Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.
“How long have you known me?” I ask incredulously. “Do you honestly believe I can see those things? Sure, I can make out objects like mountains and sky scrapers, and elephants, but street signs and house numbers? Are you serious? If you’re counting on my ability to get us to our destination, we could very well end up in China.”
I was sitting in an airline terminal waiting for a plane. Around four seats down from me, seated against the wall, I spotted a woman. One of her shoelaces was untied and dragging on the floor. I know that today kids intentionally leave their laces untied and can actually walk around that way, without falling on their faces. But adults don’t have that ability, and since this woman was definitely beyond teenage years, I signaled to get her attention. When she looked up I said, “Excuse me, I thought you’d like to know that your shoelace is untied?”
She looked down at her feet, then back at me. “I’m not wearing shoelaces,” she answered.
I leaned forward, squinted hard, and discovered that what I had thought was a shoelace was the cord draping from her laptop computer to the wall socket in back of her.
“I’m really sorry,” I said. “I don’t see well anymore.”
Looking out of our living room window my husband called to me and said, “Hurry. Fast. You’ve got to see this beautiful Cardinal perched on the tree branch. He’s magnificent.”
I rushed over to the window, looked out, squinched my eyes and said with disdain, “I’m having difficulty seeing the tree, and you want me to focus on a branch and then hone in on something the size of a kosher pickle? I don’t see it. You know I can’t see that far, so stop showing off.”
I suppose it’s nearing that time when I should consider having my cataracts removed but I’m chicken. Besides, I’ve kind of gotten used to viewing the world through Vaseline covered corneas; I mean it’s not as though I’m really missing anything. I’ve been around over seven decades, and I’ve probably already seen everything worth seeing, right?
I’ve noticed that I don’t hear well anymore, either – without my glasses. I never knew this before but I can read lips. I really can. I didn’t go to special school to study lip reading but there’s no doubt that I have an innate ability to do so. I discovered this phenomenon the other evening while visiting friends. I had accidentally left my glasses in the car and when we all sat around talking, I was unable to understand anyone. I mean, I knew that they were talking because I could hear vocal sounds emanating from their throats but I only understood a fraction of what they were saying. As soon as I put on my glasses, I was able to understand every word.
I have to admit, I’m quite impressed with myself.
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