The eyes having it
I spend five days a week looking at a large computer screen, and when I’m not looking at that large computer screen I’m looking at a smaller laptop screen, and when I’m not looking at that I’m looking at an iPhone screen. Or reading, which is thankfully still a low-tech book printed on paper. At night, I’m looking at my laptop screen, my iPhone, or the television.
The fun thing about all this close-up screen staring is when I stop doing it in order to go places and do things, because for about ten minutes my eyes will decline to focus on distance. It makes the car rides extra exciting.
So it seemed like a good time to get my eyes checked.
Hoping for good news
I don’t know if you are aware of this, but it turns out staring at a screen for twelve hours a day is bad for your eyes. The ophthalmologist was rather adamant on this point, and insisted that I take time out every twenty minutes or so to stare at something distant, which is funny coming from someone who works in a tiny office in the back of an eyeglasses store when spoken to someone who works in a cubicle.
But anyway. I knew she was going to tell me that because that’s what her predecessor told me two years ago, and her predecessor two years before that. What I wanted to know was how bad my eyes were and if I needed a new prescription.
Because I wanted to buy sports glasses.
Biking with glasses
I’m nearsighted, with a touch of astigmatism of the kind that makes it nearly impossible for me to get contacts. If I don’t wear my glasses I can’t see distances, which by the way is how it should be. I don’t understand farsightedness. As you get older you can’t jump as high or leap as far, so of course you can’t see as far either. This makes perfect sense to me. But being able to read a street sign a block away and not the book in your lap? That’s insane. Farsighted people are aliens.
Anyway. I need to wear my glasses when I bike places. But your average fashionable pair of eyeglasses are entirely too delicate to deal with sweat, twenty mile an hour winds, rain, bugs and so on. Not to mention the straps from the helmet drive the arms of the glasses right into your head, which gets painful after a while.
The problem has been, every time I returned to the eye doctor either my vision had worsened enough that I needed new everyday glasses or my glasses were being held together by paper clips. (All glasses on my face eventually fall apart because I have a crooked nose thanks to an errant elbow– not my own, obviously– to the face in seventh grade.)
But the glasses I’ve had for the past two years have held up nicely. And according to the doctor, while I wear them I can see 20/25, which is Good Enough.
Sports glasses and Challenge Accepted!
So now my new prescription is going to a pair of sports glasses that will stay on my face thanks to an elastic.
They are a sort of burgundy color. Actually my high school prom date wore a dress of iridescent crimson and black that is the exact same color. I don’t think this is why I picked this shade– I didn’t think “now I can wear my high school prom date’s dress on my face”– but just the same in hindsight I’m thinking I should have gone with black, which would have matched the helmet and…
As you know, I’ve been bike commuting for the past four years. A month ago it was announced that my entire department is being relocated to a far more distant locale. Specifically, I am going from a 4.2 mile morning commute to something in the neighborhood of 18. Rationally, I should not be doing this. I can’t expect to succeed at both making that trip each day AND working an eight hour day AND getting anything whatsoever of use done in the evenings, which is when I write. Plus the facility I’d be going to does not have a locker room or a shower, and I work with other human beings. (And also, farsighted people.)
But the glasses are pretty, and I want to wear them muchly. And the only excuse I have to do that is to use the bike.
They should be here in three weeks, more or less at the same time the office moves. Challenge… um… accepted?