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On the trail of disappearing reading glasses

Thrusm mniop asdar] iiuyl. If you’re having a little trouble reading this xcfsd asd asdpfas, excuse me. I left my reading glasses at home when I left for work this morning.

Reading glasses, as every single member of the Baby Boomer generation learned within the last 24 months, are wonderful things. They allow us to once again read books and magazines, operate computers without setting the screen display to 200 percent of normal, and order something in restaurants other than the same old thing that we memorized from the menu nine years ago.



But the problem with reading glasses is this: Unlike regular, all-the-time glasses, reading glasses are worn for a few minutes, set aside for a few minutes, placed in a pocket for a few minutes, worn again, set aside, worn again, set aside … and ultimately left behind.




Wherever you need reading glasses, reading glasses are not to be found. In fact, Seelmeyer’s First Law of Optical Dispensing reads: The likelihood that a pair of reading glasses will be in a handy location is inversely proportional to the strength of the prescription, price of the glasses and importance of the document to be read.

At first, I thought I had a simple solution. I’d buy a second pair of reading glasses so that I could have one pair at home and one at work.

But then each morning I worried whether I’d actually left my office glasses in the office the night before. To cover myself, I’d stick my home glasses in my pocket and take them to work. At the end of the day, I’d then leave both pairs on my desk and kill the evening attempting to focus on things somewhere in the middle distance.

And even two pairs weren’t enough. If I left my reading glasses with my book next to the bed at night, I couldn’t read the paper in the morning without waking my wife. Often, I needed reading glasses out in the shed while I attempted to read the instructions on do-it-yourself projects. Clearly, I needed 11 pairs of reading glasses for home use.

Around the office, I needed one for my desk. Another for the office conference room. Another for the car, so I could finish memorizing the owner’s manual while waiting for my wife to complete her errands.

But how about a pair to be left at each of my favorite restaurants? The stores where I find myself desperately attempting to read label information?

What I need is a sort of disposable contact lens manufactured in sheets containing a couple dozen. I’d glue a sheet to my forehead each morning and peel off a lens or two whenever I needed one.

But maybe, just in case, I’d better get a sheet for work and one for home.

John Seelmeyer is editor of The Union, and his column appears on Saturday.


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