Yesterday Costco had two new pairs of glasses ready: a new pair of progressives plus what the optician described as “intermediate” lenses.
I’d asked him to clone the pair of ancient close-ups I use to grope around the house, because my new close-up prescription is way too strong: I can’t see my feet through them, and so it’s unsafe for me to walk when I have them on. The old pair was perfect: I could see to walk around, but they sufficed to read most kinds of copy.
But no. He (being a man and so therefore certain he knew better than the little woman, eh?) insisted on making an “intermediate” pair that he thought would be better.
Apparently, the people who make glasses assume most wearers do only three things in life: watch television, drive, and sit down to eat at a restaurant. Evidently most people don’t read. For the life of me, I can not make these people understand that I need to be able to see more than one or two lines at a time, and that my livelihood depends on being able to see an entire sheet of paper! They just. don’t. get. it.
The progressives are good for those sorts of basic tasks: watching the television (yeah! like I do a lot of that!), driving, and forking food into my mouth. They’re useless for computer work, and they’re just barely adequate for short bursts of reading things like newspapers. Also, I thought it was odd that when the optician’s assistant marked these spots on the progressives where some part of the gradation was supposed to go, she kept getting the one on the right about 1/4-inch higher than the one of the left. She remeasured twice, and every time that’s what she got.
And as I suspected, the lenses on the progressives are not coordinated. When I try to read an 8½ x 11 sheet of music in the half-light of the choir loft, I can see the score OK (sort of) with my left eye, but everything’s a blur out of my right eye.
The intermediates are OK for reading a few things, but not for the variety of copy I read. Neither of them allows me to see enough of a page to parse out more than a three or four words at a time (I read a line or two or even three at a time), and I can’t even begin to make out the photocopies of photocopies of music that probably was set in hot type. Microscopic hot type!
So this morning at rehearsal, I couldn’t sing because I couldn’t follow the music. I couldn’t see the stuff at all. I finally gave up and came home.
Guess I could have grabbed my bifocals and raced back to the Cult Headquarters—I could’ve made it just in time for the procession. But by the time I got home my mascara had run all over my face, because I cried all the way home, mostly out of frustration. I would have had to wash my face, remove the gunk around my eyes, and reapply make-up. Adding those tasks would have made me late.
Oh, damn it, how I hate that. Once I start to cry, all the loneliness and despair that haunt the corners of my life come bounding out into full daylight, and then I can’t stop crying.
Welp. Let’s get out of these uncomfortable clothes, wash the paint off the face, take the dog for a walk, stop crying, and grade some student papers.