Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sight for Sore Eyes

I’ve had bad vision for as long as I can remember. Nearsighted, I’ve been wearing glasses since I was nine. I probably needed them some time before then. I remember putting glasses on for the first time and being amazed. Hazy stretches of green passing the car resolved into individual blades of grass I’d only been able to see if inches from my nose. It was like a miracle.


I can see! Now it's time to watch Magic Mike.

Years of teasing and growing vanity caused ol’ Four Eyes here to switch to contact lenses in 8th grade. Now instead of skinny, gawky, and Poindexter-ish, I just looked skinny and gawky. At least it was one less thing for my shaky self-esteem to bemoan. Then I started to finally fill out a little, taking care of the too-thin issue. Much to my delight and my mother’s concern, boys started to notice me. Between puberty and shedding those oversized plastic owl frames, I was also shedding long years of ugly duckling-hood.


I identify

Since then, I’ve enjoyed only wearing glasses when I first get up in the morning, until my bleary orbs are ready to accept me poking corrective lenses in them. I’m a nerd to the extreme, but I’ve never appreciated looking like one. Yes, I am ridiculously vain. Awkward socially and called ‘the ugly girl’ throughout childhood, I’ve had a few demons to slay when it comes to feeling good about myself. Thank heavens that I’m finally getting to a place where the opinions of others are not quite so vital to my oft-bruised ego. There are some perks to getting older ... like learning that when others are hurtful it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with me.

I respond with my newfound maturity: screw them.

Ah, but age has its downsides. I find that it’s not so much sneaking up on me as it has ambushed me. As my near vision fades, I’m relying on magnifying glasses to read things closer than half a football field away. Every exam by the optometrist brings the dreaded question, “Are you ready to concede to bifocals yet?” 

Ugh. Back to glasses. But my unhappy attitude is not because I’m worried about my physical appearance. Nope, it’s got more to do with my inability to keep up with anything in my house. 

I constantly lose stuff. Thumb drives get swallowed in some black hole in my home and never return. Too carefully hidden Christmas presents turn up in May. My cell phone is perpetually getting misplaced. Since I hate talking on the phone, it doesn’t get looked for until the battery is dead and I can’t hope to track it by its ringing. By now, most of my family and friends know that their calls and messages won’t be returned until 2045. I am hopeless with that thing. 

I resist bifocals simply because they are expensive. I cannot buy enough of them to keep me seeing properly when I need to. Cheap magnifying glasses have been my crutch for two years. I buy them by the gross and scatter them all about the house. I do this in the hopes that I won’t be left squinting at stuff as if staring into the sun from five feet away. Even so, I never seem to have a pair on hand when I need them. They disappear like everything else, migrating to places I never intended them to go. 

Yesterday, I found a glasses convention going on in the living room. Three pairs had made it to my work desk. Funny thing is, I had taken yesterday off from writing ... so why were the glasses there? I’ve found similar clandestine glasses meetings going on in other parts of the house too. I think they’re plotting against me.


So we agree to slide down her nose every two seconds until she cries from frustration?

And yes, I have performed the typical act everyone over the age of 50 laughs nervously about ... searching for my glasses while they are perched upon my head. I laugh too and secretly consult Web MD about the warning signs of dementia. Then I go out and buy another half dozen replacement pairs of reading glasses because I couldn’t read the stupid screen in front of my face. Where are they disappearing to? Do I have an infestation of house imps stealing them? Maybe they’ve got my cell phone too. They’d better not be using up all my minutes.

So that’s what those creepy things do when Christmas is over.

 Nope, I’m not ready for pricey bifocals. I can’t see well enough to search for them when they go missing too. Plus they might be powerful enough to rally the other glasses to act on the plans they’ve been making at those bizarre meetings they keep having. 

Next Web MD question: Is imagining rogue glasses a sign of dementia?

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