I'll begin with this: I am so lucky to have my eyesight. I am blessed. I can see.
Aging is really rather interesting. A few years ago the glasses thing started. Now I've worn glasses for distance for many years, and in fact segued to contacts while in college. My glasses -- the one pair I owned -- spent most of their time on my bedside table, used at night, from bed, if I wanted to see what was happening on the TV across the room. I'm near-sighted, and back in those glowing days of youth could both see far and read close with the contacts in.
But eyes, as we all know or eventually learn, change as we get older. Suddenly I wasn't able to read with my contacts in. I either had to take the lenses out to read, or wear drug store reading glasses with the contacts in place. I vaguely remember buying my first pair of readers. They were multi-colored and kind of funky. Okay, I said, this is cool. My funky reading glasses make me look, you know, funky.
Sadly, a snowball only rolls downhill.
I can't begin to guess how many pairs of prescription glasses and reading glasses I've gone through in the past few years. If I'm not wearing my contacts, the prescription glasses go on and off: on to see, off to read. Inevitably, I'll set the glasses down somewhere ...on the sofa, for example...then I'll walk away and have no idea where I've left them. My glasses were missing for an entire week over the summer, finally found on a living room side table where, apparently, I'd been puttering with a curtain rod and set the glasses down so I could see; or I'll return to the sofa and sit on them. I've rolled over onto my glasses in sleep. I've found glasses under the bed, under the chair, in the car, in the washer (yes, in the washer). Not only do I have glasses all over the house, I also have broken glasses all over the house, and single bows. And the lenses of glasses that have fallen out. I have been known to be chatting with someone only to have the lens of a cracked pair of glasses pop out and fall to the table like an errant marble eye. As a contact lens person for so long, I'm like a dog that was never house-trained. If I didn't learn to take care of business early, there was no hope later on.
I have resisted, at the risk of looking like an old woman, making use of the glasses chain, that thing old ladies wear around their necks so when they take the prescription glasses off they fall complacently to the bosom where they stay until needed again to watch the squirrel running up the tree outside, or whatever. Instead, I've gone to the "one-eye method." The one-eye method is wearing a single contact lens in my dominant eye, and no contact in the other. This took some getting used to. There was lots of blinking and dizziness. I'm pretty much there now after a year of the one-eye method, but frankly it's still not quite right, although I am now able to read a restaurant menu and see who I'm dining with at the same time. I can't really drive at night with the one-eye method, though, so I have to be sure to tuck prescription glasses into my purse, along with a contact lens case. And contact lens solution. And handi-wipes to clean off contact-inserting fingers. No longer can I bound into the car unfettered and drive off into the sunset. With aging comes details with which I am not happy to deal.
A younger friend of mine mentioned last night that she's starting to go through menopause, and it's bothering her: vertigo and hot flashes. I wanted to say hahahahahahaha. Wait until the glasses thing starts. Right now she wears hard contact lenses, maybe the only person left on earth who does. She only wears her prescription glasses at bedtime. I haven't yet noticed if she has reading glasses, but she will. My hot flashes have come and gone, but I tell you what: I'd take them back every day if I didn't have to finally take the big jump and buy the glasses chain. Which I did. Today.
Yes, I am blessed. I have the wisdom that comes with age. I brush away drama that in youth would have caused tears and hand-wringing. I have friendships that are rooted in longevity and trust. I have a roof over my head, a working car, a couple of bucks in the bank, a brain with synapses still firing, a job, a house-trained dog. Yes indeed, I am blessed in so many ways, most importantly because I can see.
And what I can see is the location of my glasses. They are there, 12 inches or so below my traitorous eyes. Dangling at the bosom.