My glasses broke on Sunday.
I know, I know. Everyone says the same thing. "Can't you wear your old ones for the time being?" Well, yes and no. I'm monstrously nearsighted, and monstrously presbyopic. I've worn glasses, full time, since I was 7.
My Varilux glasses have been a miracle. I remember looking down during a meal and being astonished because I could see my food. Before, I switched between distance and reading glasses innumerable times a day. The Varilux took a little (a lot) of getting used to, but once I was used to them, it was amazing, like getting a pair of real eyes.
My lovely little wire frames broke on Sunday. John tried to glue them, but they wouldn't glue. They wouldn't solder. I couldn't hold them together with tape.I can't replace them because eyeglass frames, like everything else in this image-conscious society, go out of style the way hemlines rise and fall . My 4-year-old frames might as well be antiques.
My new frames are titanium. They had better last forever. Titanium, I read, "is marvellous in fireworks." Great.
In the meantime, however, I am utterly seasick. I can't read, I can't knit, I can't see to part my hair. My old reading glasses make things worse. I'm useless at work - I can see the computer screen if I push it far enough away, but I can't see my desk. Or my hands.
As for distance vision - half the time I'm seeing double. I realize that works out, mathematically, to normal vision, but - it's not. Trust me.
Let's hear it for our foremothers! I'm sure that any of them (I'm thinking of my own great-grandmothers in Odessa and Riga) would think that my current vision was miraculous. Imagine tatting, making lace, knitting Fair Isle, spinning, weaving, even buying bread, without the visual clarity that we've come to take for granted. Imagine chopping vegetables in a blur, cleaning when you can't see the dust -- What wonders I take for granted!