Saturday, August 29, 2009

Living In The Fishbowl

It should not have come as a great shock when I got a sore throat yesterday. I should have seen that one coming. The signs were all in place and I was a fool for ignoring them.

To say that this last week of summer vacation did not go as planned would be like saying that Hollywood has a little bit of silicon floating around. Understatement. Of epic and D cup proportions.

However, I have decided to see this as a sign that it is time to go back to work. Sure, I may have to go back to The Bad Job At The Middle School That No One Else Would Take And For Very Good Reason. But it is steady work and gives my day a little bit of structure. I suppose it's time for that after my two months of leisure.

But the summer isn't over until I have rehashed it to death and what else is a blog for if not the rehashing? I've already covered the sinus issues, so now let's discuss my eyeballs, why don't we?

I've been putting off getting an eye exam for a while. I knew that I needed new glasses. The ones I'd been wearing for four years had been through the wringer. Most of the anti-reflective coating had flaked off down the center of the lenses, causing my students to ask me if I ever cleaned my glasses or if I was just too blind to see those big smears. I also knew that the time had come for me to make the move into bifocals and I really didn't want to hear that.

It's not about getting older. I wore bifocals when I was twelve so I have had some practice with this. Besides, you're only as old as you feel, right? And, these days, I feel about 80 so bifocals seem rather appropriate. I just knew that they were going to be pricey and I hate spending money on practical stuff like my vision.

But then I started getting headaches and it was becoming harder and harder to go from looking at my knitting to looking at the TV. When the knitting and the TV watching start to suffer, I don't mess around. I take action.

Hence, Summer '09 ushered in the changing of the guard as far as my lens prescription went. A couple of people have asked how I was doing with the Progressives, so I figured I'd add that to the vacation wrap-up series.

In short, they aren't bad. I was far less of a big, fat whiny baby about this than I was the neti pot referenced in the last post. Although how I could have been more of a big, fat whiny baby, I have no idea...

Today's frames are tricky when it comes to bifocals. They are rectangular and there isn't much space for adding a second seeing-space. You don't get much of a transition between the two. But I think I've finally managed to find the "sweet spot" required for things like walking across a room or navigating a supermarket without careening into other shoppers and artfully arranged fruit pyramids. I'm still better off in my own living room than anywhere else, but I do have to leave the house from time to time for supplies so I deal.

What I haven't completely gotten past is the Funhouse Effect. Should I dare to turn my head quickly from side to side, perhaps to catch a glimpse of a cat who isn't supposed to be on the counter or to confirm that the sign really does advertise a yarn sale, the world suddenly begins rocking. It's like looking through a fishbowl. Except there are no fish. Just lots of people looking at me strangely because apparently I have a tendency to shout, "Whoa!" when this phenomenon occurs.

If I had a horse, this would be easier to explain. But I don't. I also think that, if I did have a horse, I would probably have bigger issues since this would now involve explaining why I brought him into the grocery store. I am pretty sure that this isn't allowed what with all the carrots being left out and all...

It's gotten better with time, though. I almost never find myself trying to stabilize against the rolling that only I can see. And, when it does happen, I'm a bit more prepared for it. All in all, I think I will be OK with my bifocals. I suppose that, when I write my What I Did Over Summer Vacation essay, it won't be the most exciting read. But at least I'll be able to see what I'm writing.

I can also knit and look up at the TV now. Which is really all that matters, right? Sure, it's great to be able to see where I'm driving. And I suppose that it will be better for the students in my class now that I can read their assignments or observe what is going on in the back of the room that they don't want me to see but which I probably should be aware of.

But it's really all about the knitting and TV.

SA

8 comments:

kmkat said...

I used to think that when the baby boomers hit middle age, 14 point type on OTC drug labels would suddenly become common. Instead, when that big bulge in the population snake (remember that image?) hit bifocal age, tiny glasses became fashionable. It just ain't fair, I tell ya...

MathIsBeauty said...

A girl has got to have her priorities. I was warned by the eye doc that my day was coming and I am facing the fact that I am either going to have to get readers or bi-focal contacts. (I am still too vain to go with glasses all the time.)

scienceprincess said...

Good luck next week with your students! May your first week of school be calm and uneventful.

Good luck!
Sarah

Donna Lee said...

It took me a while to get used to turning my whole head if I wanted to see something in focus. I used to just cut my eyes but not with the new glasses. Unless it's something I really don't want to see clearly....

trek said...

Hey, at least you bought glasses in your current prescription: mine are old and not accurate. (Wearing contacts every day makes them pretty much unused, so I don't mind that they aren't quite right.)

On the bright side, the new school year will bring a reunion with the Cheerful Teaching Assistant!

Knitting Linguist said...

I'm with you. Knitting and TV are extremely important. Grading and the back of the classroom, less so. :)

Cathy said...

Soon you will be back to school and after this post, I guess I'll be heading to the eye dr.

I bet this wasn't quite the inspiration you were shooting for, huh.

Cursing Mama said...

I tried bifocals but almost threw up my popcorn on my knitting - so that was the end of those.