Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Vision Blues

Some time ago here I posted about my struggle with vision in the context of work and daily life.

It isn't that I have really bad eyesight.  I don't. But my eyesight has arrived at the point where my distance vision isn't changing but my near in vision has reached the point where I need my regular glasses, which are bifocals, for reading and distance vision, but I needed a separate set of "computer glasses" to work with computers.


The problem that presents is a lot more irritating than it sounds.  With computer glasses on, my vision is clear for maybe about three feet. Or, more accurately, from about 12" out to about 3'.

Now, one of the things about practicing law is that you use your computers anymore a lot.  It's something that I'm highly acclimated to and its something that newer lawyers can't imagine not being the case.  But, when I stop to think about it, it's been enormously revolutionary.  That wasn't always the case by any means.

Lawyer Mabel Willebrandt in her law office, probably about 1920. She became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1921, something really remarkable for woman in that era.  She's doing what we used to all do, read hard texts in an office full of books.  We still do that, but we are also typically on the computer all day long.

And that has meant that I must put on my computer glasses for large stretches of the day.

What this has taught me, however, is that a lot, and I do mean a lot, of people drop in my office all day long.  I hadn't really appreciated that until I started wearing computer glasses.  As I couldn't see them clearly, what that meant in turn is that I was taking my computer glasses off and putting my regular glasses back on constantly.

That's a pain.

That's particularly a pain if, as in my case, you wear glasses that have a temple frame, which very view people do.  As I noted in an earlier post on my glasses tribulations:

Temple frames, as you can see, have those ear hook things.

Very few glasses have that now.

I don't know exactly why they were so common at one time and are not now, but what I do know is that glasses reached this basic configuration, nose pieces and ear hooks, due to horseback riding.  They went to that basic style as these sorts of glasses are more secure than others.  Frankly, that's why I liked them as well, in part.  Not only are the lenses smaller than those so typically found on eyeglasses today, save for "fashion" glasses, but they hooks mean they stay on.  Having had glasses come off, on odd occasion, in the field, I can tell you that's bad.

Indeed, at least as late as the 1980s one of the two pair of highly ugly eyeglasses issued to enlisted soldiers in the Army had the hook type ear pieces.

 Me, wearing my GI glasses, at Ft. Sill.  We were apparently shooting on the day this photo was taken, as I'm wearing my glasses, and we're cleaning M16s.
Well, while I like that sort of frame as they stay on, if you are taking them off and putting them back on a million times a day, it really becomes a pain.

 My computer desk. . . okay, that's actually a very old "secretary" that I've re-purposed as a computer desk, which it does very well as I might add.  I'm embarrassed by the state of messiness in this photo, but it shows where I spend most of my day most days.
Which is why I finally reached a point I couldn't stand it, and now I'm wearing contact lenses at work for the first time ever.  And wearing contact lenses again for the first time since probably 1985 or 1986.
I don't really like it, even though everyone says that I would (pretty much).

I really hate putting them in.  Next to that, I hate taking them out.

And I hate feeling vain. That may sound odd, and I wasn't expecting to feel that way, but I do.

I guess that's because I'm old enough that contact lenses weren't the default eye correction for most people.  When I first had them in my early twenties they were sort of a way of not wearing glasses, and as I hated my glasses at the time (and that was a particularly ghastly era for glasses) that's sort of what I was seeking to to at that time.  That isn't really the case any more.  Even my recently departed next door neighbor at work wore contact lenses, and he was in his 90s when he passed away.

And it wasn't what I was seeking to do now, and in part that may just be because I do look different without my glasses, I'm used to them (and like them) and its odd. The glasses sort of became a part of my established appearance even to me.  And of course people noticed.

But. . . . it did solve the dilemma I was facing.  I change my glasses much less often now.  So it worked.

1 comment:

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

Oddly enough, for the first time since I got contact lenses, I managed to put both in on the first try today.