Saturday, April 23, 2005

You know you're getting old

when it become necessary to constantly swap between unaided vision, reading glasses and driving glasses. Yep, I'm at the point where I find myself judging the distance between my eyeballs and the point of interest and deciding what will give me the best focus!

I've needed driving glasses for at least 30 years. I got my first set in mid 1974 when I discovered that I could no longer skulk at the back of night school and expect to read the blackboard; if I wanted to read that I needed to be at the front. Gotta confess, I really got that first set of glasses to look 'cool'.

Rather in the way that shaving is 'cool' for the first 5 days or so and is ever after a pain in the arse so became those glasses. I never believed those stories about fogging up ones glasses until the first time it happened to me. And keeping the damn things clean! If ever you wanted proof of the disgustingness of being human just wear a pair of spectacles for a week!

About 3 years ago I gave in and went for a second set of glasses. Understand, I've not been using the same prescription for driving glasses for 30 years. I've probably updated them 10 times over that period but always as driving glasses. But eventually one has to admit that the fine print can be a tad hazy. When I went for my prescription for reading glasses the optician advised me that I no longer qualified for an unendorsed driving license but he left it up to me to tell VicRoads. Yeah, like I'm going to advise em? They still don't know.

Of course, when I moved to the US I had to get a new drivers license. Had I come from a country where they drive on the wrong side of the road I'd have probably managed it sight unseen. Alas, in Australia we drive on the correct side of the road so I had to do the complete rigamarole. And I totally failed the eyesight test without my glasses. So I now have an endorsed license. Bummer!

Strangely enough, I don't need glasses at all when working on the computer. I've tried with and without the reading glasses and it's much clearer without. Yet a printed page at the same distance definitely needs the glasses. Contrast?

So how do I break it to you that I think it's time for bifocals? Having two sets of glasses is a complete pain in the bum. I'm constantly having to snap open the case; swap glasses and repeat the process 2 minutes later as the focus shifts. This is particularly galling when flying; one moment I'm reading my book and the next I'm watching Japan pass by and I really do need to swap from reading to driving glasses.

I think the best way to break the bad news is to say:

I need bifocals!!!

There. That didn't hurt a bit did it?

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