Since I was about 9 or 10 years old my vision has changed every year but one. In 4th grade my teacher moved me, row by row, until I was unhappily front and center in the classroom, practically under the blackboard. Finally the next year my doctor convinced my mother I did really need these glasses, and I was incredulous at the sight of each individual leaf on the summer-adorned trees. For a good number of those years I was able to wear contact lenses. I remember my father telling me one tearful frustrating afternoon when I’d come home from school having been called four-eyes so many times I nearly forgot my own name about these small glass disks that could be placed directly on your eyes. No glasses. And you could see like your vision was fine.

I wanted them. Now.

By the time my eye doctor felt I was capable of being responsible for them it was 5 years later. I was thrilled. No one told me if you got an invisible speck of dust in your eye it would feel as though a poisoned dart had been stuck in there. I soon learned how to wash the thing in my mouth and mercifully never got some horrible bacterial disease from this not good practice. I was careful with them, too. I only lost two in all those years. One in a swimming pool and one ice skating (actually a fellow skater did somehow find my blue-tinted lens on the blue-white ice). But sadly in my 50s I became too old to wear them. I could no longer stand the stabbing pain of dust particles, and the last day I wore them one slid off the eye itself and lodged in the corner of my now age-dry eye to the point where I thought I might have to go to the emergency room to get it off. I didn’t.

So now it is quite an event, buying a new pair of eyeglasses. No more taking the prescription, picking out frames and a week or so later picking the finished eyeglasses up. No… there are anti-glare coatings, graduated shading depending on how much sunlight they are exposed to. And different types of lenses altogether– Nikon even makes them. So even though my sales person was the nicest lady I did turn down her best efforts at selling me all these extra things. To compensate though I learned she is 10 years older than her husband and he better not retire before she does. I learned she had just recovered from flu and assured her that I had gotten a flu shot for this year. We spoke at great length of this flu bug that has been going around to the point where I began to feel flu-like symptoms from the power of suggestion. She promised me that she would fit my eyeglasses when I returned, and did I know that even though they tell you it is a week to 10 days they usually are back within a few days?

Mine took the full week before they came in. And no, the very nice lady was off that day, but another equally nice lady was happy to fit them for me and send me happily on my way, clear sighted.

At least my doctor removed the bifocal lenses. I never could see through it anyway.