I have an appointment for an eye exam next week. It was just over a year ago that I got new glasses and frames. Very expensive frames. These-cost-me-more-than-four-new-car-tires frames. I know, I know - I didn’t have to spend that much. My insurance covered $120 and you should be able to get decent frames for that, right? You would think so, right? Right??
I am chalking the Dollar Amount Which Shall Not Be Named up to a mid-life crisis. You won’t find any sports cars in our driveway, no torrid affairs to speak of (save the on-my-hips-again/off-again relationship I have with Ben and Jerry’s) and no wild girls’ nights out planned (except maybe a Pampered Chef party at some point, as I do confess a strong desire to own a rotary cheese grater). So I turned to S in the waiting room of the optometrist with the closest to doe eyes that I could conjure up behind flashy frames, and he nodded his consent (aka reached for the credit card).
Turns out I hate these frames. Oh, they look good and I’ve gotten lots of compliments, but they were never adjusted quite right and they are constantly slipping down the bridge of my nose just enough to annoy me. Also, they are a little heavy, which results in sweat which results in them slipping down just a little bit more. Since they are those newfangled progressive bifocals the reading area seems extremely limited and I find myself tilting my head up with eyes half closed - like I’m in prayer and tanning at the same time. I don’t believe I could ever bring myself to shove a contact in each eye, which I understand would provide a sharper image, but sometimes I just wish for a little more clarity. Like… literally.
Here’s the thing. I always had good eyesight. I didn’t wear glasses until about ten years ago when things started getting a little umm... not so clear. I was the kid who could find a straight pin in a multi-colored shag rug, the young adult who could spot a friend (or avoid parents) in a crowd from several hundred feet away, the mom who noticed that first small sign of chicken pox almost hidden behind a wisp of hair on my six-year-old’s sweet face.
Now I need glasses to put mascara on… and on rougher mornings to confirm that I already put mascara on.
Having noticed several instances where real focus eludes me, I believe I am due for an “upgrade” in my prescription. On the up side, I will get to choose new frames. On the “what good is insurance if I still have to take out a mortgage for the co-pay” side, I will probably have to choose new frames, mainly because these aren’t all that comfortable (which is sad, considering I could have purchased an airline ticket for the same price) and I’m going to a different doctor than I went to last year. It is said eye doctors don’t share well.
Because I enjoy sharing my bounty of knowledge (about absolutely nothing) gleaned from my own misfortunes, and for the benefit of the two people who are reading this, I’ve devised a simple little test to determine if you just might need new glasses.
If you have attempted to put on fuzzy slippers only to discover it was the cat, you just might need new glasses.
If you’ve noticed that the fire pit inexplicably turned pink, and the patio furniture you were painting didn’t seem to take that first coat well, you just might need new glasses.
If you use a magnifying glass over your old glasses to see a splinter the size of Arkansas, you just might need new glasses.
If you sent an inappropriate text because the font was too small even with your glasses, and now - thanks to not catching autocorrect - you’re afraid your coworker thinks you have soft porn in your desk drawer instead of popcorn…
If you grabbed the can of dog food off the shelf, then realized you might have just fed the dog half a can of pork and beans…
If you have waved to the mailbox...
And finally –
If you discovered a second too late that you just Facebook messaged your priest (whose name was listed just above your best friend’s) describing the distasteful details of your hemorrhoidal issues… you might need new glasses. And absolution.
In my case my dwindling eyesight basically comes down to getting (a little) older. Some days I’m willing to accept that annoying, inevitable fact and vow to coast through the 50-something decade gracefully, comparing myself to a fine wine that only gets better with age. Other days I plan to fight tooth and nail all the way, ignoring the constant barrage of AARP mail and adding things like skydiving to my bucket list (not really, I just wanted to make sure S was paying attention).
We all know it’s not like there aren’t other signs I’m getting older. Some are more subtle than others, but there are a couple I'm sure we would rather not admit to. For example:
You often long for the days before cell phones, digital cameras, the Internet and The Kardashians.
You schedule a vacation week - for doctor’s appointments.
Your spouse used to joke, “Fix your hearing aids!” when you didn’t hear (i.e. were ignoring) him… now it’s “Get some hearing aids!” and he’s not joking.
Yup, I guess all the signs are all there. I just can’t see them with these #$*@#&#%)* glasses.