this piece of modern art is a self portrait of my eyeball taken a few months ago. in real life, my skin is a much pastier shade of translucent.
today my new eye doctor, a one-man laugh riot, said the funniest thing while standing in the same room as me.
"bifocals?" i repeated, like it was a french swear word.
"oh we'll call them pals," he poo-poo'd me. "progressive addition lenses."
"bifocals," i repeated. this time it came out more like the meatiest of luggies.
we chatted and came to a compromise: i'll stop reading the printed word in anything smaller than billboard sized and he will not yet banish me to walmart's spinning tower of unfashionable eyeware. deal? deal.
one of the weirdest things about having been birthed by people who fell in love as mere teenagers is that not only do i remember my mom's 27th birthday, i also remember the day her crossword puzzles went fuzzy and the two of us went shopping for her PAL. it doesn't seem that long ago. she was probably in her thirties ... oh. so now, not only do i bite my lip the same way and share her knees -- each puckered to look like round, cheerful little smiling faces, i, too, will soon learn how to hold my cell phone in the sweet spot where i can tilt my head back, peer down my nose and dial -- doing an interpritive dance that looks much like when our early ancestors first tried typing on computers.
when i have these little milestones en route to menopause and she seemingly stays the same age, i feel like my mom and i get closer and closer to a common peer group. [my mom makes 56 look pretty appealing. she's a cute lady. i can say that because she is not on the phone with me right now asking me what i wore to mass on easter.]
i'm sure bifocals have come a long way since the time pa ingalls built a pair for ma out of an old moonshine bottle and penny candy from the olesen's store, then sent the ole blue hair out to pasture with some kindling, a leg of lamb and the bible.
bifocals certainly can't hold the same stigma they did 20 years ago. it certainly doesn't for me. if, in 1988, you told me i'd be a 32 year old wearing a 62 year old's glasses, i'd have sprayed my bangs into a petulant peacock tailed fortress of neverending youth and said "nuh uh!"