Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Official - I'm Old

Those who know me know I'm no spring chicken. I did the college and career thing before I had kids (most of my age peers have kids out of college by now). But I don't feel over the hill. "Not young" (which is fine, not sure I'd be young again if you paid me), but surely that proverbial hill isn't even in sight yet, is it?

Well, it wasn't until I went to the eye doctor. I broke my glasses, and since I can't wear my contacts 24/7 I really needed to replace them. It's been 3 years or so, I was due anyway.

I need bifocals. The condition is called presbyopia, which literally means old person eyes. It generally begins to manifest between 40 and 50 as your eyes lose some of their flexibility. I turned 41 last year. It's like "Hey, you're over 40 now, here's your bifocals!" Yay.

My eyes are cruddy to start with. I'm horribly nearsighted and have astigmatism in both eyes. Eventually I want the laser eye surgery - not to necessarily get to 20/20, but to reduce some of the maintenance expense. I really have no clear field of focus at all. Which should have been a clue, because used to be that I could see close up, from about 10 inches away. Now I can't.

The doctor said I could probably go another year without bifocals (I'm actually getting "progressives", which use the same principle as bifocals but slightly different technology and no lines), but that is was easier to acclimate to them if you started early. So, in a bit of shock, I ordered them.

My new glasses cost almost $700. Seven. Hundred. Dollars. My eyes have always been expensive, but this is ridiculous. Insurance will cover $200 of that. The "progressive" lenses alone are $225, and I get that high-density plastic 'cause otherwise I have Coke-bottle lenses that are so heavy they give me migraines. I broke the frame of my old glasses and they're unrepairable, so I need new frames. I get that scratch-resistant coating, that's another $100. My only indulgence was Transitions lenses, because clip-on sunglasses are a pain and I spend a lot of time outside in the summer.

If I had gotten cheapo "whatever" frames and not gotten the Transitions coating I only would have saved about $150. Ow ow ow.

But it's not like I can go without them. So in two weeks the bifocals will come in and I'll order some Geritol and call the Scooter Store. And learn to read and drive and shoot all over again.

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