Thursday, July 5, 2018 ~ It Doesn’t Always Look Pretty

Maybe the hardest thing in writing is simply to tell the truth about things as we see them.

John Steinbeck

I get frustrated; then I get testy.

It starts at the bank where a quick stop turns into something more complicated. We arrive to find it has been transformed into an automated futuristic place with no tellers and machines that no longer allow me to do what I need to do. A receptionist calls someone from the back office and (after having to prove to him that the machine doesn’t do what I need it to) he walks us outside to the back of the building where I complete my transaction at the drive through machine (!).

Next stop: the optometrist’s office for a field test and an exam. The test and exam go well and I commiserate with my optometrist (the same one I’ve had since I was eighteen—yes, I traveled back here to see him even when we were living in Washington) about his struggle with the newly installed computer system.

Then we talk about my needs.

I want a pair of glasses I can wear when I’m wearing contact lenses; the hassle of putting readers on and taking them off, and looking at the world over the top of them when I’m wearing them, is getting old. Progressive readers seem like a perfect solution to me. He asks why I don’t just wear my glasses. He doesn’t get it.

But he walks me out to the optician and describes to him what I’m looking for. The optician and I talk it over, and I learn that, with my prescription, a pair of prescription progressive readers would cost as much as a pair of my regular glasses. In short: a lot.

He presents an alternative solution: he’s pretty sure that London Drugs sells non-prescription progressive lens glasses. Okay. That’s worth a try.

So we make our way over there and, sure enough, there are Foster Grant multi-focus reading glasses: four styles for men, and four for women. I’m not enamoured with how any of them look on my face, and the top part of the lens is half-strength for reading, not the clear i was looking for.

Still, I try them on, and give consideration to two pair. Then it becomes too much. I’m frustrated at not finding exactly what I wanted and incapable of making a good decision.

”I’m done.”

And with that I walk away.

A low-grade headache that’s been building since the field test contributes to my discontent. A stop at a local nursery to look for a perennial for my front flower bed does nothing to improve my mood. A visit to the garden to water makes me feel marginally better, but I remain just a little bit bristly.

It’s silly. I know it.

I’ve allowed a minor frustration to colour my mood and have chosen not to shake it off. I know that too.

Sometimes it happens.

At home, we eat a hurried supper and Gerry heads out for a scheduled evening hike with his club, leaving me to bristle at home alone.

# # #

At some point I’ll probably make the choice to give up contacts and switch to wearing glasses full-time. That time is not now.

I could still make the choice to spend a stupid amount of money for a pair of prescription progressive readers that would do exactly what I am looking for—but I doubt it.

For now, I’ll continue to dance with the many pair of readers I own. In the grand scheme, it’s certainly not the worst problem to have.

More importantly, I’ll consider why I choose to allow a minor frustration to freeze me in a vortex of  bristly indecision.

# # #

Maybe you have an idea. If you have less-than-perfect vision, like me, what’s your solution?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. I really am sorry for your frustration; however, somewhere in your writing, I found myself quite amused and actually giggled at the little things that cause me frustration at times. My 97-year old mom sits in her wheelchair at the nursing home looking over her friends and says daily, “I could be so much worse off.” And that’s when I have to pause to see the humor in my frustrations. And here I am hoping that my trip to the ophthalmologist next week will tell me that my cataracts are ready for laser surgery. Woohoo…first time without glasses since 1st grade! Have a great stress-free day, Linda.

    1. It’s true that those things that cause us frustration in the moment are often sources of amusement in retrospect. Your mom is wise—of course, after having 97 years to grow that wisdom! Good luck with your ophthalmologist appointment—see, there’s always a silver lining!

  2. Sometimes it seems to me that with our good fortune to live in a place and time where we are blessed with many conveniences to make our lives easier, there comes a price to pay. Would it be perferable to have no money so that modern banking would not be a frustration? Would it be better to be blind so that age-related vision changes would not be a frustration? Would it be better not to have the technology we enjoy so that we did not have to deal with the ultimate frustrations? I feel your pain Linda! I too often get frustrated with modern life and yearn for days past when life seemed simple. It is the constant change that gets me down somtimes. Yes – a sense of humor is the key.
    As for my solution to ‘less than perfect vision’….3 pairs of glasses. 1 pair of bifocals for everything except for using the computer. 1 pair of bifocals for mid-vision at work to use computer and read from copy. 1 pair of prescription sunglasses (not bifocals) for driving (cataracts bothersome in the sunlight). With all these glasses, it still take my glasses off to read a book, knit and crochet, or do anything requiring a close-up look. Works for me….

    1. Ruth, you always manage to,put things in perspective for me. Thank you! I’m beginning to think that themdance of the glasses is just going to be a part of life—and yes, I’m so thankful that we have them. I’ve often considered what it must have been like a long time ago before we had corrective lenses. My minor irritation is nothing in comparison.

  3. You hit a hot spot with me. I hate going to the OP, and I hate getting new glasses, and I hate how much it all costs. I have always said the dental and vision should be under ALL health care plans – eyes and teeth are part of the body – why aren’t they covered as well?? I am banging on my keyboard right now. Geez, this gets my ire up.

    1. Oops. Sorry to get you riled up. Yes, I’ve often wished dental especially was covered but it’s always seemed to be a separate plan which I was fortunate to have in my working years.

  4. I broke down and paid for the progressive lens glasses. Still only use reader sunglasses though because I insist on having some “bling”. LOL (see icon pic) I wear regular glasses about 80% of the time, so I guess I am getting my $’s worth.

    1. Yeah, if I start wearing my progressive glasses more often it will eliminate the problem. I just can’t let go of wearing contacts so it’s a choice I make to be frustrated. Silly…but it is what it is. 🙂

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