Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh say can I see?

There's a name for women like me. No, not that name. Not that one either.

I'm an emerging presbyope. (And here you thought I was a Methodist.)

Presbyopia, for those of you who aren't of a certain age, is a condition that occurs when the lens of your eye isn't as flexible as it used to be. You can't focus on things like you used to, and ironically it's the close stuff and the little print that drives you nuts.

Back when my mom was an emerging presbyope, she simply opted for bifocals. No biggie. My mom had been wearing glasses for years. What's an extra line in the lens? But I'm different. I wore glasses between the ages and 8 and 16, and I don't care to explore that world again. The world isn't kind to an 8-year-old in dork frames.

My vanity forced me to save my babysitting dollars when I was 16 years old to buy my first pair of contact lenses, and there's been no looking back, at least no looking back through rose colored glasses or wire rimmed frames. I don't do glasses. I look like a dork in glasses, even the dork frames that are supposed to be cool. I absolutely cannot abide the idea of glasses.

My optometrist is a patient guy, and he's all about exploring the options. He sent me home with bifocal contacts that drove me absolutely bat poop crazy. He suggested monovision, where one eye is corrected for distance and the other for close work, letting the brain figure out which eye to use when. Amazingly, this worked for about a year. But time marches on, over my face and eyeballs, and the words on the page aren't as clear as they used to be.

The optometrist suggests going back to glasses. My eyes aren't that bad anyhow - I can read just fine without contacts. He says I can wear glasses to drive and in my daily errands, and just take them off to read. He even suggests (gasp) going with bifocals, because "it's time."

I decided to take another route. I bought a $2.99 pair of readers to help me with the little type. Amazingly, they work wonderfully. But nobody told me how reading glasses come with little invisible legs, because they're never where I want them to be.

I suppose I'm going to have to cave and get glasses. I can't walk around squinting or deal with headaches much longer. Thankfully, today's frame options have come a long way since I was an eyeglass wearer, back in the early '80s when frames were huge and often included a little sticker in the corner. (Yes, a sticker. Mine was a flower.)

My friends and I like to sit around talking about how different our middle-aged selves are from our parents. We're so much more active than we remember our parents being. In our minds, at least, we're much cooler as well. But our bodies haven't gotten the memo. Sometimes in order to see clearly, you have to adjust your expectations.

Besides, all this squinting can cause wrinkles. Maybe glasses aren't such a bad idea after all.

6 comments:

Christy said...

I feel your pain... Matt and I were just discussing this yesterday as we were trying to read the print on the Red Lobster menu - and it's not that small!

I HATE AGING!

Suzi Swanson said...

Go to Costco. They have, I believe, 6 pair of reading glasses to a package. You can have one in each room. The only problem is keeping the room picked up enough so you can find them. At my house clutter is routine. Heaven help me if I need to find them in Steve's office. But when I can find them they are great!

Suzi Swanson said...

Go to Costco. They have, I believe, 6 pair of reading glasses to a package. You can have one in each room. The only problem is keeping the room picked up enough so you can find them. At my house clutter is routine. Heaven help me if I need to find them in Steve's office. But when I can find them they are great!

Amy said...

I just bought my first pair of readers for my computer at work last October. Then I bought a 22-inch monitor -- voila, no need for the readers now!

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