Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Far-Sighted (and this post is all over the place)


So, I swear to you that sometime on Sunday night, while I slept, I became very far-sighted. I've taken a ludicrous pride in not needing reading glasses for anything but menus in the darkest of restaurants or the occasional small print on one of Sophie's prescription bottles or even the incredibly small print on my Healthnet insurance card (I've been reading that one aloud a lot lately). I'm 51 years old, and last time I went to the eye doctor, she marveled at how little prescription I needed for them. I've been near-sighted and worn glasses and contacts for every waking moment since I was about seven years old, but most of my friends have been carrying around those little glasses like you see above for years as I proudly flaunted my physical reading acuity. Yes, I'm using hyperbole here to make a point about aging, about how we cling on to the most ridiculous things as we age -- or should I use the first person here and not include you? Anyway, I realized yesterday and today that I need to have my reading glasses on to comfortably read anything at hand, and I swear to the good lord above that this was not an issue even on Sunday afternoon.

Anyhoo. (By the way, new readers should know that using the word anyhoo is sarcastic on my part. I actually hate the expression but find it incredibly useful when describing incredibly trivial matters, like the 24-hour period in which my eyes changed). I do like the word incredible.

Today I took Sophie to a routine doctor's appointment in Santa Monica and had much time in the car to ponder the meaning of the universe and my tiny, little life. I realized that I have been complaining and kvetching a bit too much -- not just here but probably for the last decade or so. I winced at that and hoped that a bit of self-awareness and a few mea culpas will help to remedy it. I had already traversed the northeastern stretches of the city earlier by driving Henry to school in the Valley, and this time, as I headed west, I listened to an audible version of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Can you believe that I've never read that book? The beginning is on the man-heavy, western, folksy genre side and probably the reason why I've never read it. I'm not a man-heavy, western, folksy genre kind of woman, but just about when I reached the place on the 10W where the blue sky gives way to coastal gloom and the bazillion cars start slowing and contemplating their merge onto the 405N (who are these damn people and where are they all going? I asked Sophie who was happily reaching for and playing with the beads that hang over my head-rest), a prostitute was introduced, and I perked up and stopped pondering to listen. Prostitution is referred to as "sporting," I think, in the book, and that kept me pondering, too. I thought about how damn hard life was -- and continues to be -- for so many people, and how in many ways we are soft as a people -- not soft in the good way, but rather soft in the spoiled, take-it-all-for-granted way. Again, maybe I shouldn't use the third person, here, but should refer to my own far-sighted self. I have a good streak of soft in me, and it's a childish part whose mask is fifty-one years and a pair of reading glasses. I'm not saying that I need to take up the sporting life to understand what hard is (no pun intended), but I reckon (to use the language of McMurtry), I should get a move on from complaining and kvetching (to use the language of the middle-aged woman). If this could happen as quickly as my eyes changed, we'd all be mighty grateful.


11 comments:

  1. You are lucky! I needed reading glasses at 40 but refused to get them until this year. For what it is worth, your glasses suit you. :-)

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  2. Honestly, I think that Lonesome Dove IS the great American novel. You will never forget those characters.
    But- how odd that your far-sightedness kicked in so quickly. For those of us who are near-sighted, it can come later in life than for normal-sighted people. I can still read quite well (books, at least) without my glasses but for tiny print, I need the bifocals.
    I never think of you as whiney or complaining. Ever. Simply a relater of your life. No, none of us could survive what people just took as a life and a matter of course not even a hundred and fifty years ago. But as one of my friends pointed out once- they didn't have to drive in five o'clock traffic either. So there is that, my love.

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  3. I haven't read Lonesome Dove either. But now I might. I wonder if I'll ever stop complaining. Who knows, maybe, but I'm not making any promises.

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  4. I love this post Elizabeth! Eyes---- one thing---- ears another. I gave in at age 58--- several yrs ago--- and got them( hearing aids that is!). I was told I have the hearing loss of a ten year rocker. Go figure! My god what a difference. Far superior quality of life for my family and my business's partnet! Most fun part of your post though was reading that you're listening to Lonesome Dove. I had forgotten about that one. Loved it!!!! Thanks for writing and sharing.



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  5. I can identify! I just started wearing reading glasses to read my Mini A-Z street guide to London. Which really IS very Mini. I haven't needed glasses at all up to this point, but when I put them on to look at that street guide it was like the angels sang.

    It's been years since I read Lonesome Dove but I remember really liking it -- and genre-wise it's not something I'd normally go for. Life WAS hard on the most basic level for so many people for so long. It's still hard now, but in different ways -- less basic, more technological.

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  6. I found Larry McMurtry many years ago and like you, was overwhelmingly surprised that I enjoyed reading this type of genre too. I enjoyed his faithfulness to his characters, his ability to allow us to see the beautiful vulnerability of them all. He describes the brutal and the beautiful with equaled awe.

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  7. My mother likes to use the term
    "Gritch" As in quit your gritching. I think its a Britishism combining grouse and bitching.

    Celtic Lass

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  8. I love you just the way you are. It doesn't land as complaining and whining at all. You're processing your life, sharing your moment-to-moment truth, that is all, and i think it a privilege that I can come here and check in with you, and share hearts.


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  9. i wear progressive glasses, and have for the last 8 years. i'm so glad to SEE, and don't care what glasses stand for.

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