Today, as I went to purchase my children's very practical but necessary Christmas gifts, new glasses, I realized how lucky I have been not to have been saddled with this "gear" early on in my life.
I don't have good success in a few areas of my life and one of these parts is eyewear, glasses of any ilk. I am currently sporting a pair which appears determined to rip the last few strands of my ever thinning hair from my head, each time I try to remove them.
I didn't grow up wearing eyeglasses. I acquired reading lenses later in life when my enviable vision began to decline. I first noticed the challenge of sight in my mid forties while attempting to view a name and number in a book meant for use by those of an age where they aren't actually able to read the telephone directory. It was at about the same time that I realized why my jacket sleeves were always too long. It was these short arms! If someone could have only held the book a bit further away....
During the last few years, I have come to terms with wearing glasses for reading. I even had one favourite pair...plastic with thick blue frames. They were lightweight, comfortable and distinctive. Although I have acquired some new pairs over the years, none could quite take the place of my old standbys. They were usually found in one of several convenient locations. On top of my head...great for keeping hair out of face, hooked into the front of my shirt or sweater...easy access and held very securely in this particular spot close to my heart, or in my pocket...sometimes a challenge. Bulky hard glasses cases, with all the opening, closing, snapping, storage, into and out of purse activity just don't seem to work well for me. Besides that, I would need to have my glasses on in order to find them in a bag and I would always have to be sure to carry a purse, another one of my challenges.
My most recent glasses adventure occurred prior to a vacation while we were staying at an aiport hotel. In the morning, we packed up our belongings ready for the airport van. Since there was plenty of time to linger, we selected a fine dining establishment across 4 lanes of traffic. We would be able to sit, chat, read the paper and spend as much time as desired in this particular eaterie, McDonald's. Coats on, we went darting through the obstacle course of cars, trucks and airport limos. Actually, I exaggerate slightly since it was Sunday morning and traffic was unusually light. Once finished our meal, we returned to the hotel along with the unread portion of the newspaper and the crossword. There was still plenty of remaining time before our flight so I grabbed a pen and....my glasses?
I searched in all the usual places...head, bosom, pockets but found no glasses. Hmmm.....must have left them at the restaurant. So I put my coat back on, and off I went retracing my path. I was half way across the road when I spotted something....."NOOOOooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!" It couldn't be. Or could it? As I crouched down I saw evidence of a terrible hit and run disaster. I had to move quickly as truck traffic had definitely increased since our first trek across the road. I searched and searched but all I could retrieve was this. I picked them up and stared. I looked for the rest of the glasses as if I could somehow magically re-attach the appendages even if I could locate them. I felt a tear trickle down my cheek.
As cars honked, I determined that staying in the middle of the road was a futile if not dangerous sport, so I picked up the remains of my now deceased favourite pair of readers. The day had begun on a sad note. I had lost another close friend. I photographed the dismembered arm of my glasses and gingerly packed it in the side of my suitcase as I determined that the only appropriate thing to do would be to take it along on the trip and give it a burial at sea.
I accomplished that, in the Caribbean someplace near the lovely island of Puerto Rico, then returned to my lounge chair on the ship, prescription sunglasses and book ready to read, relax and ponder.