Monday, 19 May 2008

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.

The rapid encroachment of old age is never fun, apart from being able to say "I was doing that before you were born!" to younger siblings/cousins. My personal demon is the failing eyesight, which is a sod because while for most people it's the close-up vision that goes, for me it's distance. I have glasses, and wear them to watch TV and films etc, but there never seems any point in wearing them to work as everything is within 10ft of my eyes. The fact that they make me look like a nerdier and older version of myself doesn't help. I know I'm a nerd, you know I'm a nerd, but there seems little point in advertising the fact to complete strangers, especially if within 10 feet of me I am unable to see them as they're too close for my glasses. I know which bus to get on because it becomes legible when it's near enough to flag down. I am familiar enough with the stock in the shop to say "Oh yes the David Mitchell, it's that mauve and blue one there". HOWEVER at the weekend, walking sedately round a park with Mr Fishwife and my mother, I spent several minutes trying to work out what the striking exotic orange blooms at the edge of the lake were, before being informed that they were the feet of a dead duck lying on its back in the shallows.

12 comments:

Brother Tobias said...

I have a similar problem. I seldom bother with glasses, not from vanity, but because my faintly blurred world seems quite natural. After all, one can see better with binoculars, but it doesn't mean one needs them. Somehow looking through glasses feels a bit divorced from reality, like looking through a window.

I do come across some interesting shop names (until closer inspection robs them of their surrealiam), and timetable boards in stations can be a pig.

Look on the bright side; at least you don't need to read at arms length.

lucyfishwife said...

It's true, it's true, I can't tell you how glad I am that the reading remains unimpeded (for now). I have also adopted a deliberately casual attitude to timetable boards for the same reason - and as I make sure I'm always early it never matters too much, there's always a wall to sit and read and smoke on before the train/coach/bus comes..

JonathanM said...

Varifocals [by ahem, Prada] - otherwise I can't see the cookery section from the till.

lucyfishwife said...

I turn the "absent-minded bookseller" stereotype to my advantage here - since I can check the computer to see if something's actually in stock, I just wave genially at the relevant section and say "Oh it should be there under T somewhere..."

JonathanM said...

Um, otherwise I can't see the shoplifters in the cookery section from the till.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Sorry to hear this Lucy - would laser treatment be any help?

My mother has pretty well thrown away her glasses after doing exercises to strengthen her eye muscles and she is in her 60's. I'll have to find out what book she read as she'd worn them since she was in her 20's but now only needs them when excessively tired.

lucyfishwife said...

Hello Laura! Hope you're feeling better. Nah the eye thing is an ongoing grumble rather than an actual handicap. I had contacts for a while (even experimented with purple tinted ones which made me look like an alien) but they aren't great if you work on a computer a lot and indeed read.. I'm with Brother Tobias on this one, the blurring of distant objects can be rather lovely, especially if they're dead ducks..

The Sagittarian said...

I thought I needed new glasses, but really I just needed to clean them. Who would have thought it! Mind you, I could get longer arms and then I wouldn't need the specs at all!

Reluctant Blogger said...

My mother is always saying that the minute I hit 50 I will need reading glasses. She's probably right.

Glasses are rather cool and trendy at the moment aren't they? Although I was thinking when I read your post, one of those strange off-shoot type thoughts, that I have never met a Lucy who wears glasses.

A colleague of mine always removes his glasses before he gives a lecture as he says he feels less nervous if everyone is blurred. I suppose it probably does help - I'm always spotting people yawning and things and then assume I am being boring!

mantua maker said...

I hadn't realised that there were so many blurry-eyed people out there - don't you all get raging headaches squinting at dead ducks and the like?

I am *so* short sighted that it's extended-wear contacts for me - got to see where I'm treading when I go running.

lucyfishwife said...

I actually ran my glasses through the dishwasher the other day - my enjoyment of ER was much improved! Hopefully I won't need reading glasses until I'm nearer 50 as well. By which time I will have acquired X-ray vision in a freak atomic accident and be defending the weak against the tyrants... sorry, too many comics.

Rol said...

For me, it'll be my hearing that goes first. Both my parents now wear deaf aids and my dad has been hard of hearing for years. I only notice it from time to time - I'll be out somewhere and someone will make a comment about a song playing in the background... and I'll realise I can't even hear the song.

Still, anything for a little peace and quiet.