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Sun, Aug. 18

Middle-aged Musings: We see best when we’re ‘cheating’

There are always outward signs that you are aging: gray hair, wrinkles, orthopedic shoes.

Another is the amazing blessing called reading glasses. They alone can remind you how fast you are careening toward senior citizenhood.

Heading out for dinner these days entails my husband putting his cheaters and his (must be taken with food) pills in my purse.

As soon as we get menus, I hand over those drug store glasses. If he’s forgotten them, he wears my spares. A pretty purple pair. I love it when he does that because he forgets about them when he orders and the servers always give him weird looks. Hey, I get my amusement where I can.

Anyway, that brings me to that spare pair of cheaters. I am as blind as the proverbial bat, always have been. My glasses are so thick, they hurt to wear. Therefore, I’ve had contacts since I was 14.

But those lovely contacts aren’t enough now. The eye doctor chuckled at me when I said I needed a stronger prescription because I couldn’t read small print any longer. He explained the world of cheater glasses to me. I now know by heart their strength ratings and who has the best prices. I know this because I lose them all the time. Everyone who knows me since I’ve been in Arizona expects a pair to be perched on top of my head. I totally flounder without them. I’m wearing them now as I type this on my extra-wide computer screen, at 125 percent magnification.

You know it’s bad when the doc says that even with surgery you’d need glasses. Yep, I’m doomed.

I keep spare pairs in all my purses (yes, there are several). I have an old pair in both vehicles. I have a pair in my desk drawer at work. I have a rainbow of colors and styles. I could coordinate outfits with them … well, if I actually wore outfits instead of tossing on whatever’s clean. Professional I am not.

When my eyes get worse and I have to upgrade to the next level of cheaters, it can get expensive. So, I update one pair every paycheck. That means at any given time, I have a few older pairs floating around. When I put them on out of desperation, it’s fairly comical.

The husband gets his amusement when I start complaining my eyes are getting worse because I could see fine this morning, but now at lunch I can barely read this menu! He eventually points out I’m wearing an older, lower magnification pair of cheaters.

My dad refused for years to give into the need for drug store glasses. He kept a large magnifying glass on the table beside his couch “spot” to read his mail and newspaper with — no joke. I have a faded Polaroid of him somewhere bent over the paper with it — think Sherlock Holmes, minus the deerstalker.

I admit it, I used to laugh at him, my mom, aunt, grandma and countless others who wore these glasses. It’s karma come to kick my tailbone, I’m sure.

So, I’m almost complete as an older lady now. Gray hair? Check. Wrinkles? No comment. Orthos? No doubt soon. Cheaters? In spades.

Until next time, Robin


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