Which is Better, Then or Now?


We optometrists are notorious for asking such mind-torturing questions. Perhaps some of you have figured out by now that what we’re really aiming for, after all your hand wringing, nervous sweat and labored breathing, is a false dilemma. The words we want to hear is that both options are “the same,” for equality marks the end point of the refraction and the beginning (hopefully) of 20/20 vision.

I asked myself this same question as I looked back upon a recent trip to our alma mater (Hail!) Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. I often feel that I’m caught up in a time-warp when I travel there, so thick are the memories and so slow the pace of change in that sleepy college town “near the foothills of the Ozarks.” This time, all the more, as we were blessed with the company of Eyegal’s former college roommate Jenny V (on the left in the pictures above), now a resident of Eyegal’s hometown of St. Louis.

The two of them were as thick as thieves the entire weekend, staying up to ungodly hours catching up on current events and reminiscing about the good times “back in the day.” Number One Son noticed their close relationship and marveled at how roommates 20-plus years later can pick up where they left off and carry on as if no time had passed, as if it was, by virtue of a wrinkle in time and space, 1984 again.

“I forget sometimes that you guys had lives before we all came along,” Number One was heard to remark.

Yes. We did indeed.

But of course, it’s not really 1984, and we’ve all traveled a few miles since that picture of those two beautiful, bright-eyed Harding coeds was taken. Much has happened–joys and sorrows galore–and many of those pat answers that we learned in college have been tested by fire and been found wanting.

But the weekend together stirred hope and further forged bonds of friendship that were already as strong as steel. And I believe I may have even discovered the answer to that pesky question.

Which is better, then or now? Look to the left, and you can see that then was very, very good. But look to the right. There you’ll see that, like fine wine, now is even better.

  1. Hal

    I can’t make up my mind; can you show them to me again?

  2. Mike the Eyeguy


  3. Stoogelover

    Something went horribly wrong in my experience. I’ve lost hair and gained weight! Yes, she aged well!

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    SL–I feel you pain regarding the loss of hair. My solution has been to grow a beard recently, drawing the attention from my receding hairline down to my face (a risky move at best).

    It’s really more of a public safety issue than anything–decreasing the amount of glare to oncoming pedestrians.

  5. Eyegal

    If Jen and I have gracefully aged, it’s due in great part to the wonderful husbands that God has blessed us with. I, personally, am glad that eyesight goes a bit as we age…helps us all keep looking okay, at least to each other!

    Friendships made at Harding are one of the real blessings from a Christian education! I’m ready to time warp any day!

  6. Mike the Eyeguy

    Aw shucks…

  7. Jenny V

    Sniff sniff…

    I’m glad I read this before I put my makeup on for the day! Where did you find that picture!? Wow.

    Touching and true.

  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    In a photo album, deep inside a box, way back in the hall closet.

    There were other bloggable items in there too. I really hit the mother lode.

    Great seeing you. Tell D. we said “hey.”

  9. Steve lake

    I stumbled across this question of yours as I was reading up on the big HU dance fever situation.

    I saw it this am and it was a wonderful read, so much so that I returned for a second glance tonight. As I stared at those coed’s of 85, I too warped back through that wrinkle in space and time. The photo drew me in and I recalled those faces as quickly as I might have swallowed a cimmon roll right after chapel (“back in the day”). If memory serves me correctly, those 2 cute young coeds were in Sigma Phi.

    I was honored to be a Beau for that fine club in 85.

    Reading your entries regarding the ladies recent visit back to campus brought a smile to my face. It sounded like a great time and I definitely agree with your statement that campus really brings the memories flooding back.

    I noticed the Eyegal’s entry that “friendships made at Harding are one of the real blessings of a Christian education” and your note “forged bonds of friendship that were already as strong as steel”. I whole heartedly agree with both statements. I truly believe one of the greatest blessings God has bestowed on me is the cherished and time tested friendships that those years in Searcy produced.

    Now on to your question…after reviewing the the photos and pondering the question of then or now…I have 2 comments. Regarding back then, what was I thinking? Two cute girls like that and I did’nt ask them out! What was I thinking?? Regarding now, they are beautiful women with that sparkle of wisdom and maturity that only years of experince can provide….and that, in mine humble opinion, is a very valuable and attractive quality!

    So, hot then and hot now:)

    Thanks for the quick trip back thru the time warp…I loved it!

  10. Mike the Eyeguy

    Steve–You’ve got a good eye. I’ll make sure Eyegal and Jenny V read your comments. I’m pretty sure they will make their day!

    I wasn’t around HU during Eyegal’s senior year, but I left my mark (THE RING), so maybe that’s why you didn’t ask her out. Of course, that never stopped some guys. 🙂

  11. Steve lake

    Please do…I would love to see those ladies and give them a hug sometime! Maybe at Homecoming 07!
    All my best,

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