2020 Vision


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I’ve been wearing glasses for 25 years. Since I was 40-ish. Well, go on, do the math.

In fact, I remember my forties well – my middle age. (To be honest, I still think of myself as middleaged. Who am I kidding? If this were true, I could expect to shuffle off this mortal coil at the ripe old age of about 135.)

Middle age. That was when the rot really set in. My previously clear and accurate, indeed 20-20 vision began to play tricks on me. Print got smaller, people in the distance got blurrier, and I often ended up sitting with total strangers on the beach, wondering where my brightly striped towel had got to, and why they wouldn’t talk to me.

I drove around for weeks with a pair of knickers on my dashboard. Don’t ask. I thought they were a chamois.

Oh, what a time that was! My skin began to develop protuberances (apparently they’re called barnacles) and I started to sprout the occasional wiry black hair from my chin. Oh, yes, and the hot flushes. Let’s not forget them.

But it was my eyes that really bothered me. And my eyesight has progressively worsened over the years.

Wearing glasses has been the bane of my existence since then. I started with reading glasses; then added distance glasses. I wear disposable single prescription contact lenses occasionally when I’m feeling particularly vain. I need special reading glasses to wear over the contacts when I read. A few years ago I progressed (regressed?) to progressive glasses. But I need a special pair of glasses for computer work.

Let’s face it … I have more glasses than Imelda Marcos had shoes. When I was young my blue eyes were one of my better features, according to some more discerning members of the opposite sex. Perhaps the occasional young man saw promise in those baby blues. Now I’m older and wearing spectacles, men rarely make passes. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, it’s been ages since anyone has looked into mine. The glasses get in the way and you look like someone’s gran. Plus I now have cataracts.

The only sexy bespectacled woman I can think of is the marvelous Tina Fey. And she often removes the face furniture for photos.

Perhaps there are some advantages to wearing spectacles. You’re not subjected to that oh so accurate, and a little bit frightening reflection of yourself in the full-length mirror first thing in the morning. Most housework, including cleaning the bathroom sink has become irrelevant. Hey, if I can’t see the grime, it ain’t there!

So here we are in 2020. It’s been a terrible year. But it’s about to get a whole lot better for me. You see I’ve decided to hell with lockdown and pandemics. I’m taking the plunge and having cataract surgery, where they replace your old, clapped-out lenses with perfect, pristine, plastic ones. After this Friday I will be glasses-free. No more struggling to read menus, medicine bottles, and manuals. When I go to the beach I will run gaily back to my designated spot and throw myself enthusiastically onto my own towel. No more sand in my glasses case.

I’ll say goodbye to smudges and fogged up spectacles when cooking. If I decide to give you the glad eye, you’ll be well and truly eyeballed. Look into my eyes and you will have an unimpeded view straight to my soul.

I may have to up my cleaning standards though. My, how that bathroom sink will shine!