I guess it was inevitable; it was bound to happen one day.
I first noticed it with a pill bottle. It was bad enough that half the time I couldn’t even open the damn things, anyways, so it only made things worse.
Then the computer screen inched closer and closer to my face – or maybe it was me inching closer and closer to it. Where most people look at me like I am nuts on any typical given day, their reactions to me were only getting worse.
Then I noticed it at night when I would be cuddled-up with a good book, eager for an escape after a long day. My beloved books were becoming a mystery to me. The words were not the same, making it hard to concentrate. I would read a few sentences, and then give up. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t enjoy the book, and reading became WORK (I have been a major bookworm since a kid – it has NEVER been work).
And that’s when I panicked. ‘I can’t read anymore!’ (wail wail wail) ‘My beloved books! WhatEVER shall I do without them! I will never read again....!!!’ (wail wail wail) ‘I can’t write! The screen is giving me headaches! Oh what am I to do!!! (wail) Oh what will I become! (wail wail wail)’
With shoulders slumped and dragging feet, I slumped around wondering and worrying what was to become of me. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, and pill bottles were the bane of my existence. Who was I to become now? WHAT was I to become now?
It wasn’t until looking at a tiny charm in a jewelry store, its fine, tiny, delicate engravings surely made by a tiny fairy or gnome, that reality hit. I mentioned to the sales clerk how the engravings in the charm were impossible to see, that I don’t know HOW anyone could EVER appreciate them if they are so small.
She grinned, unaware of my current state of affairs (or maybe she was), and said “Ya, my eyes are bad too. My doctor said after 40 they’d start to go, and they did. I’m just waiting for my prescription.”
Now I get it! I needed glasses! And not for distance – I would still be able to see Rick Springfield gyrating around on stage no problem! But it was for things like reading, anything tiny and close-up, that was becoming a problem. The pill bottles were deadly – why do they make the writing so tiny? I would be saved – no overdoses of Organic, Ginger-based Gravol for me! My books, my writing; they would not be lost to me, forever!
The problem? I needed.....readers.
Yes. Readers. Those little drug-store issue, oblong-like reading glasses, the ones that folks are constantly losing, finding, then losing again. For a moment, and only a moment mind you, I had a realization of my ever-increasing age.
But I wasn’t about to let panic about age, deteriorating body parts, or vanity get to me. I wasn’t about to let a bit of plastic and vision-enhancing glass get me down.
As I weighed all the pros and cons of them and processed this next ‘step’ in my life, I realized how much good they were actually going to do for me. They were like a novelty – a prop. My people-scowl would only be enhanced; I could ‘scowl with flair’ over the rims of the glasses. I would finally look smart. And I didn’t have to wear them ALL the time, just for when I was reading. I would have to have a pair everywhere in the house – in the kitchen, beside my bed, in my purse, at work, beside my computers...which only translated into SHOPPING! YAY! I could see AND I could shop!!! There were so many cute colours and designs, I could spend hours shopping and trying them on.
What a day, what a day!
So off to the drug store I went. I didn’t feel any trepidation or embarrassment, nor did any entertained depressive thoughts about aging ruin my excitement. I tried on a few pairs, veered away from those that made me look like my elementary school principal (Mrs. Ross – she was a scary one), and happy with my purchases, skipped home.
Yes, the family just stared the first time I wore them to read, and yes, I was self conscious at first when I wore them to read on the bus ride home.
But I just scowled over the rims of the glasses of those who dared to stare at me, and happily read, without a squint or a nose print on the book.