I started Operation Suck Less 2014™ for many reasons, one being I wanted to have a fun 50th birthday and not a crabby, sulking one similar to my 40th. In that spirit, I am planning the “Yay I’m Almost 50 North American World Tour Xtravapaloooooza!™” an event that is clearly in dire need of a logo. Note to self, cultivate logo skills in the next month.
My Xtravapaloooooza will cover 2 countries and 10 states and will involve, planes, cars, boats, a helicopter, canoe (maybe), buses, lodges, cabins, yurts and more. I will be joined by a sister, a cousin, a niece, more cousins, friends and a plethora of strangers I shall meet along the way. There will be musicals, museums, hiking, swimming, walking atop a skyscraper, concerts and comedy. It will be an adventure fit for a younger version of the old lady reluctantly becoming older that I am.
I have researched each city as completely as possible, thank you Internet. I have all of my options organized in apps. I have reservations where it felt necessary and not too constricting. I never want to plan a trip again let alone several at once.
If this Xtravapaloooooza does not distract me from the fact I will be a half-century-old and getting older, nothing will. Yay 50!!
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I now have bifocals,
And my eye doctor is a tool.
I have been going to the same eye doctor for over a decade now. My first visit to him was due to my goopy eye infection and the fact he had a wide-open, newbie-doctor calendar and ever since I have not been able to shake him when setting appointments; it is amusing.
Dr Ted, not at all his real name, is awkward. Beyond awkward really. Every visit is like the worst first date with a smart, hot guy that you wish had a personality but doesn’t. He accidentally insults me, he talks about himself, he goes on random tangents that make no sense, he leaves the room with no explanation while I just look puzzled, furrowing my brow which just makes it more difficult to insert all the eye drops.
Many years ago, Dr Ted was commenting on how my prescription barely changes and went on a random tangent about LASIK surgery when, as he was selling me on this procedure I never asked about, he glanced at my chart and said, “ohhhh” in a rather sad voice as if he just noticed I had a terminal disease. Turns out I did, he noticed my age.
“Oh, I was going to suggest LASIK but you are getting up there in age so that would just be a waste of money; you’ll need bifocals soon.” The look on his face was so sullen, like everything was about to fall apart for me and not just my eyeballs.
“That is okay, I wasn’t interested in LASIK but good to know it would be pointless,” I replied with a shrug as my mind began to race about my inevitable demise.
I was able to turn “my rude eye doctor calling me old in a roundabout way” into a funny story to entertain the co-workers, but the horror of his face left me worried.
Flash forward a few years and I began to notice changes. The computer would get blurry as the day progressed. I started taking off my glasses when I read which luckily is hardly ever. I placed my phone next to my chin so I could look at it under my glasses. My eyeballs felt strained at times.
It was obvious it was time for bifocals, so I avoided the eye doctor for a couple years. Really, that is the smartest way to handle all such situations, ignore them until they go away or just blow up. Finally after my beloved Internet time was being reduced due to eye strain and a bit of family mockery, I headed to see Dr Ted.
There was the usual intake stuff with the nurse. Then the doc showed up, then he left, they he came back told me about his trip to Boston, then he left, then he came back and told me in great, mind-numbing detail about why old people need bifocals, I mean progressive lenses which seems to be the politically correct term now, and eventually we were in full eye exam mode.
The exam it self is always boring. I try to make out letters I can’t really see and just guess. I try to determine which view is better when they pretty much look the same. I get drops to numb my eyes, drops to dilate my pupils, and others to turn them yellow; I let him do this when I really have no idea why but it seems to serve a purpose. I rest my chin on a thick pad of blotter paper, look at the cheesy bunny sticker while the brightest light known to man shines in my dilated pupils and blinds me. I look at his ears, look down, look left, have some machine shoved into my eye and finally I am done
He explained more about these fancy schmancy lenses but I was too busy enjoying all the cool colored spots floating around to really listen. He left the room and eventually the nurse came back to let me know I was done and led me to the optician dude for all my new glasses needs.
After 5 minutes with the optician, let’s call him Analdy, I began to think that maybe Dr Ted was not so bad. Analdy was so, um, particular. I would find a pair of glasses, put them in a “maybe” pile, grab another pair and the previous pair was gone.
Turns out most glasses, according to Analdy, make me look angry…grrrr. The cool ones do not sit on my face right. Stupid face. The smaller ones would not work for my new lenses, which is good as they are going out of style and I am nothing if not stylin’!
Analdy, loves to use the royal “we” to the point of wanting to punch him. “WE” did everything together, until WE had to hurry up and get to lunch, so WE picked the one pair of glasses WE found acceptable. However, WE did not pay the bill that was all ME.
HOLY %^&^%$ BALLS PROGRESSIVE LENSES ARE EXPENSIVE!
Anadly neglected to mention just how much more these fancy schmancy lenses were going to set me back. Especially since he convinced me to get the prescription sunglasses as well since they were 50% off as a second pair and I would be losing money if I skipped them. Sigh.
When I returned to pick up my ^%$# expensive glasses with the fancy schmancy lenses, I was treated to a very detailed fitting with a tutorial on how our human heads are square until they are round in the back. Um, okay. Also, I learned that when WE want to see something WE have to point our noses at it so the fancy schmancy glasses will have the right part of the lens for the failing eyeballs. WE heard this about 8 times and WE wondered if this concept is really that difficult for us oldsters to follow.
So far the ^%$# expensive glasses with the fancy schmancy lenses seem to be working nicely. I can see my computer, TV and phone, which covers all my needs.
I only have one issue: walking. I like to look down and be very careful on where I place my feet to reduce the opportunity of landing on my butt, which is not good for us oldies with replacement parts. With the new glasses I have to point my damn nose at the ground or it is just a blur. So basically I can look like a moron, in stylin ^%$# expensive glasses with the fancy schmancy lenses or look like a moron spread eagle on my butt on a sheet of melty ice. Kind of a toss-up.
So now I have bifocals and a bionic hip. I still think about the look on Dr Ted’s face and wonder what is coming my way next and how much it will set me back to correct. Now that I can see in the mirror more clearly, I may have a clue and it rhymes with *&^%$ krinkles.