Friday, August 5, 2011

Stocking Up on Tools

When I was a kid, I could still watch The Twilight Zone on television. I, usually, enjoyed the shows, but there's one episode that always stood out as being particularly tragic. The episode is entitled Time Enough to Last and is about this brow-beaten, coke-bottle-glasses-wearing bibliophile, who survives a nuclear holocaust - sans his manipulative and nagging wife. Thrilled to, finally, have time enough to simply sit and read his books, he leans over to pick up a book and the glasses fall off his face, landing on the floor and breaking.

Which is how "The Twilight Zone" usually went.

Lately, I've noticed that reading small print has become more difficult. I keep saying I need to go to the eye doctor, and I keep not doing it. I can see fine for most tasks, like driving (as evidenced by the eye test portion of my very recent driver's license renewal application) and working on the computer, but trying to read print, one of my favorite past-times, has become almost painful as I strain to make sense of the blurry splotches on the page. The fine print on medicine bottles? Forget about it ... and as a label reader, shopping has become incredibly frustrating. Never mind not being able to pronounce the ingredients - I can't even see them anymore.

The other day, while everyone else in the family was busy having other adventures, Precious and I had an adventure of our own, which included visiting a local thrift store. While there, we took a look at the glasses - she, the sunglasses, and I the reading glasses.

I put on a pair that magnified words on a page by 1.25, and I could see! It's a miracle!

So, I bought them. My first, ever, pair of glasses.

I have to take them off, except to read, because the rest of the world gets blurry, but I've been reading, again, and really enjoying it ... again. No straining, no getting frustrated because I couldn't see the words, no headaches or twitching eyes, and no just putting the book down, because it was too late and too dark to see.

The whole experience got me thinking, though. What if, like the guy in that "Twilight Zone" episode, the world collapses, and I (finally) have all of the time in the world to read ... but I break my only pair of reading glasses?

If I had regular glasses, I'd probably make sure I had a spare pair, because even in the best of circumstances, glasses can and do get broken. My plan is to stock up on reading glasses at increasingly higher magnifications (and at $3/pair at the thrift store, it's also very affordable) ...

... and maybe I should go and see the eye doctor, too.


  1. My old boss used reading glasses and she was constantly leaving them in weird places or dropping them in the barn, or what have you. So she had like eight pairs in various places around the workplace and whenever we would find a pair we would bring them to her.

    As someone who is very much handicapped without her glasses (my palm needs to be just a couple of inches from my face for me to see my palm lines), I think it would be good to have backups! Apparently you can order glasses online for super cheap if you know your prescription (my little sister does it), but I think I would have cokebottles if that were the case. I generally have to get special, high-density lenses.

    Also - I love and hate that episode of the Twilight Zone. One of the few episodes I've ever seen, actually.

  2. I *always* keep my old pair of both eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses after I get a new pair, just in case. It's too expensive to get two sets of my current prescription, but it never changes so much that my old pair wouldn't be fine.

    But, alas, my eye doctor said this is probably the last time I'll be able to get away without getting bifocals. I guess I am getting old :)

  3. I've got bifocals, so I'm pretty resigned to dependency on glasses for reading. I've also got glaucoma, a disease of my mother's family. So an energy-scarce future could conceivably mean I end up blind some day. For now my main problem is far-sightedness. My arms simply aren't long enough to let my eyes focus on the page I'm holding - unless I've got the glasses. It's been getting much worse in recent years. Getting old ain't for sissies.

  4. I'm in the exact same boat as you, Wendy...I need to "play trombone", to quote Bing Crosby, whenever my eyes are tired or the light is dim, to bring small print into focus. Like you, I've been putting off getting reading glasses, and will probably resort to some "cheaters" ;) I'm just happy that I'm one of the last of all my friends to need them - at 50! :D

  5. I've been wearing glasses and/or contacts since I was 12. But, I'll be getting bi-focals this year for the first time - I should have gotten them two years ago, but alas, I couldn't (mentally) do it! My 48th birthday is next month and that will be the time to get them....sigh!

  6. That's funny because your posts made me think about this--what if it was the end of the world as we know it--what would happen if I lost/broke my glasses? I'd have to learn how to be blind. I suppose not a horrible thing, but it sure would be an additional learning curve in addition to the end of the world!
    But in the end, because I've worn glasses for 23 years now, I also know every trick in the book for repairing them...hee hee!

  7. Our local 99 cent store carries reading glasses. I have about 20 pairs -some scattered throughout the house and others are safely put away in a drawer. I also have a "real" pair of reading glasses from the optometrist. I like the 99 cent ones better!