When I was young and foolish, I passed by a Reading Glasses To Go store. Snickering, I wondered how on earth such a store could survive. Now I know better, and I’m wondering if I should cash in on the franchise.
We all think that we’re never going to need them, and when I started to struggle to read, I thought that something was horribly wrong with my eyes. We’re a bit paranoid about these things in my family, since my father has macular degeneration and lost his sight while only in his 60s, so I can be forgiven for a few moments of panic. Soon I learned that no, I wasn’t going blind, I was just. getting. old.
I visited my eye doctor, who fitted me for bifocals and also explained how I could continue to wear contact lenses, plopping a pair of reading glasses on when needed. I should note that the very same week that I was fitted for bifocals, I also found a gray hair — in my eyebrow. Why does that happen?
Anyway, if I had to wear readers, I would wear them boldly. I found a pair loaded with vivid colors: red, purple, green, yellow. Instead of downplaying them, I advertised. Those were great glasses, just the right size and strength, and I kept them with me for a couple of years. Again, I couldn’t understand the need for an entire store devoted to reading glasses.
With age, though, comes wisdom, and often the hard way. This past weekend I lost yet another pair. I had them in my purse, but somewhere between home and the restaurant that we walked to on Saturday night, they disappeared. Fortunately, I know the menu well, so a brief squint at the wine list assured me that I was ordering a wine that the store still carried.
I didn’t worry, because I have spare readers that I bought the last time I thought I had lost said pair. Unfortunately, I don’t know where they are, either. I have looked everywhere I can think of, and no luck.
My eye doctor, wise man that he is, has tried to adjust my contacts so that I don’t need readers at all. I tried bifocal contacts a couple of years ago, but my eyes weren’t happy with them at all. So now he does weird things with the correction and tells me I can live without my glasses.
Problem is, it never quite works. Oh, I’m doing fine on the computer this morning. Lots of natural light is flooding in, and I see the text just fine. But what about the fine print on the back of a can at the supermarket, when I’m looking to see what poisons the food manufacturer has decided to throw in?
All I know is, whenever I laugh at someone or something, the laugh always comes back to haunt me. Sometime today, I’ll head over to the drugstore to buy yet another pair of readers. Or maybe two or three. Or maybe a whole store.