To be perfectly clear, it wasn’t my idea to get glasses in the first place. My vision didn’t bother me until the summer after second grade. And then only because, all through our usual road-trip-to-visit-relatives vacation, for some reason my parents kept asking me if I could see this or read that.
But they had a point. As we approached each highway sign, I was the last one in the family to be able to read it. Well, technically my little sister couldn’t read them either, but she was barely five and hadn’t even started kindergarten.
Still, I got tired of them asking me how many miles to Okmulgee or Tulsa every time one of those green signs appeared in the distance. I wanted them to leave me alone so I could go back to my favorite travel pastime, reading myself carsick, with occasional breaks to annoy my older brother.
But the jig was up… at some point I got busted to the eye doctor’s office where they tested my vision, dilated my pupils until I couldn’t count my own fingers, then sent me to pick out some frames for my first glasses. Mom had to guide me to the glasses showroom so I didn’t trip over the curb.
My blurry face in the mirror looked equally stylish in every frame I tried on. Read that any way you like. I finally selected an awful “cat-eye” pair in pale, frosty blue.
It was the ’60s, okay? Don’t judge.
Single-vision lenses–glasses or contacts–worked fine until some time in my mid forties. Then I noticed my eyes wouldn’t adjust around the distance correction. I had to either wear reading glasses over the contacts, or skip the contacts and wear glasses instead, pulling them off every time I needed to see anything less than arm’s length away. After a few months of that, I got fitted for bifocals.
Once the ground stopped shape-shifting, I could both navigate and read, all in the same specs. Only now, with no contact lenses, I couldn’t wear sunglasses, which I really need. Next appointment: get two pairs, both clear specs and prescription sunglasses.
Several years later the computer monitor became hard to read. Uh-oh, it’s not the monitor, it’s the intermediate distance. Too far away for my reading correction, not far enough for the distance correction.
The answer came in the form of Computer Glasses. You get these amber-tinted specs in a weaker strength than your normal reading prescription. Not only do they clear up the screen at arm’s length, they also cut glare.
But nothing is as permanent as change. Some months ago it dawned on me that my Bible reading was now accompanied by a great deal of squinting and arm-stretching. It’s those tiny marginal notes–honestly, they must use four-point font. I started sneaking Brent’s reading glasses for Bible and newspaper purposes.
Finally I decided to embrace my middle-aged eyes, perhaps pamper them a bit. At the grocery store, I hunted for some sort of package with a fine-print label that I couldn’t possibly read. I think it was a box of allergy medication. Armed with that, I visited the Cheapie Generic Reading Glasses section. We already had a bunch of plain wire-frame readers, and I wanted a pair that Brent wouldn’t pick up by mistake. I think the red interior and touches of bling set these apart, don’t you? Not only that, they allow me to read four-point font with perfect ease.
Glasses abound at our house now: the old pair that stays in my car for emergencies, spare reading glasses in every room plus the garage, even an old pair of single-vision sunglasses that I could use in a pinch for driving. The lens population at our house may outnumber humans by twenty to one, but at least I can read my own handwriting.
Yes, I’m getting older, but so what? Here’s looking at you, Kid.
Wait, let me get my glasses…
Thanks for reading!