I have this theory about getting old. Old
doesn't come up to you suddenly and beat the shit out of you. No old age is sneakier, more subtle then that. When you are young, you are invincible. But as time passes, a little bit slips here and a little bit slips there. Until one day you look with horror into the mirror and wonder what the hell happened to you?
In my case, this first slipped bit down the slippery slope of old-agedness is my vision. I've always had perfect vision. I'm not ashamed to say it nor am I above bragging either. My mother's side? They all wear glasses. Lo-Gung's family? They are all blind as bats without their eyewear (hopefully Lo_Gung is not reading this). For some reason my dad passed on his "perfect vision" gene to me. Lately, however, I notice that when I spend a lot of time in front of the computer or reading, my eyes get really tired. The muscles in my right eye were twitching alarmingly over the past few days, so I decided to make an appointment with the optometrist at Costco
just to make sure everything is all right.
So I'm driving like a mad-woman because I'm already late to the appointment and I missed my exit and had to turn around and drive back a ways. After filling out some paperwork, the Optometrist waves me into the exam room and directs me to sit in a chair. I tell her how I have been feeling recently.
"So you need new glasses then? Or are you wearing contacts now?" Dr. C. asks.
"Actually, I go commando," I say jokingly and not without a degree of smugness. When she arches her eyebrow and begins to back away from my chair, I hastily add, "I mean in terms of not wearing glasses or contacts...er...never mind..." (Okay, I didn't really say that, but it makes for more interesting reading, don't you think). "I actually have perfect vision," I tell her smugly, "but my eyes have been getting tired a lot when I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.
She runs me through the various eye tests, which are a lot more high tech then the last time I had my eyes checked like 5 years ago. It was pretty standard except for when they test for glaucoma by having you stare intently into this machine and they quickly release a burst of air into your eye. I think I may have seen Dr. C. wince at my muttered "Oh shit" after each eye was immolated with air.
So she writes me a prescription then I go to the vision center and hand my prescription to the optician. "Do you want bi-focals or glasses?" she asks me.
"What are bi-focals?" I asked stupidly, non-plussed at her question. I reacted as if she had just asked me whether I used Polident
for my dentures.
"You know, for distance and reading simultaneously?"
"Uh, I'll just have the reading glasses thank you."
"Please select your frames then," she suggests. So I go to the area where they have all of the glass frames. There are sections for men, children and women. I head over to the women's section, scrupulously avoiding what I termed the "dear dotty old thing area", you know with the large coke-bottle granny-esque designs. The kind that have the designs by Angela Lansbury, Angie Dickinson and Sophia Loren. Instead I head over to the chic section (well as about chic that Costco can get), that carries brands such as Guess, DKNY etc etc. I favor the tiny, sleek, stylish glass frames. You know the ones you see in pictures at the Eyeglass/Sunglass shops in the mall, with beautiful models wearing these hideously expensive frames, looking soulfully out into the distance. I pick a pair of what I think are cool looking tiny glasses by Guess? and hand them over to the optician.
"What do you think?" I ask her as I model the glasses for her. "Pretty cool eh? It’s hard to pick a pair of glasses by yourself because you have no one to tell you that you look like a fool when you think that you look cool.
"Er...you may want some bigger frames...those may be too tiny..." she suggested as she steered me over to the GRANNY section.
"Just keep in mind that I would like to keep it somewhat stylish," I said a little desperately.
She merely smiled. "No problem." After presenting the various options of what she thought would be a "suitable size" for my apparently gigantic, granny-apropos face, I decided on a pair that looked pretty decent and stylish.
As she was typing in my order, she asked if I wanted my glasses tinted. "Uh, sure, what are my options?" I asked. She showed me a range of colors. As tempted as I was for the bright ass yellow tint, I held back. Eventually, I held up a sample of pinkly tinted glass. "Oooh! How about this? To match my pinky metal glasses?" She shook her head.
"Only grannies pick that color," she advised direly. I quickly dropped the lenses back into the box, and ended up picking the light brown tint, which she thought went nicely with my glasses.
"Your order will be ready in a week and a half," she told me.
I took a deep breath and sighed. Getting old sucks.