The first time it happened to me, I was about 50. I had just accepted a new job as a sales manger for a notable magazine, and I was excited at the prospect of getting back into the job market. Although I was to work from home, I embraced the opportunity with gusto.
Boxes came. Files piled up. Soon, my den looked like an excerpt from some hoarder’s house. I could barely find my computer.
When my business cards finally arrived, I was so excited to see my name and my new groovy title of Western Sales Manager. But what’s this? Did something go wrong at the printer? Why is the type so blurry? And then I figured it out. It wasn’t the business cards- it was me. I needed reading glasses.
I went through the five stages of grief. First there was denial. I don’t need reading glasses. It’s just the lighting, the printer, and the moon being in Uranus. I was blaming everything on that blurry font. It couldn’t be me. My vision’s always been perfect. There must be some mistake. My roomie looked at the cards.
“They look fine to me,” she explained.
“No, look again! They’re blurry!”
She rolled her eyes at me and went into the kitchen. She’d been wearing glasses since third grade, and I’m sure was happy to have some visually impaired company.
I looked at the cards again. Small blurry type glared back at me, looking like taunting insect scrawl.
Then I felt anger. Why me? I was still 27 in my head! How could my eyes lead me astray? Was I going blind? Maybe I contracted syphilis when I was in college?
I then bargained. Sure, I’ll gladly gain 11 pounds if I didn’t have to wear reading glasses. What’s a few hundred dollars in new clothes compared to looking MIDDLE AGED?
Depression then set in, as I began having to wear my glasses every morning just to read the ingredients on those vitamin labels. Was that Vitamin E or B? When did the type get so small? I finally bought a magnifying glass. Now that’s sexy!
Finally, there was acceptance as I realized I had Presbyopia, It’s not a contagion found in a Stephen King novel, but just a fact of life for many of a certain age whose eyeballs had hardened. I conceded and did what most people do with this condition. I began investing in cool reading glasses.
Most of them are multi-colored to remind me of my days as a hippie when I was in college. They make me look artsy, and hopefully a bit interesting.
But then came the next problem. Where did I put them? Weren’t they just by that magazine I was reading this morning? Maybe I left them in the bathroom as I was trying to see if I’ve grown any new moustache hairs? God forbid, did I leave them in the refrigerator?
As I began looking for my glasses, another problem came my way. Why did I go into this room in the first place? When I decided to get up from my chair, I had full intentions of doing……doing what? What was the DKQPEJRPQER reason I came in here in the first place?
These are some of the fun things we get to encounter as we enter that golden age of AARP. Thankfully, we have lots of company as we deal with the physical decline of our bodies and minds. For example, I look much younger when I don’t look in the mirror with my reading glasses. It’s the cheapest form of a facelift.
As for my glasses, I’ve got several pairs scattered around the house, along with a pile of Post-It notes that remind me of what I need to do.
Mary McGrath is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in a number of publications including:Chicken Soup for the Soul (Jan. 2019), Newsweek, Wall St. Journal, Betterafter50.com, Purpleclover.com, LANG Newspaper Group, and Good Housekeeping, Please find her work at www.marymcgrathphotography.com