Monday, January 15, 2007

Second Down

I was forced to buy glasses not long ago.

Those who know me know me well enough know that I hate to spend money on myself. (Unless its on books. Because I am a book whore.) This sort of Scotch aspect of my character can be viewed most prominently in my clothing and/or overall fashion sense. My friend Ken delights in reminding me that my beloved green cordoury coat was more suitable for the homeless than on me.
I bought my glasses 6 years ago. I never liked them much, but they were in my plan and I think I probably paid a minimal copay for the exam and my glasses. I generally wear glasses until they break and yesterday was no exception. The poor metal had given up; had wasted away to thin nothingness. I'm sure it hung on for as long as it could, until its little metal heart just stopped beating.
There was no super glue in the house and I was forced into duct-tape creativity. As it was holding together, a sad little voice inside me said, "Hey"; hinting that I might be able to get away with this for a bit. This worked really well for 30 minutes until my head started to hurt and I felt like throwing up. OK. So I called my insurance company, found out what my vision benefit was, located a participating provider and carefully walked out of the office. I was very afraid my lens would drop out and I'd be forced to drive on the highway with one eye closed.
I made it to the mall without incident. Except for hearing the song "Tracy" on the radio...Kees.
I am a veteran of the eye exam. I started wearing glasses in 4th grade (kitty cat sparkly white ones - my lack of fashion sense had fully manifested itself by the age of 8 ), and was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1993. I've been dilated more times than I care to count. My eye doctor was duly impressed.

Then she did it. She tore open my carefully constructed wall of denial and shoved her face right through its seeping cracks.
She told me I could use bifocals.
I was visibly shaken. She might as well have told me I was menopausal. I explained that I was not emotionally prepared to wear the obvious manifestation of my decrepitude. She laughed - as if she understood. She was barely 30. What the crap did she know? I don't think she even had children. My mind toys with expletives. I could run rings around her experientially. "Oh, and here, why don't you buy a hearing aid while you're at it?" or, "How 'bout I throw in an oxygen tank?" she may as well have shouted.
I remember one day hearing an ad for Geritol and thinking it made sense. What the eff? When did this happen? Geritol was for my Gramma and Grampa who watched Lawrence Welk every Saturday night while they sat in their little beds gazing at each other over bottles of stroke medicine while their toenails grew freakishly long. That isn't me!
Is it? Is it?


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