Grandpa’s Glasses

eyeglasses with black frame beside macbook pro

Don’t ever bother trying to get new glasses. At your old age, it’s not worth the effort. It’s a tough job I have only just managed to figure out, and even then I ended up with glasses that pinch my nostrils together and leave purple welts behind my ears.

First, there’s the matter of finding the eye doctor’s office. He will be located in a back corner of a small shopping area end lot at the end of town you never go to, if you live in a normal neighborhood. If you live in the city, he will be on the top floor of a very tall building with mean security guards who will make you late, which will mean there isn’t time for the whole appointment, which means just after you get upstairs you will be told to schedule a new appointment and come back in three months, please.

Then, you will have an eye exam. When I go to my doctor to check my blood pressure, he doesn’t check to see if I have any of the possible existing blood disorders on the planet. But the eye doctor is a thorough man, and he will have to check for any and every eye problem you may be experience. He will dilate your pupils so the light burns like fire. He will pull your eyelids this way and that. He will use the vision chart and make you stare into a half dozen little machines with pictures of farm houses going in and out of focus. Finally, he will stick a ring of blue light within your eye’s arc of vision and—don’t blink! Don’t blink! Don’t blink! Don’t blink! Don’t—ah, there, finally done.

But don’t tell him you get the shakes after you have two mugs of coffee, or that will certainly mean you have amblyopia. And don’t tell him you can only shave with all the lights on and a straight razor, or that means you’re infected with conjunctiva. I don’t even know what these are, but I might have them. Don’t tell him anything, actually, or you’re certainly ill-eyed.

After all of that is finally over with and you’re sitting with your paper sunglasses in the waiting room, leafing through a children’s book, you will be called over to choose your new glasses. Careful! There are a lot of choices to make. Do you want nose-grips or not? The nose grips hurt but otherwise your glasses will slide down, down, right off your nose. Do you want the ultra-thin lenses? The other ones are much too heavy to hold up with that skinny neck of yours. Do you want glare-blocking coating, and scratch-resistant glass, and day-to-night vision? Just say no, it’s all hooey anyways. Just tricks and games to test your endurance.

And then, once you’re finally just waiting for them to finish putting your glasses together in their back-room laboratory, you’ll end up like me, using the excuse of no-glasses and dilated pupils to stare foggily at you, thinking, in the too-bright light, that you are the most lovely creature you’ve ever seen.