Things I Can’t See, or I Probably Don't Need to Know What That Says

Have you passed your prime? Here’s your sign.

Have you passed your prime? Here’s your sign.

I had 20/20 vision when I was younger. When I turned about 40, I got an eye exam. I bought reading glasses.

It’s not a big deal, I told myself. I don’t need them much. In fact, it kind of bothers my eyes to wear them too much. I can see most things fine. I can see to drive. I can differentiate between my children.

But every once in a while, I would dig out my glasses. You know, when I was tired. Then a little more often. Then I started making sure a pair was always in my purse, like an extra maxi pad. You know, just in case. After a while, I realized that there’s just certain things that I can’t read.

Most of the time, I try to ride it out. I don’t think of myself as someone who wears glasses. But without them, here’s the list of things I can no longer see:

  • The knot on my necklace chain. This was one of the first things to go. I felt so talented when I untangled my mother’s necklaces. That goes away like the high notes on the scale. You don’t even notice it’s missing until you’re tested.
  • Ingredient lists in the grocery stores. I lost that battle years ago. That’s why I started carrying the glasses in my purse in the first place.
  • The small print.
  • The default font on Lotus Notes email. Can anybody tell me how to make that bigger?
  • Clothing tags. Forget about laundry instructions, I’m talking about the size label. 14? 16? Wait, 10?! I carried this all the way to the changing room! Well I’m NOT putting it back on the hanger.
  • The phone number on your business card. Nope. Need a magnifying glass. Nice formatting, though. The text looks like a sailboat.
  • The menu. Romantic restaurant? Why don’t you order for me, big guy? It’s so sexy. You know what I like.
  • That bumper sticker on your car with the full sentence on it. I’m going to tailgate you until I can read that damn thing. Yes, I suppose I am too close if I can read that.

Funny thing is, I can usually read books okay. Especially on my reader — the one with the adjustable font.