Not long after my fiftieth birthday I noticed a disturbing trend.  Everyone had suddenly started printing things smaller.

As I looked around, I was shocked to see that the type on the food packaging had gotten smaller, the words in the newspaper and magazines I read had gotten smaller, and the names on street signs had gotten smaller. As a result of all this smallness, I was having trouble reading everything.  I squinted at a sugar packet and wondered, “Do I really care what’s in this, or can I just assume it’s sugar and call it a day.

“It’s not them. It’s you,” commented my husband when I pointed out this bizarre anomaly to him.

“What’ya mean, it’s me?  I didn’t change all the sugar packets and street signs,” I complained.

“I mean it’s your eyes.  You need to get your eyes checked.”

I harrumphed.  “My eyes are fine. I’ve never needed glasses,” I argued.“You need glasses,” said the ophthalmologist after examining my eyes.  “You are near-sighted and far-sighted.”

“How does that work?” I asked.

“You can see right here,” he responded holding his hand out about three feet from my face.  “But not here,” he said putting his hand up close to me. “Or here,” he added moving back five feet.

I pouted.  Apparently some time between forty-nine and fifty, my perfect eyesight had gone from 20/20 to 20/sucky. I needed glasses to read and to drive, to watch a movie and to see a stupid sugar packet.

“You have Over-Fifty eyes,” said the doctor. “It’s very common.”

“So are hemorrhoids,” I said  “I don’t want them either.”

Apparently some time between forty-nine and fifty, my perfect eyesight had gone from 20/20 to 20/sucky.

The doctor gave me the bill, which was thoughtfully printed large enough that I had no trouble reading it, and then sent me out into the adjacent eyeglasses shop so I could pick out a pair of frames. I tried on the coolest, funkiest glasses I could find and looked in the mirror.  My grandmother stared back at me. I realized then that I was just one step away from a retirement village in West Palm Beach and membership in AARP.

The glasses were ready in a week. Reluctantly I started wearing them.  All of a sudden I realized I could see everything perfectly.  The words on the pages of books and street signs were crisp and clear. It was like someone had squeegeed my eyes.

While I was thrilled that I could now see better and read everything more easily, I also realized that there were a bunch of things I didn’t see before that I really would have been much happier not knowing about. Once I put on my glasses, I realized I was much grayer, had more wrinkles and was flabbier than I’d previously thought.

“How do I look to you?” I asked my husband after my realization.

“You look great, Honey!” He exclaimed.

“Uh-huh.” I nodded. “I guess you need glasses, too.”


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  • Chris

    You are funny! So glad I found you on Instagram.

    • Tracy Beckerman

      So glad to have you here!

  • Susan

    I adore your humor!!! You make being of a certain age a club I don’t mind belonging to!

    • Tracy Beckerman

      This is the BEST club! Yeah, there are a few hot flashes and chin hairs.Some weight gain and wrinkles. But at least we don’t have to worry about the popular girls from High School making fun of us anymore. All their boobs have dropped to the floor now too.

  • Vicki L Blum

    Wait until the cataracts set in…

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