My Eyeglasses

Before we go anywhere, my wife always asks, “Do you have all your glasses?”

She uses the plural of the word because I have several pair.

In addition to my regular glasses, I own a set of prescription sunglasses, a pair for reading and another for computer work.

What I carry depends on how long we will be gone and therein lies the rub. What may sound like an innocent question, is not. It is the beginning of a long and complicated negotiation.

“I thought we were just going to town for groceries,” I say.

“We are,” she says.

“So why do you ask about my glasses?”

“Oh, I just thought it would be a nice day for a drive…”

Do you see how this works?

She knows that whenever we go anywhere for any length of time, I will bring along my reading glasses and a novel. It is how I pass my time while she shops.

“I would prefer to come straight home,” I tell her, “There are a few things I need to do today.”

“Okay,” she says, “but after we get back, there are a few things I want you to do too.”

“I’ll find my glasses,” I tell her.

So I go looking for them.

I am a firm believer that there is a place for everything and everything has its place – however my glasses and I profoundly disagree where that place is.

I say they belong on my desk. They prefer to hide behind it.

When I ask them to wait in the glove compartment in the car, they sneak into the console of the truck and burrow themselves beneath the blizzard of candy wrappers that also lives there.

I am not sure why they constantly hide. Maybe they simply enjoy having me look for them. Perhaps it is their way of reassuring themselves that they are wanted.

Unfortunately, today they need more assurance than I have time to give.

“I can’t find my reading glasses,” I tell her.

“You could talk to me instead of reading,” she says.

“Okay,” I tell her, “what do you want to talk about?”

“I don’t know,” she says.

In that sense, she has much in common with my glasses.  She simply needs to be assured that I am willing to pay attention to her.

After few words and many miles of driving,  we pull into a little town that we have not visited before.

“Oh look,” she says, “an antique shop!”

“Oh look,” I say, “ a bar.”

“Are you going to sit in a stinky bar all afternoon?” she asks, “you could come in with me.”

No, I can’t.  The mold in antique stores drives me out the door with minutes and besides, most of the stuff on the shelves is younger than I am.  That alone drives me away.

“Then find a man-bench somewhere and read,” she says.

“Remember?” I say, “I couldn’t find my reading glasses….”

She sighs the sigh of a long suffering woman.

“Did you check under your car seat?” she asks, “You put them on the dash yesterday and they always slide off.”

And there they were – and I think she knew it the entire time.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

36 thoughts on “My Eyeglasses”

  1. I keep a spare pair of glasses in my car. I call them my just-in-case glasses. They’re there just in case I can’t find my regular pair. Usually the reason I can’t find my regular pair is that they are on my face.

  2. So relatable. I had to laugh at myself while reading about your glasses adventure. I hate the string but sometimes need to use it. It’s easier than searching for the glasses, esp. at work.

  3. You manage to describe the delicate negotiations and political manipulations that exist in a marriage better than anyone I know! And in a very funny way. As for keeping track of your glasses, I can relate. I think that one day, I will actually throw in the towel and just start wearing the darn things on a silver chain around my neck, just like my Aunt Mickey used to do in her old age. (And as long as I’m copying her look, maybe I’ll also start wearing a polyester house-dress with a wad of Kleenex sticking out of the pocket.)

  4. hehehe I had to share this post with my wife. Before we go out, part of our pre-departure routine is me asking “Do I need to bring my Kindle?” She says “Nope. We’re just going to run a few errands.” It’s taken me a few years, but now I know this is code for spending “quality time” while window shopping.

    1. Being an old guy, I can get away with things. I can wear clothes that a younger man would not be caught dead in. I speak specifically of cargo pants with big pockets, pockets large enough to hold hard-cover novels and all the glasses that one desires to carry. It is the only gift that age has given me.

    1. I wish that would work. Unfortunately, my prescription is so complicated that no two pair come out the same and switching from regulars to regulars, readers to readers is like a trip out of the closing scene of 2001, a Space Odyssey. 🙂

  5. I have the same problem. When the lights go off I swear little legs pop out and like millipedes, the things sneak off. I go into the stores. I don’t have the option to do what I want.

  6. That used to be my life. Then came cataract surgery, and nice, new replacement lenses that stay in my eyes. Period, forever. All I need now is a couple of pairs of cheapo sunglasses from Walgreens. I use the plural, of course, because I never can find my sunglasses.

    1. There is a rarely studied field called the Physics of Everyday Things. It is what I explore in My Stuff essays. There are several rules which govern this field and one of the more interesting ones is the Rule of Transitory Importance.

      This rule states that the most vital things in our life such as glasses, tools, car keys and the TV remote, only enjoy fleeting moments of need and attention – that is how they get lost. Some objects are worse then others. When taking a door off its hinges, I lost my screw driver between the top and the middle hinge. I am not sure what drew my attention away from it, perhaps a squirrel but that is all it took.

  7. My husband’s solution is to have fifty pairs, each with a right place carefully computed. He takes them off and asks me, “Which pair is this? Where does it go?” Then we check each hiding place until we find one that’s empty. Frequently he then responds with, “But that pair has thinner/grayer/lighter… rims. I wonder where I put them.” And we wander some more.
    Me? I have three pairs.

    1. My prescription is so radical that you have to have a prescription to use it. Back in the hippie days, my glasses were very popular at late night parties. There is no real progress between regular, computer and reader glasses, it is more like chaos.

  8. “Oh look,” I say, “ a bar.”

    The solution to so many problems.

    I only have two pairs. regular and prescription. I’ve gone the progressive route. One pair of glasses that can fail at three tasks.

    1. After I wrote this, my wife reminded me that whenever we go somewhere, I have to run back into the house to clean my glasses…. She said, “make sure you mention that.”

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