First step to old age

Sometime approximately 8 months ago I went through a rite of passage most middle-aged people go through. I lost my capacity to read without glasses.

The strange thing is it happened virtually overnight and was so disorienting I thought something was very wrong with me. For a few days I started making everything on my computer screen enlarged, but I was frustrated because I couldn’t read anything on cans or bottles or any ingredients on food labels. I couldn’t read books. It was so sudden I thought it must be a side effect of the withdrawal and that it would pass relatively quickly.

Within four or five more days I was desperate to get some glasses. I couldn’t read anything including the enlarged writing on my computer screen. So I went to a drug store and bought the cheapest reading glasses they had. Not so much  because they were the cheapest but because they were large framed. Whenever I looked through the typical reading glasses on display all I was aware of were the edges of the frames as they were super skinny frames. I don’t know how people deal with those sort of glasses without being driven to distraction. Of course it’s those glasses that are considered attractive.

In any case I went home with really ugly, unhip reading glasses with frames that looked like what people wore in the 70’s.

goofy, unhip 70's style glasses
goofy, unhip 70's style glasses

I figured no one would see them anyway, and I thought at that point that it was still something that was going to pass. At least the severity of it.

Well, alas, it did not pass so I ended up back, this time in a fancy, hip, health food store looking for an alternative. I was still going out from time to time at that point and I didn’t like wearing the goofy glasses in public. So I ended up with these instead, which were more expensive (a whole $13) as opposed to the $5 dollar cheapos.

Hipster glasses, well sorta anyway a 44 year old woman doesn't really get to be hip anymore, eh?
Hipster glasses, well sorta anyway a 44 year old woman doesn't really get to be hip anymore, eh?

They are relatively cool, but not so skinny that you can only see the frames. I don’t think they are the best glasses in the world for my face, but I love them. The cheapo unhip glasses needed washing with water and soap every few hours. These I can rub shiny clean with a cotton shirt or blanket. Items I almost always have right on me so I don’t need to go out of my way to see through a clean pair of glasses!

So now I have this new habit of keeping my glasses close to me at all times because if I don’t have them and I have to read something I panic. If they’re not on my face they are generally propped on the top of my head, like people do with sunglasses. I’m still not used to looking at something without my glasses and not being able to make out what the heck I’m seeing. I even have a hard time seeing my food clearly on my plate. And it’s still disorienting.

I actually mentioned all this to my sister and she laughed at me. She is 7 years older than me. She told me it happened to her at age 35. I was spared 8 years. It struck me in the middle of my 43rd year. Anyway, in my mind this sort of marks the first step towards official old-age. But, alas, we’re all on this path. There is no avoiding it!

10 thoughts on “First step to old age

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  1. Wow!I enlarged my computer screen today!
    That’s funny!
    I didn’t realize that it was really ageing problem. I’m miope and never used glasses.
    Now I’m having more troubles but I thought it was because of the medication that cause blurred vision.
    It’s ageing.
    Thank you for confirming that!

  2. that’s my husband’s situation Susan, he has two pairs…

    tried the blended lenses as well as bifocals and they drove him buggy…

    and yeah…he’s always hunting for the appropriate pair of glasses!

  3. I, too, wear glasses although I have for some time. And now I have the blended lenses so I don’t have to wear reading glasses and use another pair for far vision. I’d begun feeling like a clown who was constantly taking one pair off, putting another pair on, and periodically misplacing both!

  4. It happened all of a sudden to me too. One day at the supermarket, a couple of years ago. I just couldn’t read the list of ingredients on one or the other stupid can (I didn’t buy it, you never know… ).

    My optician asks me each time at the six-monthly contact lens checks how reading is going. “Fine, just fine!” I have no intent of spending several hundred bucks on a pair of fancy reading glasses – that no one except me myself ever is going to see anyway. Well, not until the day, I’ll need to have them with me everywhere, that is. So far, I manage – I only buy stuff, I know.

    Catherine: It doesn’t even out. I had a hope that it would, me too. But I have to realize, I’m blind as a mole due to near-sightedness, and I need reading glasses…

    And, Gianna, you look great, no matter which glasses you wear!

  5. I was frustrated myself when I had to start wearing glasses for my near-sightedness and am lucky so far that I don’t have to use them for reading…yet. I love the pics! I prefer the look of the first set myself, but I’m very unhip!

  6. Gianna,

    I lost some of my sight was I was 44 also….
    I was out of town on a sales trip (used to be a territoried sales rep, among other things I’ve done in my life)….

    Anyway, I used to pull the map of the city I was in out…the night before, and lay-out my sales calls….Not this particular trip….couldn’t see a thing on the map!

    And, the rest is history….

    Glasses –
    Now, I’m gonna age myself…I remember having your newest kind when I was in 8th grade (similar, though the styles have changed)….And, then being excited when the new wire-frames first came into fashion in the early 70’s…, my story is kinda the opposite of yours….I wore them in high school, and then stopped wearing them…..Didn’t like them, but at age 44, time caught up with me….

    Oh well,

    Hey, I think the glasses look good on you. My wife works with a bunch of young architects….the women all wear frames that are similiar….they’re in fashion – hip.


  7. One thing I won’t have to worry about — I have had to buy new glasses every year since I turned 9. I am hoping that my vision will eventually even out though as I am not sure it can get much worse!

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