Do you remember when your kid was a baby, and addicted to a pacifier? It didn’t matter if you bought one pacifier or ten, it invariably got lost and somehow could never be located when your baby really needed it. This dire state involved sending out one’s husband to the all-night Rite Aid or Wal Mart in hopes of getting another or else no one in the family was going to sleep that night. Of course it couldn’t be just any pacifier so one had to give very detailed instructions: it had to be silicon not rubber, ages 6 months to a year not newborn to 6 months, it had to be a Nuk not a Mam or a Gerber, etc. and if instructions weren’t followed to the letter it meant yet another trip to correct the iniquity and meanwhile the baby wouldn’t stop screaming.
Now that I’m long past that stage in life, it seems I’ve entered another that is just as angst-ridden: The Reading Glasses Stage of Life. Like the pacifiers of yore, it doesn’t seem to matter if I buy one pair or ten (thank goodness for Dollar Stores): they’re never where I want them when I need them, which is constantly.
Lately I seem to be grappling with another strange problem: my eyes are constantly changing. Besides needing one power for reading and another for the computer, depending on the light or amount of eye strain, my vision is constantly fluctuating, sometimes even within an hour. So I might start reading at +2.0 and then as the night progresses, find that a +1.50 or +1.75 works better, or vice versa. (I’ve tried prescription progressives, but after losing two pair at $200 each, I’m back to the Dollar Store varieties). Since I own 5 pair of glasses in a single prescription at any given time (ideally one for each room in the house, the car, and my purse), this means I have 15 pairs of glasses lying around somewhere in varying magnifications, but I’m never really sure where, and it also means that when I locate a pair, I have to try it on and guess which power magnification it is, so just getting ready to read is something of an ordeal. No, my glasses don’t look alike – – but having 15 pair of 15 different styles makes it hard to remember which ones are the +1.5 versus the +2.0.
So the last time I made my pilgrimage to the Dollar Store (after not being able to find a single pair of reading glasses that day), I decided to heck with it, and I left the little sticker with the magnification power remaining on the lens.
“Hey, you know you forgot to take off the sticker from that pair of glasses,” my husband commented, when he saw me reading at home later that evening.
“Yeah, I know,” I said, “I did it on purpose, so I’ll know the amount of magnification,” I answered.
“You look really dumb,” he said.
Intimidated, I took off the sticker and placed it on the inside of the temples. But the sticker fell off and I was back to square one.
The next time we went shopping – – in TJ Maxx – – I wore my Dollar Store glasses with the sticker on the lens.
My husband was mortified.
“You look ridiculous leaving the sticker on your glasses!” he said. “But worse, the store is going to think you are stealing their reading glasses from the ones they have for sale!” he added.
I had to admit, he had a point, so I took off my glasses and put them in my purse, sticker intact.
“Oh, great,” my husband complained, “now the security cameras are going to think you’re shoplifting by putting them in your purse.”
“Fine,” I said, taking them out of my purse and putting them back on.
“You look ridiculous,” he said with genuine embarrassment, and left me standing there as he retreated to the car.
One of the great things about living in Maine is that you can look really dumb, or weird, or eccentric, or different, and no one gives a hoot. Maine seems to attract people who march to a different drummer – – a polite way of saying people who don’t fit in anywhere else. (I guess that’s why I’m happy here.)
My solution – – pardon the pun – – was visionary. Now I always wear two pair of reading glasses: one on top of my head, and one hooked onto the top of my shirt. Both have the stickers, but show different magnification numbers. That way, it’s obvious that these are two completely different pair of glasses for different purposes, and I’m merely being an eccentric but practical nerd, rather than a kleptomaniac.
Even though I look really dumb.
(P.s. My husband is not a snide ogre. He just has a thing about glasses with stickers when they involve me.)