Don’t you hate those subtle yet undeniable reminders that you’re aging? After the age of 40, it seems every year holds a little something new – and I don’t mean new as in something you’d get excited about like a NEW purse or a NEW pair of shoes! I’m learning to deal the fact that I’m starting to gray (why does it work for a man, but not for a woman?), I’m getting skin tags (you have to save up those skin tags, my dermatologist charges a flat fee for their removal – up to 10 for $150 – what a deal!), my face is starting to wrinkle and sag (I have lines that look like I’ve slept with my face on a wrinkled sheet only it’s the middle of the afternoon) and I’ve officially entered perimenopause (but don’t worry, I’m not suffering from any type of %$@# moodiness). And, now, during an innocuous visit to the optometrist yesterday, I’ve added a NEW ailment- presbyopia – age-related farsightedness.
I walk into what I’m thinking is a routine eye exam (I’ve worn glasses or contacts since the age of 12 – no big deal) and I’m in the middle of the same exam I always get – you know the one where they show you the same object with different lenses – “Number one or number two? Number three or number four? Number four or number five?” We’re coasting right along when my clearly middle-aged female doctor wraps things up by saying with a smirk on her face and a glimmer in her eye like she had just beaten me at a game of chess, “Ok, I have your reading glasses prescription!” Say what? There was no warning, no lead up. “It’s a natural sign of aging,” she says tipping her readers at me like she’s happy to be adding another one to her club. “It usually occurs around the age of 40 when people experience blurred vision while reading or looking at the computer.” I was just about to lose my perimenopausal cool when I salvaged a smile and calmly asked the sly optometrist what sort of injection or surgery I could have done to take care of my NEW age-related ailment. I just knew if I threw some money at it, I could make it go away. I mean you have gray hair, you dye it; you have wrinkles, you get an injection; you are in menopause, you buy some synthetic hormones on the black market. Like she was taking some kind of twisted pleasure in my mental anguish, Dr. Sees A lot says, “They are working on different surgical procedures, but nothing is out just yet.” NOT what I wanted to hear.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to noticing the signs of my deteriorating eyesight. Restaurants were starting to seem darker to me, the fine print on bottles seemed to be getting even smaller and I was constantly having to readjust the level to which I was naturally inclined to hold my iPhone. Yes, I knew it was coming. I even remember taking some solace in watching that scene in Sex and the City 2 a couple years back where Carrie hawks Big’s bifocals to do some reading in bed; because you know, what’s good for Carrie, is good for me – shopping addictions, bifocals. God, I love that woman!
So I ask my apathetic optometrist, “You tell me there is no injection, there is no surgery – what am I supposed to do?” She says with a smile, “You have several options; the first of which is to wear one contact lens that acts like the near-sighted eye and one contact lens that acts as the far-sighted eye.” She goes on, “You might have some minor problems with depth perception. You mentioned earlier that you ski. This might not be the best option for you.” “What the @#$%?” that mean little perimenopausal voice was screaming in my head. “Yes, I ski; I also drive a car!” The second option, she explains, is to ditch the contacts and wear split lens glasses – “nope, not happen’n,” I say to myself. And of course, the third option, pick up a pair of those “we’ll try super hard to make you look chic, not old” animal print and cosmic colored readers.
You know what I say – forget it! Until I dislocate a shoulder or give someone a black eye extending my arm out to inconceivable lengths to read that dreadfully small print, I’ll stick with option number four – DENIAL.
So I did go to Walgreen’s just to “see” what kind of readers they had, and look where I found them:
Let me zoom in a little closer for you.