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Let’s talk eyeglasses. I am a single lens girl. That holds true for both my vision and my focus.  I admire people who can wear bifocals or trifocals or those who can listen to music, watch television and read or work at the same time. I just can’t do it. I can get away with bifocals for certain situations but overall I am a single lens, single focus girl.

As I have aged this eyeglass situation has led to other areas of change in my life. For instance, I used to carry a small purse. I liked the shoulder bag style that had a wallet included and allowed for efficient organization of my essentials. Now that I carry an arsenal of eye ware with me, I have adapted to a larger bag.  It is cumbersome, heavy and feels a bit conspicuous. Actually, it feels like my grandmother’s purse. I am just not used to carrying a large bag. Shopping for a new purse is also a chore. I take out all of the filler paper and make sure there is room for my three to four sets of glasses, wallet and other female necessities.  Yes, necessities.  No longer do I have a cute compact to check my make-up. Instead I carry a 10X magnifying mirror (a whole other subject to write about another day), so I can check my lipstick and make sure I have no food in my teeth. I seem to have become more conscious of my appearance as I have aged. As they say, this aging thing isn’t for wimps especially when magnified 10X!

When I am out shopping I wear my prescription sunglasses for as long as possible. They are big, have my distance prescription in them and offer me the best vision experience. The problem is they are dark and not suited for most indoor lighting. This means I eventually need to switch to either my bifocals or my distance glasses and my computer/reading glasses. Walking with the bifocals can be a problem and switching back and forth between distance and reading is a hassle.  My hands, pockets and purse are full of eyeglasses. I can make myself nauseous fairly quickly with all the back and forth.

I have to say it is exhausting. If you can’t see clearly your brain just doesn’t work as well and you can become tired fairly quickly. I can also get confused as to which pair I have on until I realize everything is a blur! I can even panic as I head back outside when I can’t find my sunglasses, until I realize they are on top of my head! My husband once took a picture of me with my sunglasses on the top of my head, my reading glasses on and my distance glasses on my chin as I was looking at purses!

My dining out experience has also changed. I sit down and promptly pull out my eyeglasses and place them on the table. Reading the menu and eating requires one set, looking around the restaurant another set, looking across the table can sometimes be a third set. Getting it right isn’t easy. I go back and forth during the entire meal.  Without clear vision my brain fades pretty fast which has nothing to do with the glass of wine I am drinking! 

Another issue with all of these different pairs of glasses is expense… and fashion. It would be great to change my eye glasses to fit my different attire. This is cost prohibitive. When I was younger and all I needed were reading glasses I could have an upstairs pair, downstairs pair and pair for my purse and it was somewhat affordable. Now that I need 3 different pairs with different lenses I can no longer justify upstairs, downstairs and purse options.  So, you make a choice based on how you are feeling the day you pick out your glasses and then have to live with the darn things for a year or more.

I have only owned a couple of pairs I really loved. One got broken and scratched fairly early on and the others I lost while on vacation.  My husband has also lost and broken several pair. They are fragile little beauties that tempt you with their beckoning to be removed and placed down in the most inauspicious of places.

I rarely look at myself with my glasses on, and I don’t like my picture taken with my glasses on. On the rare occasions that I do see myself with my glasses on I exclaim “Oh what the hell was I thinking when I picked these out!” Of course, I feel guilty about the money spent on the darn things, so I just keep wearing them even though I might look like a fashion “don’t.”

Now, I don’t want to sound unappreciative. I am very grateful for the ability to see because of all these spectacles. However, I wish I didn’t need them, but since I do, I wish I was one of those people who looked great in glasses. I would love to be able to wear progressive trifocals or contact lenses and be tres chic. Instead it all just feels like I am a spectacle.

Okay, I am going to tell you right up front that I am middle-aged (55) and am at that place I never thought I would be…starting to act and (Oh My God!) think like my parents! I find myself thinking about how life used to be and making comparisons to today’s world. Yep, I am getting older.

On my Facebook page yesterday someone posted the video clip of the new Carl’s Jr. Pulled Pork Burger commercial.  I call it Burger Porn.  Now, I am not saying it is a bad commercial but I think it is rather lazy and inappropriate. Not much cleverness to it at all.

To summarize, two young, very attractive, scantily clad women are grilling food and making what I will call “soft porn moves” both towards one another and with the food they are cooking, while two young men (who are fully dressed) are watching from across the way. Is it offensive?  Yes. Does it get your attention?  Yes. Did I remember the brand? Yes. So, on an advertising level it works. However, mothers and wives are not going to be happy and will probably go else where when choosing where to spend their fast food dollars. (As a matter a fact the Facebook posting was from a mom who wanted to boycott Carl’s Jr.) Young teen girls and older girls will want to emulate these seductive lasses so they can get their fair attention from young men.  Not such a great way for young women to get attention, at least in my book.

It also says a lot about our culture and just how low companies will go to get their market share of the fast burger buck. Overall it is offensive and at the very least inappropriate for a TV ad. Parents try to monitor what programming their kids watch and now they have to start filtering commercials, as if the job of parenting isn’t difficult enough. Don’t get me wrong I know that there are probably more offensive content out there on video games, movies, high school locker rooms and cable TV. I am just amazed that this commercial was pitched to a board of directors and executives who probably have kids of their own and all of them said; “Yeah!  This is a great ad!  Put it out there and let’s make some money!”  How very disappointing.

Right now there is the AT&T commercial on TV where the goat kicks the guy’s lunch over the cliff and his friends catch it on video via their cell phones.  I think this ad is very funny.  It makes me laugh for no good reason. Having said that, I couldn’t remember the brand or what they were trying to sell.  My son, who is in his thirties, doesn’t like the ad. He did remember the brand and what they were trying to sell though, (a cell phone that does video and can take a still picture at the same time).  My guess, I wasn’t their demographic.  So for the right demographic it was effective even if they don’t like the commercial. At least it wasn’t offensive or pornographic.

Now is when I am going to sound like my parents….When I was younger, there used to be something called a jingle (a good slogan or tag line also works), it went along with the radio or television ad and stuck in your head…forever!  I can still tell you the product associated with jingles and slogans from my childhood.  The jingles live on even after some of the products are no longer in existence.  Tried and true the jingle/slogan works.  Call them old-fashioned, corny or goofy but damn, they are effective! Quite frankly, I don’t mind goofy and most of these ads make us feel good or comforted and not dirty like we were watching something we weren’t suppose to see.

I appreciate when an ad or commercial is clever, can pull at my heart-strings, make me laugh or sing its jingle. I think at that point the ad people have done a great job.  I can say that I also appreciate a comedian that makes me laugh by being clever, witty, causes me to think and doesn’t use foul language.  I think using foul language as a comedian and using sex to sell products is just sheer laziness. Come on folks!  Get creative. Create something that inspires multiple generations to purchase your product don’t just sell sex to teenagers. That’s easy.

A trip down memory lane:

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz oh what a relief it is…..Alka Seltzer to the rescue!

My bologna has a first name its OSCAR…..

Double your pleasure, Double your fun, Double mint, Double mint Double mint Gum….

444-5555, That’s the number to the Classified…..

I’d walk a mile for a Camel…

Have it your way…at Burger King?

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion on a sesame seed bun.

10/2 & 4….Dr. Pepper…

Be a Pepper….Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?

You deserve a break today….At McDonald’s

If I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener…

I’d like to buy the world a Coke….

American Express: Don’t leave home without it.

M&M’s melt in your mouth not in your hands.

Got Milk?

Hallmark: When you care enough to send the very best.

Calgon….take me away!

Please don’t squeeze the Charmin

Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

You’re in Good Hands with Allstate

Budweiser King of Beers (Love these commercials! Some of my all time fav’s)

I didn’t have a lot of ideas when Paul and I started to discuss what we should do for the 2011 Christmas Card. Should it be our year in review, about the wedding or some other topic? I never thought I would be one of those people that would send out the “Christmas Letter” type of card. Quite frankly, they used to annoy me when I got them in the mail. Somehow my life just never seemed to measure up to those folks who took the time to write those yearly retrospectives.

But then, I never expected to be doing lots of things that I now do; use a magnifying glass to read small print for example, shop online or have a Facebook page. I guess the mere efficiency of the mass letter wins out over repetitive writing. Then there is the fact that times are different. Communication is different. We email, text, Facebook and stay connected as we are moving through our days, so writing a holiday card to stay in touch is old-fashioned and to many, unnecessary.

So okay, call me old-fashioned, but I actually think there is still a lot to be said for receiving a hand written note with an interesting stamp on the envelope. Of course, my note is mostly done on the computer but I do try to add a little something handwritten to each person. Whether or not anyone can actually read my writing is another matter. This year I was running so behind that many of the personal notes just didn’t happen. Of course, I don’t bake cookies and give them out anymore either. Time seems to evaporate at a rapid speed.

So this might surprise you, I actually enjoy going to the Post Office, engaging the postal clerk in light-hearted conversation (I consider this a challenge), view all the new commemorative stamps and then purchase several different kinds. I am sure this annoys all the other postal patrons since everyone today is in such a hurry. I want to look at all my choices. When I am at the counter I tune out all the other customers and focus on the stamps. Maybe it is the fact that the postal clerk has an interested consumer or just that everyone else in line has to wait, I don’t know but it is fun seeing them smile.

I bring the stamps home and decide which one goes on each envelope depending on the contents and destination. I like to think people notice. I actually think they like little things like fun postage stamps. I like to believe those little images make them smile. Seeing the stamp on the envelope is something simple that may only affect them for a few seconds, but I choose to believe it makes a difference.

Back in the day collecting postage stamps was a huge hobby and the most collected thing world-wide. It also was important where the stamp was postage marked and if it was hand cancelled. Postage is one of those items that we all come in contact with and use. Kind of like the weather we all experience it and have it in common. Not as easy to start a conversation about stamps as it is the weather, but the connection is there all the same. Of course weather can actually impact our lives, stamps just facilitate information being sent and received from person to person.

Most men seem to view commemorative stamps as unnecessary. They go straight for the flags or whatever is in a book. Nothing fancy, just a stamp to stick on an envelope and get the job done. Women on the other hand like the variety and shopping experience of choosing their designs. We develop a connection with whatever we are sending and want the appropriate stamp on the envelope. Now there are websites out there selling personalized stamps. While I think those are cool, I kind of think it is cheating. There was honor that was associated with stamp design and people couldn’t be on a stamp until they had passed. Yes, I know…old fashioned.

I must say that since the stamps have become self sticking they feel more like a sticker than a stamp. It used to be such a process to stamp all the Christmas envelopes and put them in the mail. We would get out a little dish of water, a round sponge and a cloth to keep our fingers non sticky. Now it is a breeze. That is one modern convenience that I greatly appreciate.

So this is a mundane fascination with postage I know. But I bet you look at your envelopes from now on and see what type of postage is on the upper right corner. If it is a commemorative stamp you know someone took the time to stand in line to purchase that especially for your envelope. Be appreciative and the next time someone makes a comment about the weather, ask them if they have seen those new Tiger Stamps yet?

Lisa Joiner

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© Lisa Joiner and HighRoadpost, 2014 Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lisa Joiner and HighRoadPost.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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