I first noticed it about 3 years ago. I was installing some wooden blinds. I was up on a ladder. It was night and the lights were dim. I was holding the screw in one hand, balancing on the ladder, with my cordless screwdriver in my other hand. Trying to get the little screw, in the little hole, with the tip of the screwdriver. It seemed blurry. I kept squinting, it wasn't lining up. Then I leaned way back and squinted. I could see. SHIT! My eyes were starting to go. I was 4o years old and 6 months. I went into denial mode.
I had to get glasses in the 4th grade for nearsightedness, switching to contacts in junior high hoping that would help me be more attractive. (It wasn't only the glasses...) My eyes stabilized in my late teens and I have had the same prescription since then. Not too severe, but I pretty much can't see if I don't have my glasses/contacts.
I knew my eyes would probably succumb to aging, like when I got old. I watched my dad, for years, joke as he held the menu across the table so he could see it. I watched my mother switch from contacts to bifocals because she couldn't get used to wearing two lenses- one nearsighted and one farsighted.
The strange thing is that I can see up close, just fine, when I do not have contacts or glasses on. That is the proof that I am OK! At night I read in bed without my glasses. I can see fine!
Last year I bought a pair of reading glasses at Target. Cute with black and white dots and they were only $1! What a deal! I never wore them, and eventually the new puppy ate them.
The mornings with the newspaper, I would get a really bright light and then I have kind of pushed my regular glasses down on my nose and look over the top to read. I had to squint, but could see. I really worried that all the squinting was going to cause me to get wrinkles, but hey, there is Retin-A for that, right? And I am not really squinting because I can't see, it is the light and the glare.
But then about three months ago, I just couldn't see the paper too well. I bought better quality reading glasses that are super trendy and cool:
Now I read the paper with my regular glasses on and my reading glasses perched lower on my nose. I can then watch Morning Joe from the top and read the paper on the bottom. I DO NOT NEED BIFOCALS!!!
In my line of work, I have to go over contracts with people. The print has gotten much smaller these past couple of years. All winter, I have joked about how "my eyes are going", as I push the papers to the other side of the table. I have most of it memorized and can paraphrase.
But some of our contracts have changed and a couple of weeks ago, I really struggled. I had put my trendy glasses in my purse, but did not have to get them out. Whew! I made it. Maybe I am having macular degeneration? I have been seeing those little specs when I close my eyes. Aren't floaters a sign of macular degeneration? Or a tumor on my optic nerve?
That brings me to tonight. I had a late appointment. The lights were very dim. My eyes are dried out from contacts being in all day. I had the papers spread out and I was making my joke about my eyes and pushing the papers away from me. But I coudn't see them. They were blurry. Real blurry. I told my clients (in their mid-30's, lucky bastards) that this was a monumental day. I reached into my purse and told them I was finally going to have to wear reading glasses in public for the first time. I showed them my super trendy cool hip striped, clearly for fashion purposes, not because I am getting old, glasses. I put them on and...
I was officially old.
But I am not getting bifocals.