grossing people out at the wedding. Here are some options I have considered:

  1. Wink a lot, especially for photos.
  2. Wear sunglasses.
  3. Pretend to be a vampire from an Anne Rice novel, crying blood tears.²
  4. Wear an eyepatch, and decorate it to match my dress.
  5. Wear an eyepatch and a pirate costume, and say I thought it was a costume wedding.

Another friend who is going to the wedding has now seen a photo of my eye³, and suggested zombie might be a better costume. But I don’t know, pirates just seem classier than zombies for weddings. Plus, I can have the excuse to loot.

If anyone has any other suggestions to make, please do so.


¹ I see subconjunctival, and I can’t help but read subjunctive. If only it were simply a matter of subjunctive misuse.
² I went through an Anne Rice phase.
³ I was considering posting said photo, but John talked me out of it. I believe he used the word “oversharing.” You have been spared.⁴
⁴ Unless you are likely to see me in person in the next couple of weeks. Then there is no escaping.