How do I hate bi-focals? - Let me count the ways.
I think the low point came a couple of years ago during a tour to Egypt, when a couple of people took my elbows and helped me navigate stairs at night on our way to a Sound & Light show at Karnak. I had been stumbling along and between that and the helpful hands to the elbows I was feeling old and feeble.
Thing is, I was wearing my bi-focals with the idea of travel efficiency – two pairs in one. But, dammit, bi-focals are awful for looking down, and especially looking down in the dark.
Next trip I went on, I took both distance glasses and reading glasses. At least I didn't bring along my computer glasses. Or my plain-glass no-prescription glasses for warding off ultra-violet when working outside.
But in all cases, I tend to get impatient and rip them off and toss them wherever. Sometimes not to be found again until the next spring when the snow melts.
Except the computer glasses. They're good.
I can get along fine w.o. glasses, so I don't know why I bother. Except that if I haven't been doing it recently, reading with bare eyeballs is not so good. And technically I need distance glasses. Except that I don't, really. I keep them in the glove compartment in case of being stopped by the cops – because my driver's license says I need them.
I think my vision may have improved over the years. Or I've just grown impatient with stupid things. But I do remember years ago, while dutifully wearing my glasses, my first husband was surprised that I could read road signs far beyond what he could with his bare eyes. “But you wear glasses,” he said.
“THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE FOR,” I replied. I guess he thought the wearing of glasses was like the carrying of a cane – a warning that someone who couldn't see was on the loose.
Over the years optometrists have recommended bi-focals. Perhaps I've even asked for them. Seems every decade I get a pair. And then remember why I hate them. Just Phyllis says in her comment on Kate Mohler's blog that they're good for reading maps in the car. I say that's what passengers are for. I find I take the bi-focals off to look far and I take them off to look close and the dividing line is always in the way. Especially annoying when checking one's blemishes in the car mirror - which brings into operation the upper part of the lens. And reading - gotta tip your head back and look down. All right for the back of a box of frozen dinner, but a pain for a whole detective novel. God, there are people out there who wear TRI-focals. In fact I remember one of them, an electrician, nearly breaking his neck on my basement stairs.
Perhaps if I really needed vision assistance, I'd appreciate them more.
In the meantime, all glasses are just items to frustrate me. I have a call in to a motel I stayed at last month to see if my missing long-distance glasses are there. Probably thrown into a corner beside the bed.
P.S. - Karnak is amazing, but the Sound & Light is stupid, with or without glasses.