I knew my eyesight had gotten a bit blurry, but I didn’t know how it had effected my age until I went to the eye doctor last Saturday. It was my first eye-only doctor appointment. I remember the charts of letters I had to read at the doctor’s office when I was a kid, but I’d not experienced all the diagnostic machines that they’ve now come up with. However, with all that modern technology, it seemed to me that the ultimate diagnosis came after I was tested on the eye chart. Maybe it was because I exclaimed, “Damn, things have changed since I was 6.” I was truly disappointed at how blurry they now make those small letters, and tiny, so tiny.

At that point, the technician left and the doctor entered. I told him that this was my first eye check-up, and he asked if I was nervous.

“Kind of”


“No, but I could be. I really don’t want to be here.”

And so it went. I told him that I had the 47-year old eye thing going on. “Really, that usually happens at 40. Your eyes are younger than…”

As I thought to myself, “Hold it right there buddy,” my vision cleared and I could see that he was 12 years old. He must have skipped a slew of grades to be his age and legally allowed to wield the drops that dialated my eyes. He kept asking about the party I was going to later (which, by the way, the dialating ruined those chances for a nice sunny BBQ) and how I looked familiar to him. I couldn’t claim that I worked in a nursery school, so I figure he had me mixed up with one of the other adults in his life.

He concluded that all was well with my eyes and commented again on the young eyes thing. I was sent away with instructions to come back for glasses, progressive lenses so that I would have a natural flow between long distance and the up-close kind, since both are on the fuzzy side. I guess “progressive” is preferred over bi-focal , not exactly liberal but better than black and white, this and that.

I waited a few, maybe several, days to go back to try on glasses and got there near to closing time –by design, I wanted a definite ending to my first experience. Good decision. The older (add 50 years to doctor’s age) male salesman with professional initials that had O. in them talked me out of the cheap section after I’d already seen that the available frames weren’t going to work so well. We got to chatting and I said that I’d never worn glasses before.

“So that’s not really your natural hair color?”

He did, he said that. What is this, upside-down day? Wouldn’t my 20th set of glasses mean I was getting old and my hair gray? I told him in my most polite I-will-ignore-that-you-just-said-something-really-stupid voice, “no, it is natural.” Even though it is irrelevant to my consideration that a man would say that to me in that I’m not part of the Mars-Venus coupling world, I still felt the “a man is never supposed to say that to a woman!” Soon one of his female co-workers started to help out.

He said to her, “This is her first pair of glasses, and she still has her natural hair color.”

I didn’t look up to see her expression. Who knows if I could have with my young old eyes. She did eventually work into the conversation how young I was. I thanked her and said that our family lives a long time, like 99 and 103, and in the big picture, 47 is nothing.

He says, “Oh, your family has (pause) longevity?”

He also said that he had a meeting to go to and I could take some glasses home with me to try out. So they got a parcel for me and I left. The next day I went during a busy time with lots of people there, tried on more with the help of yet a different salesperson, and left with additional pairs to try out on my friends and famly (these by email photos). They all looked like safety glasses to me and had a terrible way of framing and thus accentuating my tired eyes. When the saleswoman said that the bottom of the lense was to rest on the bone under my eyes, I asked if that meant on the puffy part or on the actual bone.  

By late afternoon after consulting my visual expert, I went back with my choice and suffered through the natural-color guy once more. Finally, we came to the end of my much-put-off appointment with eyecare with him saying,

“Just think of all the money you’ve saved not having to pay for glasses all these years, and if you pay in full today, you will save10%. That would be $57. ”

Though my eyes may have more blur to it than 41 years ago, my gaze did not. He quickly got me to the desk with a “Brenda, she wants to do the payment plan.” No mention of my hair color.Here they are