By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2011

On my coffee table sits three sets of eye glasses. They’re all mine. They’re there because I’m obsessed with being able to see.

For instance I have two pairs of readers in my chick cave (office). One set is gold rimmed, the other black. The ebony pair sits close at hand on a coffee stand, just in case.

The next hot spot for my spectacles is the bedroom. I have a sexy pair on my nightstand. Don’t ask me why I chose the zebra style, I was just feeling frisky that day. My plan included this wild print hoping for any animal urge to hit me. My husband is still waiting for the African woman to appear.

I remember in my 30s looking at old people and thinking…”I’m never, ever, going to wear glasses that sit on the end of my nose.”

I was wrong.

As I approached my 40s, I strained to read the alarm clock. I had hoped the reason for the blur was the early morning hours. Denial was part of my sight problem.

A few years later, I made an appointment for the Optometrist. After the initial exam, eye dilation drops, and the final assessment, they sent me home. My pupils looked like saucers. The problem was the receptionist didn’t tell me that I should have had someone to drive me home. It rained that day. It was impossible to drive my truck back home when my pupils were huge.

The good news, after that appointment, was I just needed a pair of specs. I thought to myself…”This shouldn’t be a big deal. I just wanted to get in, get out and get going.”

The ability to distinguish and read close objects should be simple. All I wanted was to see. Standing in the Snyder’s store, I found myself confused. Then I noticed the octagon stand with various varieties of readers to choose from. To make it more difficult there were different strengths too. Some of the individual sets allow you to actually put them on your face. Others were cemented into a hard plastic case and impossible to break in to. I opted for the easy way out. Off to the side, there stood a stand which allowed you to try them on. The different strengths included: 1.50, 2.25 and 300. I chose the 2.25 two-come. The price was 10 bucks a pop. I left the store feeling hopeful.

At home I put the metal frames on. Then they started to slide like a sled down my nose. My husband often refers to my appendage as a ski slope. I wondered if he had been right all these years. Throughout the night I constantly batted myself in the eye. I tried to reposition them and bend the frame. Looking in the mirror later I noticed that they were lopsided. And I wondered if anybody noticed.

Of all the things I miss as I get older I miss my eyesight the most!

Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.

Published:, Minnesota Moments Magazine,, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


9 responses »

  1. I’ve worn prescription glasses since I was four years old. I had surgery for crossed eyes/lazy eye at age four. I am thankful, so thankful, for the ability to see.

    My most recent investment about a year ago was a pair of computer glasses. They were spendy, very spendy, but well worth being able to see for the many, many hours I am at my computer writing.

    Now it’s my hearing that’s gone. This winter I lost nearly all of my hearing in my right ear, just like that in the snap of a finger. It’s a sudden sensory hearing loss and a hearing aid (nothing) will not help. It’s been an adjustment, but I’m thankful that I still have one “good ear.”

    It’s all a matter of perspective as we age.

  2. Joanie, I had the same problem but ended up with bifocals instead. Bifocals? — now those are only for old people (I used to think…)
    I keep taking my bifocals off and setting them “somewhere”, so having ten pairs sounds like a good plan. To keep track of them (sometimes they are on top of my head when I can’t find them), I bought one of those little cords that attaches to the frames and then hangs around my neck. Because the librarian look is so in. (I wish.)

  3. Oh BOY can I relate to this!! For the past 4 years I’ve had glasses, but insisted I needed need them. NOW, I can’t read a damn thing without them. Thanks for making me feel less freakish! 😉

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