Making A Spectacle Of Myself

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Let me just start out by saying:  Readers are the bane of my existence. Of most peoples middle-aged existence, I’m guessing.  Sooner or later, everyone’s eyes go a little batty and the dreaded day comes when you buy your first pair of readers.  This is not a celebratory day like the day you get your first bike or car.  It’s the first baby-step on the slippery slope descending into patching, fixing, and bargaining with your body as it starts to rebel against you.img_5186

It’s not that I’m against glasses as a rule. In fact, I got my first pair in the fourth grade. Blue stop-sign shaped ones if I remember correctly…(been trying to forget ever since.) Not that I have the right to complain. My poor brother had black glasses with rockets on them, and the kind of earpieces that hook around your ears. Ugh. Oh, and did I mention he is a ginger?  Life is hell when you’re a ginger with black rocket glasses with hook -around ears!  Bullies have a field day. Plus-(bonus)-My mom made him wear an elastic strap across the back just for giggles. She was worried they would fly off during recess or  sports . You had to have gumption to survive back then!chuckie_finster

Chuckie Finster from Rugrats…

I graduated from blue stop-signs to wire granny glasses, which were all the rage (always a trendsetter!) And rage I did!  Every time I got hit in the face during gym they would bend.  Life is one big awkward moment after another when you pair wire glasses with acne, braces, and a white-girl ‘fro.  Just sayin’.

By high school, with dreams of drill team looming large, glasses just didn’t cut it anymore.  My mom used to throw around an annoying little ditty, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” (Hmmm….And the award for Mother of the Year goes to:____________)mother-of-the-year

And so it was that I got contacts.

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Fast forward and I now have 40 long years of contact lens expertise under my belt.  Since I am old-school and have an astigmatism, I still wear the old-timey rigid gas-permeable type of lenses.  So right out of the box you can tell I don’t like change.  In fact, I used to like glasses much better back in the day when the glass was actually glass. Then as I became too near-sighted, they got heavier and heavier, and the glass got thicker and thicker.  I looked like the stapler guy on Office Space.

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So no more glass in glasses, and nowadays they are made out of some funky scratch-proof synthetic material that still manages to somehow scratch.

Since we are genetically blessed, my entire family wears either glasses or contacts.  I foolishly thought that once I had graduated to contacts my glasses days were behind me.  Then one day it starts.  You go to read a label or a text and the letters are indecipherable. Even on font GINORMOUS!img_5190

Well, first you’re in denial and just hand everything you can’t read to the nearest youngster, but then reality sets in and you realize it’s that time. Luckily, you can discreetly buy your first readers over-the-counter so to speak, at least till your eyes get so bad they need prescription ones.

So now, I not only have contacts to contend with, I also have to don specs for easy reading. I like to be fashion-forward and think of it as “layering.” (I once tried to fake it and go reader-less, only to find out I couldn’t read the menu, and wound up ordering  a mystery meal by pointing at the menu like a monkey. Serves me right) And so I am resigned to readers.mystery-meal

My main beef with readers is the fact that they-(like socks in the Bermuda Triangle known as the dryer)-go missing willy-nilly.  I have multiple pairs of readers on hand at any given time and I’m always losing them.  And not just one pair-every pair.  I even purchase them occasionally in multi-packs but the story always ends the same. I try not to be a vain girl, but I absolutely refuse to wear a granny-chain glasses minder around my neck. My daughter is always threatening me that that day is soon coming.  Probably because it’s a daily thing that I’m ranting on about–my long lost readers that were just there a minute ago…velma_lost_her_glasses_9414

(Velma from Scooby-Doo)

One day I sat down to do the bills- typical-not a pair in site.  Drat!  Even squinting down to 20/20 I couldn’t focus to see my calculator, computer screen, checkbook-(yup, I still write checks)-or my ledger book. All of my readers had (poof!) disappeared. Not one to be defeated, I remembered that I had bought new sunglass readers for summer. (Ingenious invention for when you want to read outside but need to sport sunglasses. Like a bifocal, the top portion is normal vision and the bottom section readers-but they are sunglasses.)

I rummaged through my purse, Aha! – plunked them on my face, and back to do the books. Other than being a little bit dark they worked like a charm.

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Ding Dong! Mailman at the door. He was grumpy as always and giving me a liberal dose of side-eye. 🐝 What bee is in his bonnet now? I thought. Before I could shut the door, I had my answer as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror that made me guffaw out loud. Lordy!  I’d forgotten I was wearing those stupid sunglass readers indoors!  I realized I must have looked like Stevie Wonder signing for that package and sitting at the desk doing paperwork and that really set me off laughing. The mailman, still within earshot, hustled down the walk with an extra spring to his step-no doubt because he thinks I’m losing my mind.

No worries. It’s just me.  Being me.  Doing what I do best in life.  Laughing through it and making a spectacle of myself along the way.  Only this time I changed it up and actually wore spectacles when I did! 😎

(Granny Puckett from Hoodwinked)

img_5191What  we  SEE  depends  mainly  on  what  we  LOOK  FOR . . .

~John Lubbock

All Thumbs

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy.  So easy in fact, that most days have been spent lazing around in my jammies and playing with my grandkiddos. I drew the lucky straw and have a grandson who’s 2 and a granddaughter 3 months. Yup, I’m one of those grandmas.  Annoying, I know. But I couldn’t have known how fun it would be to have these little people in my life…and so I tend to yak/brag about them a lot!

grandmas house My daughter is a busy mom and I remember those days well, so I wanted her to get in some well-deserved girl time with her sister.  Off they went sans kiddos. It was my first opportunity to watch both kids all by myself. No worries, I had this in the bag. Two kids and fix dinner-no sweat. After all I’d raised 4 kids back in the day…albeit I was younger and much more spry-but how much trouble could two tiny people possibly be?  And they were being perfect little angels.  (Obviously they take after me).

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Granny Puckett from Hoodwinked

If everything went according to plan, the chicken enchiladas would be coming out of the oven right about the time the girls got home. Piece of cake! But as best laid plans go, it didn’t turn out quite the way I expected.  As I opened a pull-top can the jagged lid somehow caught my thumb and sliced it wide open. Fudge-muffins!!! (and that’s exactly what I said…) I went to rinse it thinking it was just superficial, but no such luck. Blood and gore. So I rinsed some more. Gross. I didn’t want to scare the kiddos, so I took a ream of paper towels and bundled it up. Keep calm, carry on and all that. I attended to my wound as nonchalantly as I could. I’m a high strung girl and just the thought of blood makes me weak  (Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to join ya.) The initial”A” in my middle name actually stands for “Anxiety.”  The unsettling thought hit me that if I passed out my backups were a baby and a toddler. JUST BREATHE. Since I didn’t buy the quicker picker upper, I was going through my bargain paper towels like they were kleenex (darn my frugality!) OK… Push down the nerves and big girl panties on.

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Suddenly, as often happens in these little emergencies of life, my little grandson was desperate for a drink, and the baby chose that particular moment to go off like a rocket. I heard my voice calmly responding (like a Disney princess, but no little  bluebirds fluttering around me). I was able to maneuver a drink box (straw and all)-all the while maintaining steady pressure on my thumb which was in full hemorrhage mode (real Macgyver stuff here…) My scrambled brain  was thinking I hope his mother’s not mad at me for giving him a Dory fruit punch drink box instead of a sippy of milk. (We women are so funny in how we think sometimes.) I turned the fussing baby in her seat so she could see cartoons and she settled right down. (Granny of the year-sugary drink box and Nick Jr. babysitter!)

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I needed to call my daughters to come back home so I could go to the ER stat!  One hand was applying  pressure and the other was in full bleed, so I pressed the Siri button, with a mental pat on the back for my clever thinking. To top it all off,  I had a spankin’ new phone and Siri was not my friend. He kept instructing me the people I was trying to reach weren’t contacts in my phone.  I was fairly exasperated at that point.  These are my peeps!  Of course they’re in my phone! As much as I enjoyed his smooth Australian accent (new phone=new accent~don’t judge.) I was annoyed and somewhat verbal with Mr. Siri-insisting yes they are in there, even though I knew he wasn’t listening.  Finally, I had a “eureka” moment and realized they weren’t in there under their proper names but nicknames…arghh lesson learned. Two Siri-dialed nicknames later, I made contact. Thank heavens for technology that allows for hands-free communication. The girls arrived home in Indy-worthy time.

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My oldest daughter just graduated nursing school and efficiently assessed my thumb.  Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, off to the emergency room we did go.  My other daughter was left to be Cinderella the clean-up girl. Hospital-bound it struck me…Oh why did I have to injure myself on a day when I was in grubby workout clothes, frizzy hair, no make up, and glasses??? (To be honest that could be a lot of days…) Lordy, I was a hot mess.  Maybe with all the blood they wouldn’t notice…
Miracle of miracles, the ER was for once a great experience. No one in the waiting room, top notch staff, and all stitched up, I was soon home again, home again jiggety-jig. No takeaway pain meds, but an edict of no dishes, diapers, or anything else gross-Dr.’s orders.  Oh snap! My summer was turning into a dream vacation.

Or   was   it??

Let’s just say easier said than done when it comes to hands-off chores. Frustration soon set in as I attempted to do simple tasks that were second nature, only to realize nope, I needed to ask for help-or worse, wait for someone else to notice and do it. I’m not so much a domestic diva as I am a control freak.

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So between you and me?  That opposable thumb thing really is a big deal!  Try pulling up your leggings without thumbs… (it’s never a pretty proposition anyway, but without thumbs it’s a freaking nightmare!)

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Washing my hair with a plastic bag on my hand was a feat. (see what I did there, hand/feat, anyone?)  Not to mention detangling my humidity-crazed curls, which is challenging on a normal day with tons of product, two hands, and a pick. Without the use of my thumb, carrying kiddos, managing groceries, vacuuming, even unlocking the door was a challenge. Of course the injured hand was my dominant hand just for giggles. My handwriting is no great shakes on a good day, but my bum thumb made paperwork and writing skills nearly impossible.

Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me, (spoiler alert), and so it seems I’m always being given opportunities to learn it.  This time my lesson in patience had an unexpected payoff. Gratitude. I was grateful the little kiddos didn’t have to witness the scary stuff. Grateful that I had somehow held it together and they were blissfully unaware. So thankful for my good doctor and nurses. I  have a full blown white-coat phobia. I can honestly say it went as well as it possibly could.  I was grateful for my daughters taking over, making meals, doing chores, and pampering me rotten! Suddenly I had a new appreciation for all the things that I could do, and for the blessing of not getting an infection, and a relatively quick recovery from the stitches. Bonus: My thumb injury took my mind off all my other aches, pains and daily complaints (well almost). Grateful for thumbs. Who knew?

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Look at me all glamour & man hands in this pic…arghh…keepin’ it real my friends, keepin it real

As a reminder-(so I don’t take thumbs for granted)-I’m still left with some achiness and funky nerve issues, and it won’t be 100 % for quite a while-but that’s okay. This little life lesson has helped me learn to rely on others and better understand my shortcomings. Perspective. Gratitude was not the side effect I expected, but I have to say I give it a big thumbs-up!

audrey