Ride My See-Saw

It occurs to me that I might need glasses.

Tonight at the Y I passed some loon on a treadmill who was making faces and flinging her arms around.  It wasn’t until I was well past her that it occurred to me that I might have known her.  By the time I got to my treadmill I realized that instead of averting my eyes from a whack-job doing an interpretive dance, I might have just snubbed my biggest client, who was smiling and waving at me. 

On the way out of the place I ran into Dan, the 25-year-old son of some of our friends.   I gave a big smile as I approached him, and called out, “Hey there, how’s it going?”  Only it wasn’t Dan.  As I got closer I could see it was just some random 25-year-old.  From the look on his face, he was not one of those guys whose fantasy is to have an older woman come on to him.  Leastwise not the red-faced specimen in the baggy sweats who was standing before him.

So I may “need” glasses.  And by “need,” I mean, “need to wear”.  I’ve had a prescription for glasses since I was 5 years old. 

There used to be a public service spot featuring Charlie Brown on TV when I was a kid.  He wore a Sherlock Holmes cap and looked through a magnifying glass while a voice-over announcer dramatically intoned, “Amblyopia: the case of the lazy eye.”  That’s what I had.

All it really meant was that I would close one eye when I was trying to look at something.  I was supposed to do eye-strengthening exercises and wear an eye-patch around the house.  Cool, right?  Wouldn’t you think I would embrace my inner pirate and walk around saying “arrr, matey”?  Nope.  Hated it!   Didn’t wear the patch and didn’t do the exercises.   Hated the glasses and lost pair after pair.

Fast-forward 40 years.  I’m nearsighted.  Because I didn’t follow the doctor’s orders when I was a kid, I now have to “wear” glasses.   And by “wear” I mean, “keep nearby in case putting them on my face is absolutely necessary”.

Between the ages of 5 and 15, “nearby” meant “probably somewhere in the house”.  What some people might refer to as “lost”.

Between the ages of 25 and 52, “nearby” meant “in the glove compartment of my car”.

The alert reader may ask “What about between the ages of 15 and 25?”  Those were the years when “needing” glasses meant just that.  I didn’t have any.  I lost so many pairs that my parents finally refused to buy any more.  It wasn’t until I was 25 and driving down a 2-lane country road in the dark in the rain that it occurred to me that I might “need” glasses in a way that meant, “cannot see little details like oncoming cars without them.”  I went to the optometrist the very next day and have been wearing glasses for night driving ever since.

I got a new pair with snazzy, blue plastic frames last year.  I keep them in my car.  I also need glasses to see the TV, so I keep my second-to-last pair, when I was rocking the frameless look, next to my chair in the living room.  Without them, the onscreen TV guide is a big blur at a whopping 5 feet away. 

Except for driving and TV, I’ve been doing OK without glasses up to now.  Little incidents like the ones at the Y, however, have been getting more frequent.  The last straw may be my recent sudoku troubles. 

I do sudoku puzzles every night before bed.  What can I say – they relax me.  I plop the World’s Most Ginormous Book O Sudokus down on my pillow, prop up on my elbows and commence with the number-fying.  Lately, however, I’ve been having trouble reading the numbers.

It looks like the moment I’ve been avoiding for 47 years has arrived at last.  I may have to break down and get the dreaded bi or even trifocals.  Not only that, I may have to actually wear them.  Damn!

Wait a minute, I just thought of something.  I think I still have the pair BEFORE the pair before the last one.  They’re not as strong as the current prescription, but if I can dig them up, I’ll just keep them on the bedside table.  Then I’ll have all my glasses-needing situations covered, without having to resort to actually “wearing” glasses all the time. 

Problem solved!

Besides, I always liked those old glasses.  There was something about them – I thought they made me look like a movie star.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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57 Responses to Ride My See-Saw

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    Ugh! I never wore glasses as a kid and I’m now juggling 3 different pairs – one for driving (but I still can’t see at night), one for reading, and the latest addition – progressive lenses that are supposed to help me see the computer screen, but only if I hold my head just so and find the sweet spot. I HATE THEM ALL!!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      So I’m not alone in the 3-pair club, hmmm? I know just what you mean about the “sweet spot”. The first time I got bifocals I almost ended up on the pavement when I missed the top step going out of the doctor’s office. I didn’t realize you have to hold your head just so and turn your neck a certain way and the moon has to be in the seventh house if you want to look down.

      You know, the older I get the more I don’t like certain aspects of this aging business.

      Like

  2. Paul says:

    one day they will design a pair of glasses so big that people will have to enter rooms sideways, I’m very upset this hasn’t happened yet!

    Woofs

    Like

  3. BillThePraiseAndWorshipGuy says:

    My last contact prescription finally pushed me over the edge into I-Can;t-read-this-it’s-too-dark territory. Menus in dark, romantic restaurants (as well as light-starved dives that I usually frequent) might as well be in braille…. Went to the Dollar Tree and got a pair of “reading glasses” and occasionally use them. My eyes aren’t as bad as yours but the onslaught of aging is definitely getting the upper hand!!!!

    Like

  4. gojulesgo says:

    Wait, don’t you want to get laser-eyes to go with your zoomy-smile (did you do the Zoom? how was it??)?

    Hope your client has forgiven you for the snub. You could always send her this post. That would be like an apology and a gift! Sweet. Do it. 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m always torn about mixing my real life and my bloggy life. Do your friends know about your blog? How’d you casually bring it up in conversation? I once wrote Dear Good Greatsby about this dilemma, but so far he hasn’t advised me, so I just keep it a secret.

      Like

      • I’ve noticed he wears glasses, too, Peg.
        Perhaps his weren’t near-by when your question arrived…
        (they might have been stashed away in the smoking jacket, you know…)
        🙂

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          That must be it! It wasn’t that my question wasn’t funny enough to warrant his reply; he just couldn’t see the writing on the screen. You’re so much more than just another pretty face, SIG…

          Like

  5. I was a pirate too for a short time! My family comes from a long line of people with “Curse of the Lazy Eye” syndrome. I also had the sporty tortoise-shell thick as a brick glasses in kindergarten–almost kept them until first grade but kept ‘losing’ them as well. Truth be told, I was out on the playground every day practically begging the school bully to punch me in the face so they’d get broken.
    And that picture of Sophia’s glasses? I am wearing the exact same pair right now. And still blind as a bat.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I KNEW you looked familiar. I think I saw you squinting at me across the playground in kindergarten. But I can’t be sure because I had just misplaced my powder-blue cats eyes (No lie – they were da bomb!).

      Like

  6. Dana says:

    I’ve been in glasses since I was 10 years old. For the most part, I feel they make me look intelligent and sophisticated (at least that’s the story I’m sticking with), but I REFUSE to wear them when I’m working out or hiking. Sweaty face + glasses = terrible times. I have had many awkward moments at the Y because of this…

    Like

  7. Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses. (Don’t get mad at me. I didn’t say it. I just quoted it!)

    Like

  8. winsomebella says:

    I had great vision until around the big 5.0. I have to give my eyes credit….they were the last body part to fail me 🙂

    Like

  9. Carla says:

    Here a pair, there a pair, everywhere a pair….Counting in my head, I have a pair of progressive on now, (I agree with Lisa on the “sweet spot” ugggh), and various older pairs and 2 boxes of contacts. Oh, reading specs are needed when I wear contacts. Nice. I feel your annoyance. Oh, I agree with the men make passes at anything that may or may not move. lol

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I tried contacts for the better part of a week. The last day of the trial it took me twenty minutes – I swear, I’m not kidding – to get one out of my eye. Nope – not for me. Do you keep everything in one spot, or is it all scattered around the house?

      Like

  10. I wonder if a nightly sudoku is good for one’s wit – I may have to try it.
    Just get the progressives – it’s like being young again – it’s so nice to see labels in a grocery store AND walk down the aisle AND pay for one’s groceries without weraing a pair of glasses on one’s head, one’s nose, and one’s chin. Just do it, and I’ll stop flailing on the treadmill.

    Like

  11. k8edid says:

    I cannot see beyond 2 feet without my glasses and also have a lazy eye (on the left) and a lazy butt (both sides). I wear progressive lenses (had no trouble adjusting to them). I resisted bifocals, at first though, except that I was working in an intesive care unit and couldn’t read the labels on the medications I was slamming into people’s IVs. Just kidding! Kind of. Never mind. I will even put my glasses on to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When we moved to Florida, I donated at least 10 pair of glasses that I had kept over the years – and a couple of them certainly resembled those worn by Sophia.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Lazy butt! Ha ha! Would that be Gluteusblyopia?
      So glad you finally gave in to the glasses while on shift. Your patients thank you, your malpractice insurance carrier thanks you, and I thank you.

      Like

  12. Amy says:

    I was in denial about needing glasses for so long. When I finally put on my first pair of glasses (when I was 30) I was floored. I had no idea that people were supposed to be able to see individual leaves on trees and read street signs from more than two car-lengths away. It was like I gained a super power.

    Like

  13. Lexiesnana says:

    Had the lazy eye as a kid also and a pair of powder blue glasses to go with it in kindergarten that I promptly buried in my cousin Elaines sandbox.We were so poor my parents never replaced them and thought I was ungrateful and made me wear gray mens shoes for the rest of the year.I now have ten pairs of glasses.Yikes I hated the patch.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Hey, I had powder blue in kindergarten, too! But I don’t remember where I lost them because it was really and truly not on purpose. (Every once in a while my parents figure out how to read my blog. I don’t want to ruin their perception of 5-year-old Peg after all these years.)

      Like

  14. notquiteold says:

    Ah…contact lenses! I love them.. and I use the monovision kind, so no bifocals.

    Like

  15. Sandy Sue says:

    I love Sudoku. I would be sad if I couldn’t see the numbers. (have you seen those super-hard ones that are five square instead of four square? Holy brain melt, Batman!)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I LOVe this book I’ve got. They’re not ranked “easy” or “hard”, so there’s no pressure, and they’re all just about right for me – challenging but doable.

      Like

  16. Oh, dear. Hey, at least you have an excuse for ignoring those you should know and knowing those you’ve never met. Still, it seems best if you do put your glasses on… if only for your safety and the safety of others. Maybe a monocle. Or opera glasses.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Hey, a monacle would be a great fashion accessory! The weird thing is my left eye focuses at about 10 inches, so I’m set for life for computer screens and books – I don’t need cheater glasses. The right eye is more conventional and can’t see near OR far.

      Like

  17. Barb says:

    Perhaps that loon on the treadmill wasn’t waving. They could’ve gotten a shoe lace caught in the rollers and were flailing wildly trying to stay upright. In that case, it isn’t your eyes, you just happen go to the gym with uncoordinated people who happen to look like people you know.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      So instead of just ignoring a business contact, I may have ignored a desperate cry for help from some poor schmuck about to go flying off in a tragic, George-Jetsonesque treadmill accident? Now I feel better.

      Like

  18. I got glasses once I hit high school. And I hated them. I only wore them when driving. Or when I was in math class. One of my teachers would actually stop teaching and tell me to put on my glasses when he caught me squinting….which was even worse than having to wear glasses.

    When I went away to college, people would wave at me, I wouldn’t see them, and then they thought I was mean or snobby. So I got contacts.

    Like

  19. egills says:

    Yikes, I hated the patch too… and the eye drops they’d give me to make my good eye blind for weeks on end because I refused to wear the patch to school ( those kids are cruel I tell you! ). After walking into a gazzillion lamp posts I actually did the exercises and by the time I reached 16 I no longer needed glasses – that lasted until I was about 25 and now I can’t even walk around the house sans glasses! I am unfortunately on the rapid downhill slide to desperately needing varifocals 😦

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Did you just make that up? Is there such a thing as varifocals?

      Kids ARE cruel. That’s why I didn’t want to wear the glasses, and forget the patch. I don’t remember if I had drops. Did you do the exercises where you tape a letter to the end of a pencil, cover the good eye and then pass the pencil back and forth, just on the edge of your peripheral vision? I hated that one.

      Like

      • egills says:

        Over on this side of the pond there is… it’s a bit like bifocals but without the visible line.. and on closer investigation it’s what we call your progressive lenses! Duh 😦

        Yup, and stopping reading every ½ hour and stare at something in the distance until it came in to focus, and the eye massages I had to do every few hours etc etc…. you can see how much I was scarred by it – I can still remember what I had to do vividly 35 years later!

        Like

  20. I was the exact opposite: I desperately wanted glasses as a kid to make me look smarter. But my vision was too good. I never “needed” glasses for reading until I was about 50. The grass is always greener. Trust me. I can see the grass, whereas apparently you can’t! 😉

    Like

  21. For no particular reason, I just shared this with Ba.D. . . . right after donning a pair of glasses that I might or might not “need,” depending upon whom you’re asking.

    0:)

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      We may not like glasses, but most of us will wear them as needed. I’ve never understood people (i.e. older men) who are too proud to wear hearing aids, or use a cane. It’s the same thing as glasses – nothing to be ashamed of, just a little something to help us out.

      Like

      • I think I look better with my glasses on, but I hate the weight of them on my face. So far I’ve been reluctant to switch to contacts, but this may be the year I do that. Replacing eyeglasses (which I have to do frequently, thanks to taking them off without even noticing I’m doing that) is proving to be expensive indeed!

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          I’m with you. It’s not that I’m embarassed to wear them, I don’t like the weight and they leave red marks on my nose. When I was a teen and big glasses were in style, they would leave rings on my big, red-apple cheeks. Not quite the look I was going for.

          Like

  22. Tar-Buns says:

    I can remember finding your blue-winged glasses when we were little. I’ve always been kind of good at finding things 🙂 You didn’t appreciate my efforts at the time.
    I’m probably the only family member who didn’t have Px glasses. I had to start wearing readers or cheaters in mid 40s. Now, I need them to read anything. Resisting the bifocals. Could never wear contacts with these dry eyes. Ah the fun of age!

    Like

  23. Curly Carly says:

    I’ve spent the majority of my life too blind to see a foot in front of me without glasses or contacts. I finally got Lasik this summer and it was the best decision of my life (assuming we’re not talking about the cost). I had to wear super out-of-date glasses for several weeks prior to the surgery and couldn’t see worth crap. My co-workers ridiculed me severely when I blew up the font on my computer to the largest size possible (while wearing hideous glasses and sitting 2 inches from my monitor).

    Like

  24. Lenore Diane says:

    My cute kid Joe … yep. Lazy. And by lazy I mean lazy eye. Surgery at 10 mo and 14 mo. He’s worn glasses since he was 6 mo. Trouper. That kid.
    I need glasses. I’m doing the ‘wait … let me extend my arm further so I can see it better’ move. I can no longer see my nails clearly when I want to file them. (I know – big news. You’re glad I shared.)
    You crack me up, Peg, even if we can’t see each other.

    Like

  25. pattisj says:

    I got glasses in high school, eye doc said to wear them when I needed to see something. lol I’ve worn contacts for years, have bifocal ones now; but don’t need them unless I’m driving…or want to read the tv listings. Sudoku makes my head hurt, and I turn into the Incredible Hulk. Not a relaxing activity for me.

    Like

  26. twobaby06 says:

    I was at the eye doctor a few weeks ago and I was browsing the glasses. To my astonishment they had a pair of “new” glasses that were from the 1980’s! (Just like your picture!) Eeeww! My mom made me wear them when I was a kid!

    Like

  27. Angie Z. says:

    Ugh, what is it about kids and glasses? It felt like a death sentence. My husband recently told me he had the same thing you did and had to do eye exercises and such. If it makes you feel better, he’s nearsighted today, despite that he kept up with his exercises like a good little boy.

    Like

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