This comic was in my first graphic novel, 18 Revolutions.
This is actually very close to autobiographical. I had this habit of using characters who weren’t “Rachel the Great” when I needed to do something autobiographical. Maybe I was shy. Maybe I was proud. But I figured you could tell that I couldn’t write something like this without personal experience. There was no need to put my face on it to solicit pity.
The only difference between this comic and reality was that Medicaid did not pay for my glasses. After we jumped through many hoops and forms with Medicaid, in the end they decided to go to my father in Pennsylvania to recoup the cost of the cheap glasses it bought me. Man, these glasses were so cheap. The frame looked like something from a vending machine. The lenses where the thickest, heaviest plastic because of my high prescription and because the “plan” didn’t provide any little upgrades for things like the thinner lenses available.
But when my mother caught wind that the administration was going to my father for money (as well they should, given that he was gainfully employed and I was half his problem, legally speaking), she freaked out and intervened. I’m not sure why. Maybe she was too proud to look like she needed his help? Pride’s a funny thing.
So not only did we end up paying for glasses we really didn’t have the money for, but they were ugly, heavy glasses, and I was stuck with them for years.
Whenever you hear stories about kids on welfare and you think, “The parents should be doing more for that kid. Why should I foot the bill?” please remember that children have no control over their parents, and parents can be weird.
I’m so glad I can buy my own glasses now. Being an independent adult with my own income rocks.