The week before Christmas I did something I haven’t been
doing enough: Exercised at the Y. Then I did something I never do: Took off my
glasses. After barely breaking out dainty beads of perspiration, I stepped off
the machine — and onto my glasses. Snap.
Now I was really sweating.
I can see without my glasses. I can legally drive without
them. But I can’t read anything smaller than the event sign outside the
Saratoga Springs City Center.
It was a Saturday morning and I went straight from the Y to
Vaughn Vision, where a very nice woman tried to superglue the teeny plastic nose
piece. Try electrical tape, she advised, handing me back my two-piece
trifocals. It’s more subtle than duct tape. Very professional.
Next stops were CVS for reading glasses and Price Chopper
for electrical tape. She was right, it was more subtle than duct tape. But it
held about as well as the glue.
Three days later I was back at Vaughn for the full-fledged
eye exam that was due anyway. I tried on every pair of glasses, twice, and bought the
first one I looked at, which shockingly resembles every pair I’ve owned for
the last decade. They felt right on my nose.
Then came two weeks of waiting, during which I alternated
between no glasses, reading glasses, prescription sunglasses, trifocals from
two prescriptions ago, and the electrical tape glasses. When I went to see my
sister in a play in Albany, everyone on stage was beautifully air-brushed,
softened around the edges. But when I tried to text message her about the
performance, my iPhone screen was a blur.
So I was delighted Friday morning when the call came that
the new glasses were in. They felt good. Everything straight ahead was
amazingly sharp — but everything in print, not so much.
You may need a day or two to get used to them, she told me.
I’m not leaving with these, I declared; it’s like the shoe
salesman telling you it will feel better later.
Call later if they’re not right, she reassured me, and I
promise we’ll take care of you.
So I left, skeptical. But I think she was right. I can see again. Better than ever. Near. Far.
Out the back of my head. (OK, the last one was something I learned from my
mother to tell my kids, and may or may not be true.) And when I go back to the
Y, I’ll keep my glasses on or in a case. You know the sound I don’t want to
hear: Oh, snap.