The Vision-ary Reason Why I Carry a Big Purse

Eyeglasses When I was younger I had perfect vision.  Over the past few years, however, my eyes have declined…significantly…and I often wonder if in God’s infinite wisdom he planned on that…as your body becomes less than perfect as you age…as the wrinkles come and the grey hairs (and those other annoying hairs!) start to sprout…maybe poor vision is God’s way of being kind and cutting your self-esteem some slack…   

I did everything right to protect my eyes. I was never a sun-worshipper and I ate a lot of carrots (hey, did you ever see a rabbit with a sunburn or wearing glasses? I thought not!). I had perfect vision most of my life. I was always the one who was in charge of road maps (remember those? We didn’t have GPS!) on family vacations, because I could see all the teeny-tiny print.

In my 40’s, though, I had to be fitted with a pair of reading glasses. I didn’t like the idea of having “readers”, it seemed too “old” somehow…but it didn’t impact my life much.

Sometime in my early 50’s though, my eyesight got much worse…somewhat dramatically, actually. One day, the “readers” were not strong enough. The next day, I needed “distance” glasses, too…initially just for driving, but all too soon they were an everyday requirement for just walking around.

Simple things became more difficult. Have you ever tried plucking eyebrows when you need high-powered glasses to see the tiny hairs? It is not easy. Trust me.

Then came the need for computer glasses, because my readers were too close and my distance were too far! Gee! I quickly realized I needed a larger purse…carrying around what had become 4 pairs of glasses (near, far, in-between and prescription sun-glasses!). I finally succumbed to getting a pair of glasses that were for multiple purposes, called progressive lenses, today’s answer to bi-focal (ugh…those ugly thick glasses my mom had worn that had a noticeable line across the middle). You’d think this would have lessened my “glasses” load, but I never really like them, so now I just carry them around on top of all the others.

When heading out, I pull out my (very large) purse and ensure that I have a workable glass strategy for where I am going…I wear the distance (which have now become my “don’t bump into walls” walking around glasses…) glasses…carry the high-powered readers if I think I will have to read anything. Oh, if job-related, I may need to pack my computer glasses, too. Check, check…and double-check.

My family is not sympathetic. We go out for dinner in a dark restaurant and they make fun of me when I have to change my glasses before I can order. I vengefully remind them that I used to think my own mom’s need for glasses was something that would never happen to me…but typically, my older son will just tell me that by the time he is in his 40’s everyone will be implanted with artificial lenses having not only perfect vision, but other futuristic capabilities. I seethed, as I really need them to someday understand what I was going through.

And am I the only one who uses a magnifying glass? The other day my son caught me using it with my iPhone… he said I should just increase the font (which I already had) and he gave me a few “LOL’s” as he left…I made a mental note to not respond to his next important text. Oh, and another mental note to put a magnifying glass in my purse.

I truly believe what goes around comes around. I clearly remember asking my own mom, who in her 90’s had just terrible vision, “You really can’t see that?” when she requested that I assist her in some store…she’d go up to the product on the shelf, get right up close to it with her face, I could never believe she had to be “that close” to see it. But now, yes…what goes around comes around. I understand. Too late for me to tell HER that I understand, but I do.

She is probably laughing in her grave at the idea of my carrying around 3-4 pairs of glasses in my purse. After she passed away, I actually looked through a pair of HER glasses, and it seemed like I was staring into a blurry world of prisms…I couldn’t see a thing. Talk about guilt…and karma.

I tell my kids to protect their eyes, to wear sunglasses, etc… And my kids are boys…well, I guess men. And I warn them…YOU don’t have a purse to carry 3-4 pairs of glasses. So YOU need to do whatever you can to keep your eyes healthy!

And I’m only in my mid-50’s…I shudder to think of what will happen next.  Surgery is currently not an option…until it is an absolute requirement down the road. Nice.

Maybe I should learn braille.

Hmmmm…For now…I’ll get by the best I can…use large font, carry a big purse and try not to bump into things.

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