I've worn glasses on and off since I was in elementary school. What I mean by that is I've always needed them, but after I got a new pair I'd either get bored with them and stop wearing them or I'd lose or break them and not bother replacing them.
I tried contacts once, but I just couldn't get onboard with sticking stuff in my eyes after my mother had told me for so many years not to do it.
I just never needed corrective lenses that badly. My husband is practically blind without his glasses (which makes hiding them from him really, really fun), and my daughter can't see three feet in front of her face without her contacts.
Anyway, I've known for some time that my vision was deteriorating. I'd have to scoot right up to the computer screen to work. I would literally have to bury my nose in books or magazines when I read.
I'm not going to lie ... I've always been a pretty bad driver, but things were getting worse. I had to be right up on signs before I could see what they said, and I was unable to "get the big picture" as I had been told to do in the driver's education filmstrips.
I couldn't see nearly well enough to get the big picture. My husband banned me from any night driving that wasn't absolutely necessary.
I bought I pair of those magnifier glasses from the drugstore, hoping they would do.
They just make everything really big and make me feel like I'm going to fall off the edge of the world if I try to walk around while I'm wearing them.
When my flexible health savings account was replenished in January, my husband insisted I had to go to the eye doctor.
What the heck, I figured. I hadn't been in five years or so. Maybe it was time.
Turns out I'm nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. Huh. That explains a lot.
So I chose a pair of frames ... the color was listed as "wine." My husband approved my choice. I wanted to get my daughter's input ... she tells me all the time I don't dress or accessorize in an age appropriate fashion ... but I couldn't get her on her cell.
I told her later that if these glasses were too young for me, she had no one but herself to blame.
The doctor's office called me a week later to tell me my glasses were in. When I got there to pick them up, I sat down across the desk from the optician. He placed the glasses on my face, and I turned to look in the mirror.
I did a double take.
My mother was looking back at me.
When did that happen?
When I saw a friend of mine this past summer who I hadn't seen for several years, he remarked how much I looked like my mom. I told him he was full of it.
But with the glasses on, I could totally see it.
I gazed at myself for a moment, marveling. My mom has always worn glasses ... usually with darker colored frames like the ones I had chosen.
Jason had been right.
I looked just like her.
My cousin Sue -- who is 16 years older than I am and is my godmother-- is one of my Facebook friends. She told me I was definitely a younger version of my mother.
There was a time when I would not have considered that a compliment.
I mean, I am realistic enough to know that as much as my 19-year-old daughter loves me, the thought of turning into me -- physically or otherwise -- is a fear that probably keeps her up at night sometimes.
I know I didn't want to be my mother when I was my daughter's age.
But now, all these years later, it's a proud thing for me to be compared to my mom in any form.
Seems these new glasses of mine are helping me to see a lot of things more clearly.
Jamie Barrand is the editor of the Banner Graphic. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.