Yesterday was my optometrist appointment at the V.A.


My eyes en route to the V.A. eye doctor.

My eyes en route to the V.A. eye doctor.


First, the doctor consulted my chart to check my age. Then looked at me suspiciously, but smiling.

“I have to ask you this,” he prefaced carefully. “Do you ever notice that you have a hard time seeing close print when you’re wearing your glasses for distance?”

“Sometimes, yes,” I answered truthfully, giggling. I knew where he was going, and I couldn’t contain my mirth. At last! I’ll be 45 in two months, and I’ve finally reached the crossroads of life with “BIFOCALS” pointing one way and “READING GLASSES” the other. SO EXCITED.

I’m not even being sarcastic. This might sound weird, but I’ve been eagerly anticipating aging-related far-sightedness since my 30’s, when I started noticing reading glasses in interesting, artsy styles and colors displayed in the drugstores. Before Callaghan and I left France, I made sure to pick up a couple of pairs so when the time came I’d be all set with some cute French ones.


Reading glasses from the Pharmacie du Vercors in Bourg-de-Péage, one of the villages close to where we lived in France.

Reading glasses from the Pharmacie du Vercors in Bourg-de-Péage, one of the villages close to where we lived in France.


I keep the black pair on my desk, and the hot pink and black ones in my purse. Recently, I’ve actually had occasion to bust them out to read the ultra-fine-print on food packaging ingredients lists at the store. (I read the ingredients on absolutely everything. Funny how food manufacturers often make it deliberately difficult with their microscopic fonts.)

“We’ll find out in a minute,” he reassured me as he slid over to the equipment. At the end of the exam, he was still grinning. We’d whiled away the time bantering about this and that, and he’d dilated my eyes and pronounced them healthy.

“Okay,” he said. “Now we have a little decision to make!” He explained that I could get bifocals if I wanted to, but I don’t really need them right now, and once you get bifocals, you can never go back, and that might be a good reason for me to wait another year. If I wait another year, I could easily deal with the mild far-sightedness I’ve got going on at the moment. I don’t wear my glasses all the time, anyway. My prescription is very light.

“In any case, I’d say you can get away with another year,” he concluded. “But it’s really up to you, since you’re so borderline. You can get bifocals when you’re 46….” He paused. I was cracking up.

“We make them without lines now.”

“I think I’ll pass on the bifocals this year. I have some cute reading glasses from France that I want to use.”

“Do you have them with you? Let me see these French reading glasses!”

I extracted the glasses from my bag and put them on.

“Oh they ARE cute!” the doctor said.

I left after ordering a pair of normal glasses with tortoiseshell frames in a modified cat-eye. The V.A. has quite an impressive selection! They look nothing like BCGs.

4 thoughts on “Ophtalmologue

  1. I have not given into prescription glasses yet but need to. I’m embarrassed to say how long it’s been since I’ve had an eye exam! I’m 50 and need to realize that :p But!! I do have reading glasses and I love them!! They are simple and I’ve been planning on investing in a cuter pair 😉 in fact I wouldn’t be able to use my iPhone without them. Ha! I’ve started breaking mine out grocery shopping too 🙂 I don’t have to read many labels these days since changing up my diet drastically to eating only whole foods. Ha! I love the part when the Doc is confused about your age 😉 xoxo


  2. Hi Colleen! Sounds like it’s your turn for the bifocals discussion with the eye doctor, haha! I bet the reading glasses you have now are cute, too. =) I guess eating whole foods would eliminate the need to whip out the glasses in the store, right? =) Most of what we buy has a label on it, so I do a lot of reading in the aisles, lol. Yeah, among other things, the doctor even said that it was “nice to see someone so young and vibrant” after all the older people he treats. It was like a change of scenery for him. oxox


  3. Um, congratulations on your graceful aging process?, although you do remain young and vibrant, of course! Lol! I have funky-framed tri-focals (with tiny rhinetsones in the upper corners) that I wear all the time, and I just lift them up and shove the box into my eye to read the fine print. Lol! I have an original pair of 1960s totally rhinestone encrusted cat eye glasses that I keep dreaming I’ll have done in my prescription…till then I just keep them in the china cabinet.


  4. Thanks! You’re sweet. I guess there’s an up-side to not growing up in some ways, lol
    Haha, I can see you doing that with your funky rhinestone-adorned glasses! Your 1960s vintage ones sound fabulous. You should totally do it. =D


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