I am at the age where, sadly, I need reading glasses. I had been hearing for years that this need for reading glasses would suddenly sneak up on me – give or take a year or two (or, three?) but the general consensus was that it happened sometime around age 40. As if 40 isn’t enough of an issue. Anyway, the glasses took me quite by surprise. One year I was teaching English, reading extensively every day and not having a problem, and the next year, I was teaching preschool, naturally holding the books like Goodnight, Moon, and How to Be a Pirate, far away from me as I read so that the kids could see the pictures. Then suddenly, I was teaching high school and I discovered that somewhere in the last year, I had gone blind. I got a pair of glasses and it was a miracle – I could read again! Just in time, too. I had been holding the books farther and farther away from my face, and I realized that soon my arms would be too short.
They were terrific until my husband started “borrowing” them for his sessions on ebay… and for reading the newspaper… and for… well, let’s just say that he borrowed them for everything. And he left them everywhere. On his nightstand. On the coffee table in the living room. In the garage. In the bathroom. He needed his own pair, because he was destroying mine… throwing them around, stretching them out on his big head. He did get his own pair (from the dollar store) but still he continues to borrow my glasses. He says he’s going to buy twenty pairs from the dollar store, and leave them all over the house so that he can always find a pair, but he really doesn’t have to do that because somehow, I have become the Designated Person in Charge of Eyewear. Now he actually gets ANNOYED with me when I forget the glasses, or I want to use them first. He’s used my long-arm trick, but his vision is a bit worse than mine (he’s further past 40) so his arms aren’t long enough anymore.
A funny thing has been happening lately, though. I’ve noticed that EVERYONE needs glasses. Everyone in my age bracket, that is. We go out to dinner with friends and I notice THEM holding their menus too far away. “Do you wear reading glasses?” I’d ask casually. No, he or she would say, “I don’t need them.” Haha, I snicker to myself. Sure you don’t.
I discovered a very good friend of mine needed glasses as well when, after handing her an article to read, she took it and held it at arm’s length.
“Do you need reading glasses?” I asked her.
“Probably.” She said.
“Here, try these.” I handed over mine.
“Wow.” She said, impressed and at the same time, slightly disgusted. “What a difference!”
If you recognize yourself in this situation, you may be embarrassed, but don’t be. We’re all in the same boat together. We’re not getting old. Really. I’m not the only one who suddenly needs glasses, and neither are you. I won’t tell if you don’t want me to. But next time someone shows you something with tiny print, or lots of little details, just take the glasses, please.