Tuesday, January 30, 2007

6 pairs of glasses, 1 pair of contact lenses - and I still can't read a map

I have always been proud of my ability to travel light - one rucksack and I'm away. It's all down to rolling you see.

Or at least it used to be. Right up until I discovered I needed six pairs of glasses. 'Six pairs of glasses,' you gasp. I know you gasp because when I was your age I would have gasped. But that was then. This is now.

Everything had been going spiffingly. I've always been short-sighted and started wearing contact lenses when I was in my twenties. The only glasses I needed were sunglasses. Then, a while back, I noticed someone had shrunk the print in newspapers, on the back of cereal packets and even on blogger's 'verifying letters'. (Fortunately, blogger does produce a second lot of letters which are larger and spaced further apart should one fail to reproduce the first lot of letters accurately.)

At this stage I was still under the illusion that if my near vision was worsening, then that would counteract my distance vision and the two would meet nicely in the middle, shake hands and reintroduce me to 20/20 vision. Sadly, it doesn't work that way. It seems that it is perfectly possible once you reach a certain age to be both short-sighted and long-sighted at the same time.

What this has meant in pracitcal terms is that I now have the following:
1 x contact lenses; 1 x reading glasses to wear with contact lenses; 1 x sunglasses to wear with contact lenses; 1 x reading glasses to wear without contact lenses; 1 x reading sunglasses to wear without contact lenses; 1 x distance prescription glasses; 1 x distance prescription sunglasses.

And what this has meant in terms of travelling is that I can no longer sling a rucksack on my back and laugh at my fellow passengers making their arudous way across to the baggage collection point while I trip merrily out of the terminal to start my holiday an hour ahead of them. Instead I have had to purchase a proper suitcase and waste precious holiday time watching a giddying array of identical coloured suitcases gyrate their way slowly and painfully around on the groaning, hiccuping carousel.

Still, there is one good thing to come out of all this. When my husband asks me as we're hurtling along a manically busy, 10-laned interstate in Los Angeles or New York, to look at the map and tell him which road we need to get to the hotel, I merely apologise and explain that unfortunately I can't help as my reading glasses are still in my suitcase. It's marginally better than admitting that even if I had the right glasses perched on the end of my nose, I still wouldn't have a clue which road to take.



Blogger Eva said...

Balding husbands, graying hair, numerous spectacles including contact lenses and all the paraphernalia involved with that...oh la la, what is the world coming to?

6:27 pm  
Blogger Stacy Dawn said...

I'm surprised--being a man--he would ask for directions in the first place LOL

7:05 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

All men love maps. After all, he didn't pull over to ask a pedestrian, did he? There's something about a woman holding a map in her lap, it drives guys crazy.

7:21 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Eva - have you ever tried pulling over on a 10-lane interstate in the States? Have you ever seen a *pedestrian* in the States?

Stacy - he only asks me for directions because he wants me to be capable when he's not around to help me. Like I'd actually be driving down a 10-lane interstate in the States on my own.

8:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My darling, darling Annie. I feel your pain and offer these tips:

Go straightaway to your nearest glasses place and demand that they sell you the hard-shell glass-case holders. These things, I swear, could take a bullet. They're made of a hard, durable plastic and can survive falls down stairs, dropping, stepping on and slamming into walls/doorways...I think I've mentioned that I'm a bit of a klutz, haven't I?

Next, go the Marks & Spencer's and purchase a coat with multiple pockets. Should that fail, buy a man-bag for your husband and tell him that if he expects you to navigate the highways of L.A and N.Y, he'll have to be your beast of burden.

Perhaps we should start the "Help Annie Find Her Way Home," fund and purchse you a GPS navigator. My husband bought one (for business purposes *he says*). While I did find it a wonder to behold, the annoyingly calm, husky feminine voice telling me "Left turn in 600m...left turn in 300m...left turn in 150m...left turn ahead...left turn ahead," was almost enough to drive me to drink. Literally. I would have used it to get to the liquor store, except the road was blocked off and the GPS couldn't fathom why I wouldn't turn left...

8:50 pm  
Blogger India said...

Feel this is yet another one of life's cruel ironies. By the time you're old enough to afford to travel, you're too short-sighted to be able to see the world.

9:54 am  
Blogger Annie said...

There's just one problem with those hard-shelled cases you buy from the opticians, Brown - everyone has them. I know this because I once made the mistake of trying to take someone else's.

Don't mention ironies to me, India. I'm still searching for one that'll work on my face.

4:46 pm  

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