Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 65: We are still vertical

SH is all midlife crisis-y because 1. he is in midlife and his midlife comes bearing crisis and 2. he is confronting his mortality, which I guess is really the definition of midlife crisis: the realization that you will die and that you are not getting younger and paths that were open to you when you were 20 are no longer open - that is, you are probably  not going to become a major-league baseball player at the age of 50 and you are not going to start a new career in physics and earn a Nobel prize and you are not going to take the world by storm.

He is really confronting his mortality and his body being - normal. He grayed very young, but has always had better than 20/20 vision and he went 20 years without visiting a dentist and the hygienist didn't even notice* and he has not had aches and pains, mostly because he is lucky but also because he has not been a big exerciser.

The issue that is driving him crazy? (Other than not having a major impact on political policy)?

He has had to get reading glasses.

For the past year, I have seen him do the tell-tale extending of the arm so he can read what is in his hand.

That is actually one of the few age-related ailments I do not have. Perhaps my cousin Becky the optometrist can chime in here, but if you are already nearsighted, maybe the going farsighted has to cancel out some of the nearsighted before it has an impact. All I know is that I don't need reading glasses for distance correction. I need them because I have astigmatism, but I can see things up close. At least, I can see them better than SH can.

For a year, he has been grumbling about not being able to see but has also been unwilling to do anything about it. I have suggested he go see our very cute young woman optometrist who in her early 30s, already runs her own business, which I find really impressive.

But he doesn't want to do that.

But he did.

And she laughed and told him he needed readers.

But he wouldn't get them from her.

So I said to just go to Walgreen's and try them on until he found something that worked.

But he didn't want to do that, either.

And then, last week, when he stopped at Costco and bought a gallon of liquid soap and four bottles of toilet bowl cleaner, he also picked up a three-pack of readers.

And he has been using them.

And it is making him crazy.

But he is still not desperate enough to take them out with him. So in restaurants, he is holding the menu out as far as he can and then trying to shine the light from his phone on it.

I am glad he is not taking them with him when we go out because you know he is going to want to put them in my purse. Maybe I should just get him one of those chains that go around the neck?

(He is still a hottie to me, readers or no.)

* Whereas I, who did not have dental insurance when I was in grad school, still went to the dentist for cleanings and checkups and just wrote a check because I treasure my teeth, who, on the Bolivian altiplano, when I was taking the overnight bus from Cochabamba to La Paz, used my precious bottled water to brush my teeth and who flossed in front of the very curious Aymara women who were wondering what this white chick was doing, who has flossed every single day for the past 25 years, have had a tooth literally (and I mean that literally) break apart in my mouth and fall out. I have had to have a tooth pulled and replaced. I have had, in the past year, five gum grafts (because of job changes and insurance timing, I was able to get that many done in a 12-month period), and will have two more this year, and only two this year, because that's all I will be able to fit into the insurance. I have had a root canal (which actually, is not as bad as they say - really! I have had headaches that hurt worse than a root canal - it's more uncomfortable than anything else).

Anyhow, my point is, I have always been super conscientious about my teeth and they have done nothing but betray me at every turn, whereas SH, who has completely ignored his dental health for almost his entire adult life, has teeth 40 times nicer looking than mine.

It is not fair.


Tricia said...

Ah, readers! My beloved and I both need them, but he doesn't like to carry his with him. His solution is to borrow mine to read menus, so I bought super girly ones to cure that problem. But the multipack from Sam's was perfect for him, so he has them in the kitchen, office, bedroom, etc.

Becky said...

Don't most of his shirts have a pocket on the chest? Stuff them in there. Sheesh. If he's trying to avoid "looking old", then he would do a better job by putting on glasses that allow him to see than playing the trombone & using his phone as a flashlight.

And it sounds like you kind of have a grip on why you don't need readers. Basically a nearsighted person removing their glasses accomplishes the same thing as readers or bifocals - you decrease the amount of nearsighted correction, so you need to focus less, which is what your eyes can no longer do. Bifocals would work just as well, but lots of nearsighted people don't like dealing with them either for ergonomic reasons or vanity.

BTW, this isn't farsightedness (hyperopia), it's called presbyopia, which literally translates to "old eyes ", and it affects everyone starting around 40-45, although lots of people live in denial about this. "Of course I can read my phone! I made the font size huge! I don't need glasses." Ugh.

Audrey Jane Hamilton said...

I have been short-sighted my whole life - I think that is the same as near-sighted - and I too do not need reading glasses. My optometrist explained that my natural focal length is something like 30cm - perfect for reading. I can still even do counted cross-stitch! (although I prefer to do it under a light these days).

Audrey Jane Hamilton said...

I might add that I don't wear glasses, I now just wear one contact lens, in my more short-sighted eye. So that eye is for distance, and my uncorrected eye is for reading and embroidery etc.

webb said...

As cost-conscious as he is, the readers will not last long. First, they scratch like crazy and have to be replaced often, and secondly, they are heavy, heavy, heavy and he will quickly tire of that. Real glasses weigh far less.

Contacts might be an option for him, if he feels too old in glasses. Welcome to life! (If he is 50 ... did he really expect to live to 100? Middle age is really about 35 - 40, you know!

Anonymous said...

I can relate: I never did any drugs, never smoked or boozed (not a teetotaler, but close to it), never fornicated, got plenty of exercise and ate right, yada, yada. Yet at age 25, I got a freaky incurable illness, and at almost 58, I was diagnosed with cancer.

Then there's an acquaintance who for decades was a boozer and junkie, and smoked like a chimney from age 19 till a few years past 60, plus was a lifelong fornicator. Got no illnesses at all till a few years past 60.


In vain

Go figure.

Karma is a bunch of malarkey.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to blogger to screw up the order of my sentences. :(


In Vain

Class factotum said...

In Vain, it is all so unfair.

Webb, I didn't know that about the weight. I just want him to get a few more pairs so he won't be grouchy that whenever he needs the glasses, they are somewhere else.

Audrey, the light is key! I have upgraded lamps twice since we got married and have had to fight with SH over the lightbulb because he wants some stupid environmentally correct low-watt bulb and all I want to do is see.

Becky, I am seeing the root "presby" and thinking the Presbyterian church is made up of old people?

Tricia, I like your solution!