Fifty Plus: Reading glasses

fifty plusColumn by Linda R. Jones

I was strolling through the forest with my walking stick (because I’m 55), saw a hornets’ nest, observed it and thought, “Not today,” dropped my walking stick, went to pick it up, my reading glasses fell off of my head, and I stepped on them.  Here we go.

Most of us, our age, need reading glasses regardless of how perfect our vision was in our youth.  It’s a necessary nuisance.  I’m at the stage where I can’t read anything without my glasses so I have a few pairs…everywhere.  I wear them on top of my head a lot because I got into the habit of doing that so I don’t misplace them.  They also serve as a headband to keep my hair from covering my eyes since my daughter convinced me to let my hair grow out.

Every morning I go through the same ritual.  I get up and make a cup of coffee.  I don’t need glasses for that; a ritual can be done in the dark.  Then I go into the parlor to read and realize I misplaced the glasses I keep in there.  So, out I go thinking I remember where I put them, get distracted by something like cat vomit that needs to be cleaned up, walk back into the parlor still without glasses.  By the time I find one of many reading glasses, I forget to go back into the parlor to read because by then I start reading e-mails in the kitchen.

Then there’s the surprise of accidentally putting on my husband’s prescription glasses.  I have an anticipation of being able to read only to see everything like barcode lines; everything is way out of focus and then I have to refocus.  My husband needs both prescription and reading glasses.  He intentionally picked out BCG’s for frames (a military acronym for Birth Control Glasses, as in the frames look so goofy no one will be attracted to you) only to discover they are now considered “Hipster” frames.  He’s styling in his prescription glasses.

There’s also the fun of, “Have you seen my glasses?” conversation between my husband and me that seems to be standard about every hour.  There’s also the, “I forgot my glasses can I use yours,” when we go out especially at a restaurant.  That just gets under my skin.  When we go out to eat, I want to eat.  I’m armed with my reading glasses so I can read the menu and order.  I don’t want to be delayed.  I’m finally getting back at him.  I purchased the most colorful, girly style glasses that I keep in my purse.  If he wants to borrow my glasses now, I have a spare and he will look fabulous.

Bathroom glasses:  For me, what a challenge trying to trim up eyebrows before the next wax.  I just want to get a few hairs and remove half my eyebrow.  Then there’s the eye make-up fiasco.  I put on my glasses but can’t get the make-up utensils under my glasses.  So here I am alternating lifting the glasses, trying to put on make-up, missing or putting on too much, and then decide to wipe it off.  And just when did I get that turkey neck!  My husband keeps a pair in the bathroom because he doesn’t want to severely injure himself when he’s trimming his nose or ear hairs.

Any electronic device, especially the televisions, require reading glasses.  This is not only a “Where’s the remote question? ” but why do they keep getting smaller, and can I read it with my glasses?  Remotes – that’s for another column.

The real fun with reading glasses is in the kitchen.  My husband and I like to cook.  I need glasses for the recipe but not the cooking.  So, I can pull back my hair when I put my glasses on my head and not get hair in the food but then the glasses get dirty.  Time out to clean the glasses as the food burns while my husband is busy changing his reading glasses to his prescription glasses.  For a grand finale, we’ll cook pasta.  There’s nothing like your glasses getting fogged up after you dump boiling pasta into a sieve.  You may as well just order out.

When does the reading glasses saga end?  The vision strength only goes until 3.00.  I’m already at 2.50 strength and I don’t even know what that means.  Yes, I’ve gone to an eye doctor in the past year and my vision is “perfect” for my age.  Soooo, what happens when I get to 3.00?  This is serious!  It’s probably some type of conspiracy for my twilight years.

I asked my husband to read this.  He said, “Hold on.  Let me get my reading glasses.”

But that’s just my opinion.  Yours?

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