Today I picked up a new pair of eyeglasses.
Now I didn’t always wear glasses. Up until the time I hit 40, I had perfect vision. Okay, I had a slight astigmatism that popped up around the time I turned 30 but that doesn’t count. Then around my 40th birthday, I woke up one morning and suddenly I was unable to read the nutritional value chart on my Fiber One cereal box (my relationship with fiber is a whole other “Over 40” blog).
Yes, my eyes are (as my ophthalmologist said) “getting old”.
But why, you may ask, does it always seem that people’s eyes start failing right around the time we hit 40?
Well, it seems that (according to the eye info I totally swiped from the CBC) inside all our eyes is an auto focus mechanism, a crystalline lens and muscle system that allows us to focus on things up close. Between the ages of 39 and 45, this lens hardens, causing a functional problem – you need to see far but you need to read. In other words, the lenses in Your Humble Blogger’s eyes have – like anything after the warranty runs out – gone on the fritz.
But such is life.
Now in your Grandpa’s day, to correct reading and distance problems, folks (like Grandpa) were fitted with bi-focals (big ugly glasses with a line in the middle that simply SCREAMED old) but today we now have the choice of a bi-focal (people still wear them) or graduated or progressive lens. Progressive lenses are basically bi-focals with a fancy name that make Gen Xers like myself feel less old when we wear them.
By the way, this changing the name of things to make us feel less older than we really are wasn’t created by us Gen Xers. It was created by our older brother and sisters, The Baby Boomers. It didn’t work for them so I have no idea why we’re doing it now.
So I bought new glasses with progressive lenses at First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto.
And I hated them.
Not the Oliver Peoples frames; the frames are darling.
It was these damned progressive lenses I couldn’t stand. It seemed like I could only see clearly through a small pin-prick in the middle of the lens so I had to turn my head every time I wanted to see something in focus. And one thing about being a writer is that we need to see the computer screen we are working on. After a little while I felt irritated. Then I felt nauseous. Then I had a headache.
Maybe bi-focals weren’t such a bad idea, I thought. After all, if they were good enough for Grandpa…
But after a few hours, I started to feel better. I was beginning to get used to the glasses. Reading with them (looking down) was great, and looking at the computer screen was getting better. I read that it can take from a few hours to months to get used to progressives. I’m hoping it doesn’t take that long. And I did write this whole blog with them on.
But tell me, what do you think of them?
Do they make me look younger?
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom