A year or so ago, Nora Ephron published a book of essays titled I Feel Bad About My Neck. Mildly intrigued and acutely aware of my own advancing age, I ordered it and began to read. After the first few pieces I put it aside, as I'd grown tired of what I perceived as an obsessive self-focus.
"I am glad I'm not so concerned about my appearance. No, maybe it's that I'm glad I seem to be holding up fairly well. Good genes. Luck. Sunscreen. Anyway, enough with the 'woe over wrinkles' stuff!" I semi-gloated as I poured a glass of red wine and settled in with some other reading material.
Things have changed. I feel bad about my eyes.
Understand. My eyes are my one vanity, the single feature on my entire body I, without reservation, know are beautiful. I realize this sounds flippant, but I would be kickass hot in a chador.
For several years, I've been using clics when I read. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread. But over the last 18 months or so I've noticed problems with ever-larger print and a need for help in the middle distance.
Yesterday, I endured a long postponed eye exam. Some folks dread the dentist's chair. Me? The optometrist's dim room. For a perfectionist, the simple question, "Which is clearer? This or this?" induces crippling anxiety. I tend to answer, "Well, in the first one, the two letters on the far right are clearer, but in the second one, those two letters suck but the one in the center is much better and the two on the left are about 25% clearer." It's a damned good thing this guy has known me for a long time.
Frame selection was its own fresh hell.
I purchased up a pair of prescription readers and the first thing I saw was not the crisp features of type on a page but the truly aged appearance of the skin on my forearm. Gasp. I will be using these over contact lenses, which I hope I will tolerate better than I did the last time I tried them a few years ago. Back then I could just give the lenses up. Now I'm not so sure.
It gets worse. If the contacts don't work, or during those periods when I choose not to wear them, I must sport that signal indicator of advancing age: bifocals. I'm picking them up this afternoon, after I wake up from the depressed nap I'm about to take.
I feel bad about my eyes, Nora Ephron. Maybe now I'll feel better about your book.