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I Can’t See Clearly Now
September 20th, 2009 by Christina

I’ve always been a bit arrogant about my vision, which was as perfect as it gets for most of my life. I was the 3437022309_9c0f1382f6_mone who could see which bus was coming from 6 blocks away and I could read the tiny print on over-the-counter medications. I sort of understood that those who couldn’t read without glasses couldn’t help it, but secretly I felt they just weren’t trying hard enough.

Simply put, I did not get what it means to have your eyes fail you.
And now I do. Dammit.

Why must my blurry vision join the unwieldy mattresses, sides of trees, and petulant automobiles in their metaphorical mission? My eyes seem to be saying ha, ha, get it, Christina? You can’t see clearly anymore now that your future is blurry.

Duh. Really clever of you, eyes. Like, could you be more obvious?

But it isn’t just me who can’t see (though it IS just me whose car spontaneously combusts). My previously un-bespectacled friends have started holding newspapers six feet from their faces, and on every date I’ve been on since separating, there was a menu moment, where the man pulled out a pair of reading glasses and gallantly offered them to me when he saw me squinting in an attempt to distinguish steak from salmon. (Me: “It must be the light, but, thank you, I’ll use the glasses just this once. I’m sure my eyesight will return to normal any day now…”)

Once I accepted that ocular decline was just another non-negotiable midlife perk (and reading glasses the skinny jeans of my age group), I broke down and bought a pair. But I keep going through cycles of denial and acceptance. I lose the glasses, pretend I don’t need them anymore, then grudgingly buy more when I realize I can’t see jack. I recently purchased three pairs from the dollar store and sprinkled them here and there–anywhere where reading matter and I might converge.

I was really taken aback when I saw R toss on a pair, because his vision was possibly more perfect than mine (I said possibly, not definitely). Since I don’t see him every day anymore, the small physical proofs that time is passing as we soldier on in our separate lives tend to jump out at me. He wears clothes I don’t recognize, and more and more gray seems to sneak into his hair when I’m not looking. And now the glasses.

I’m starting to think that my sudden need for glasses suggests that I, too, am aging–a fact that hits me right between the eyes.

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One Response  
Jennifer Brizzi writes:
September 20th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

This is a brand new thing for me, too. I’m 48 and just now straining to see tiny print. I hate it! I know I’m lucky that my younger friends have been toting around reading glasses for years now, but I’m not ready for this! The gray hair I can color, the wrinkles I can ignore, but this–for a voracious reader of everything, with books and reading material in every room–is tough!

P.S. Christina, I’m generally not a big blog reader, but I have really been enjoying yours!

Best,

Jennifer

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