My sister Reenie was visiting this week and I made a startling discovery. She’s much, much, much older than me and she doesn’t have to put on little glasses to read fine print, recipes, Mapquest directions or the measuring lines on a mint julep jigger. He hair isn’t gray and she still has freckles, too, but that’s another story.
I’m the youngest and the baby of the family. I’m supposed to be the last one to have to use glasses to read. This is one of several things that makes me wonder if I wasn’t switched at birth. My three sisters are all very crafty. They sew, quilt, cross-stitch, knit, felt, make clothes, sweaters and various blanket-type apparatuses that make your head spin, they’re so store-bought looking. I, on the other hand, still haven’t gotten over the brown corduroy jumper from 7th grade sewing class, in which I sewed the yoke on wrong three times.
So there’s that. And now I seem to be the only Laney sister who has to wear reading glasses. Did I mention that I’m the youngest and I’m way younger than any of them?
When I first realized I needed to put on glasses over my contact lenses to read things, I fought it. “I’m already wearing contacts,” I told the doctor when he said I would need to wear reading glasses. “No,” he said, “You’re going to start to need glasses to see things close up now, too.”
Wha? I’ve worn glasses for being nearsighted since I was in the second grade and I got my first tortoise shell little cat eyes. I was such a little cutey in them. As I got older I got more and more nearsighted and eventually got into the large squarish glasses that made us all look so hot in the ‘70s. Then came contacts. By the time I turned 40, I had become comfortable with my nearsightedness and despite some trips to the ER from sleeping in those old fashioned hard contacts from the early ‘80s, things were looking good.
But reading glasses? Weren’t they for old people? And how can you be nearsighted and farsighted at the same time? You would think that on your way to being old-lady-farsighted that you would lose your nearsightedness and for a short time, maybe a day or so, you would have perfect vision before you started to need glasses to read things.
I ran my theory past the eye doctor and he just looked at me. And not in a good way. “That’s not the way it works,” he said. And then he encouraged me to buy a pair of reading glasses from the display case outside the examining room.
Oh, right. They cost about $60, which is about $59 more than the reading glasses that I buy now. I actually don’t buy them. My mother-in-law buys them for me and brings me bags of them. When she comes to visit, I find them in every room in the house, in my Christmas stocking, next to the morning paper, and sprinkled around the garage.
I’m never in need of a pair of glasses. There is, however, a reason they only cost $1. See if you can guess what it is. My husband has nicknames for my glasses. There’s The Harry Potter, The Henry Kissinger, The Buddy Holly, The Charles Nelson Reilly and Nerd.