Although last night I was on the treadmill at the Y, running like the cops were chasing me and trying to confiscate my plastic glass of watery keg beer, listening to .38 Special sing “Fantasy Girl,” the truth is I’m no longer young.
In fact, recently, a very kind optometrist (a young woman with eggs so viable I could hear them chattering about their new platform wedges and skin so smooth you could smash a piece of silly putty onto her cheek and then peel it off without there being a single line–or bit of newsprint–on it) put her hand on my knee (ROWWWR!) and gently asked, “So, are you feeling like you’re ready to make the move to bifocals?”
In a certain way, that’s a moment, right? That’s a moment of “Hell, I is old.” On the other hand, for me it wasn’t that earth shattering, as I have crazyass eyes so bad that I was put into bifocals at age 7 and kept there until I changed to contacts in junior high.
As 1970’s songbird Charlene might croon, “I’ve been to bifocal/But I’ve never been to me.”
At this point in my life, I’ve been to bifocal, and I’ve been to me, and it wasn’t nearly as sunny there as I’d hoped, so now I’m going back to bifocal.
Naturally, if one is getting new lenses, one should also, clearly, get new frames.
Frame shopping is the fun part of being legally blind (the downside part is when, without your glasses on, you don’t recognize which of your two children is the male one. ‘Cause then you try to braid his hair before school one day, only to find, strangely, that it’s really short and can’t be braided, which then makes you wonder if mean kids at school circled your “daughter” and chopped off all her locks in some group hazing ritual, and that’s why she’s been left shorn and bereft of her crowning glory, and you feel a little sob catching in your throat as you bravely strangle out some assurances that her beauty comes from within, until suddenly a little voice pipes up and says, “Mom. MOM. I’m the boy. I always have short hair”).
In short, what I’m trying to say here is WOO-HOO, I got to go frame shopping this week!
Except, wait an echolocating minute, I can’t actually see what I look like when I try on frames in the store. In case you didn’t catch it before: I’m legally blind. Without my glasses, I don’t even recognize which one is my own house; I have to start with the house on the corner and go up to each successive house on the block and feel out the numbers nailed to the front next to the door, until I get to the magical numbers that are my own address. One time, though, I started doing the feeling thing and didn’t realize the neighbor lady was standing right there on her front step, and I was actually grabbing her breasts and trying to figure out if they made a “4.”
Oddly, they read more the shape of a 38C.
She and I have been very, very good friends since that day.
As I was saying, before you starting interrupting with all these distractions, Gentle Reader, is that I can’t actually see what I look like when I’m trying on glasses frames; thus, I have to take along a compatriot and even, in recent years, a digital camera. One time, when a friend of mine was taking pictures of me trying on different frames, and the flash went off repeatedly in the store, a crowd gathered; eventually a large woman in a flowing scarf emerged from the pack and tentatively asked for my autograph. Writing directly on her scarf, I signed, “Life has been hard without Ronnie, but at least I still have my china. Best–Nancy Reagan.” She thanked me and backed away, so I guess the joke was ultimately on me because what the hell that I managed to pass as Nancy Reagan, and I wasn’t even wearing red?
Anyhow, this week, Groomy went along, and so did Niblet, and of course there were the nice ladies who work in the store and who each own 27 pairs of frames themselves, so I had ample feedback.
Once we narrowed it down to two final contenders, we reached an impasse. We were so stuck that The Nice Ladies finally said, “Let’s just pop both pairs in a baggie and let you take them home for a few days. With an expensive decision like this, you should be really sure.”
HOOHAH, but the fun of trying on frames had just entered a new dimension, one called Now I Get to Walk Around the Neighborhood For a Couple of Hours and Take a Survey of Everyone’s Opinion, and If We’re Doing a Survey, That Means Girl Gets to Come Along and Bring a Clipboard and Record the Votes Which, In a Way, is the Best Birthday Present I Could Ever Give Her.
22 votes later, we had a winner–not a clear winner, mind you, as the votes split about 2/3 for one pair and 1/3 for the other. In some ways, the two frames are alike, for they’re both greenish and rectangularish. In other ways, though, they differ. Which pair do you think should have won?
Oh, and I would remind you, at this juncture, of the title of my post.
This is Picture A of the pair we called “Ridges”:
Dude, yea, I know the writing on the lens is soooo awesome and helps the overall effect! In fact, when I get real lenses put in my new frames, and they leave off that writing, I fully plan to get a little tattoo on my upper cheek that mimics those words exactly, so I can rock that look for always.
And here is Picture B of “Ridges”:
All right, I’m going to switch it up now, so if you need a palate cleanser, rub your eyes and give them a cracker.
This is Picture A of the frames we called “Circles”:
And Picture B of “Circles”:
I have, in fact, placed the order for one of these two pairs. If you guess the correct frames, I will send you exactly one kabillion dollars plus, for a limited time only, as a shout out to glasses and being blind, a “Twelve Days of Christmas” shotglass pack:
Oh, yea, and turtle wax and Rice-a-Roni.
Plus a Ginsu knife.
And a Snuggie.