Saturday, September 1, 2007


How midlife eyesight differs:

I used to laugh at the old fogies with glasses, and I assumed that the need for eyewear would never bedevil me. Then, in my forties, I actually wanted glasses, but only as a fashion accessory. Then, presbyopia struck...the over-forties-eye-disease, and I found myself in a glasses store having to pick out my own new fashion accessory.

I like 'unique' frames. The ones that require a double take to fully appreciate. I want color and shape and rims...none of the ones that force a double take just to figure out if the person is even wearing glasses. Look, they're going to wind up on your face, so why not give the crowd something to look at, for criminy's sake.

Because my over-forty-eye-disease has morphed into an over-fifty-eye disease, I now need tri-focals. I need to see the speedometer in the car, the distance between me and the cars ahead in the road and the signs coming at me from a distance. Unfortunately, there are times when I'm conversing with someone and they fall into that in-betweeen category. I find myself doing the tri-focal head bob. That's where I have to lean my head back to see if I can get them in focus that way, which also requires a weaving procedure up and down to place them in the proper focal level. Only people with glasses can appreciate these head movements and not mistake them for some form of Tourette's syndrome.

When I want to look prettier and younger at a social gathering, I don't wear my glasses at all. The head bob is overtly exaggerated under these circumstances, but I feel pretty until someone hands me something and says, "Read this." My response is, "Why don't you just tell me what you think it says." I have lots of excuses for bumping into people at these gatherings. When it's time to go home...if I live close enough to the event, I can use large landmarks as guideposts for the journey...or I can reach for one of the 5 sets of glasses in my glove compartment.

So, look for me at the next party. If I'm wearing my glasses, I'll know who you are. If I'm glassless, you can have fun pretending to be someone else, because I won't know the difference.


When I was in Junior High my teacher called my mother and told her I was squinting at the blackboard. She advised that I might need glasses and my mother took me to get them. This was a big mistake. I ended up with white, cat-eye glasses with little, tiny diamonds out at the wing tips. I didn't know any better. I liked them. I sashayed around San Jacinto Junior High thinking I was the cat's meow. Luckily, KK saw me with them on one day while I was trying to watch 'The Arthur Godfrey Show' from the couch and she made me take them off forever. 'God', she said, ' You are such a nerd.' I said, 'What. I like the 'Arthur Godrey Show'. 'Not that', KK said, 'although that is dorky enough. Those glasses have got to go. They make you look like Ethel Mertz from 'I Love Lucy'. I was mortified.
I got some acceptable glasses with KK's guidance while mother went for a cocktail and thus began a long succession of eye wear that reflected my true nature and allowed me to check out the football team from the third tier with no problem.
When I was in High School KK got a little nutty and made me buy huge, perfectly round, tortoise shell glasses that made me look like a big bug. Things were getting 'Mod' and she allowed as how I was in style and those glasses went with everything. Sheesh. No wonder I had the same boyfriend for four years.
When I went to college I became a wild hippie and got the requisite granny glasses to go with my peasant blouses and embroidered, bellbottomed jeans. Believe it or not, you can see your LSD hallucinations better with your glasses on. You wouldn't think that is true but it is.
I started working in the movie business and there were years of wearing normal glasses but now I'm in my fifties and living with KK. Needless to say, she got a little nutty again and I always do what she tells me to so now I am sporting perfectly round, silver dollar sized, tortoise shell glasses that are what the sales girl in the store jokingly referred to as 'quirky'. 'Good', said KK, 'She'll take them'. I don't know where she got the idea that I am quirky but what the hell, they seem to suit me fine, especially when I'm checking out the football team from the third tier. Damn, those Longhorns are hot.
Hook 'em horns!!
Sal Gal

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