Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Woman of a Certain Age needed new glasses as she hasn't been able to really see the computer screen, newspaper, a book or a menu ("What are your specials this evening?") for about five years. I asked an eye doctor once, "When do you think I'll need bifocals?" His reply, "When you can't see anymore." Everybody's a comedian.

This time I took the plunge...bifocals.

So first there's my vanity. Much too young for a line on my lenses. No-line bifocals means progressive lenses...a slippery slide in and out of sightedness gauged by the faintest of head tilts. Maybe a good idea when each lens was the size of an ashtray, say as mine were in the 1980s, but now that the Dutch Architect look is all the rage, the amount of space dedicated to each progressive zone on the lens is less than millimeters. I knew I would hate them at first. And it's still "at first". But wow, what a pain in the ass. Moving my head up down and sideways in search of the sweet spot. How utterly tedious. I'm tired from all the subtlety. I'm not known for my subtlety.

Second, there's the practicality. I'm lay-zee. Getting new glasses for me has never been easy. Wearing glasses has long been my security blanket, my superhero costume, my mask. My whole life....once I get a new pair and break them in, I want them to be my last pair. Kind of like Chip was my last boyfriend? But like my marriage, I get complacent and abusive with time and each pair of glasses eventually wears down and gives out. If my glasses could drive, they'd probably steal the car keys and leave in the middle of the night eight months into the relationship. And after each failed love affair, I hesitantly go back on the vision dating scene in search of new glasses only when all hope of reconciliation or contrition has been lost...unsure of myself and probably too hasty and needy in my search to settle back into complacency. I'll take any glasses that will have me. Adjustments, schmadjustments. I just want to see.

Today is awful. I'd like to turn my head quickly and walk without blurriness. Call me a princess. I developed a bad habit over the past few years, creating my own reading glasses by looking through all the space outside and around my frames when I needed to read. Now I must retrain myself to look through the lenses as God intended. Ugh.

Since I'm dizzy already, I think a cocktail is promptly in order. Meanwhile a dear friend in South Carolina emails me a picture of Flat Stanley getting plastered. I'm quite sure Flat Stanley is not supposed to return to the elementary school in the fall, a drunk and disorderly redneck. Truly a cockeyed world.


  1. (Jul, can you read me now?) Chris told Andrew he wants to take Flat Stanley to the Quarter for some adult entertainment. Andrew countered with the Aquarium.

  2. Although I only knew him sober, I understand he got the name Flat Stanley precisely because of his infamous Sunday morning hangies which would often last through the Monday morning bell, all the way to 3rd period Art Class.

  3. Also, I know someone who eschews bi-focals in favor of wearing two pairs of glasses. One on her face, the other as a necklace. When the necklace glasses move up to her face, the face glasses move up like a tiara. I can't remember which are her reading glasses and which are the distance glasses. Imagine yourself as Bill Paxton in Big Love, and the glasses (including sunglasses!) as your sister-wives. I think this is why so many people buy Cheaters -- which has become an enormous revenue stream for Wal*Mart's. You can be a lot less personally invested in each sister-wife, and train yourself to look forward to the opportunity to pick out new ones. Every 8 months if you like.