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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.

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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