Aging is an Absurd Experience

I’ve reached the absurd — and confusing — age where I sometimes peer over my eyeglasses, sometimes wear reading glasses, sometimes wear bifocals, sometimes don’t wear any glasses, and sometimes wear two pairs.

What the heck is that about?

I’ve been wearing eyeglasses since the fourth grade, and for most of my life, I put my glasses on as soon as I got out of bed in the morning, took them off when I got into bed at night, and that was it. Then came bifocal time, which upset me because . . . bifocals. I’d read that people who wore glasses from a young age usually did not have bifocal issues until much later than people who never wore glasses, but I guess I was one of the lucky ones because my eyes changed early.

To make the transition even more traumatic, the optometrist’s assistant commiserated, and said, “I know what you’re going through. I just had to get reading glasses.” Like that made me feel good. Here’s a woman who had never worn glasses, never had to deal with gouges in the side of her head from decades of wearing glasses, who was much older than me, and who just then had to start wearing reading glasses occasionally. I know each of us has our own age issues, but her comment was not at all helpful.

So then, I had two pairs of glasses to contend with — the bifocals for normal wear, and a separate pair of reading glasses. For someone who reads for hours at a time, bifocals just don’t cut it. But wait! There’s more! The reading glasses helped somewhat, but I couldn’t see small print. Then I discovered I could see better than perfect to read without my glasses, as long as the book was about nine inches from my face. I ended up using the reading glasses for computer work and such.

The last time I got glasses, he wouldn’t prescribe reading glasses even though I requested a separate prescription. He said I didn’t need them, that I needed to get used to the bifocals. I could have fought, but since I didn’t wear glasses to read anyway, I let it go.

When I got those new eyeglasses, I discovered I couldn’t read the computer screen. So out came the old reading glasses, which were perfect for computer glasses.

And now, I wish I had fought for the reading glasses because my old reading glasses no longer work for the computer, but the reading part of the bifocals is perfect. But I can’t wear bifocals at the computer because it makes my neck hurt.

For some reason that has faded into distant memory, I kept my father’s reading glasses. And so now I have to wear two pairs of glasses at a time for computer use — my old reading glasses and his reading glasses on top of them. I wear just my reading glasses for around the house. The bifocals for when I’m outside. And no glasses to read. Of course, my eyes have changed enough that I can’t use the reading part of the bifocals to read, so that’s when I peer over the top if I have to read something when I’m wearing them.

See? Absurd.


“I am Bob, the Right Hand of God. As part of the galactic renewal program, God has accepted an offer from a development company on the planet Xerxes to turn Earth into a theme park. Not even God can stop progress, but to tell the truth, He’s glad of the change. He’s never been satisfied with Earth. For one thing, there are too many humans on it. He’s decided to eliminate anyone who isn’t nice, and because He’s God, He knows who you are; you can’t talk your way out of it as you humans normally do.”

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

10 Responses to “Aging is an Absurd Experience”

  1. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    I tried bifocals once. Never again! My prescriptions don’t include reading glasses since I’m able to make so with the cheap reading glasses sold at the drug store.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I wish I could do that, but if I just wore distance glasses, I’d never be able to read the speedometer when I drove.

      • Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

        I remember a VW ad years ago that we selling toy VWs. They said how fast they’d go, which I can’t remember, but the comment in the ad said: “almost as fast as the real ones go.” So, you probably don’t need the speedometer.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          That’s true. My speedometer/odometer broke at the beginning of a trip up the west coast, and at first it panicked me, then I realized there is no way I could speed. So I just drove the way I always did. Usually I’d shifted gears by what the speedometer said, but found it easy enough. And oddly, I could tell how fast I was going by how the engine sounded. Still, I replaced my old speedometer with another old speedometer. Can you believe they don’t make new ones anymore?

  2. Pat Hernandez Says:

    My experience is somewhat like Malcolm’s. I have glasses for distance and the cheap reading glasses I can buy at a drug store or dollar store.

  3. jj7854 Says:

    I just love glasses, smh.  Have also worn two pairs at once in order to see my computer.  Asked my optometrist and he said I needed computer glasses.  Now I’m back to wearing one pair at a time.  My mother used to call aging a science experiment on her body gone awry.  I’m seeing that in my own body now.  Judy

  4. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    My eyes don’t seem to take any longer to focus now than they ever did. But those new glasses don’t sound like anything I want.

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