Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Foxy Grandpa

This is for you, Carrie.
You see, when I was little - maybe first grade or so - my teacher caught me squinting to see the chalkboard. Since this would have been something like, oh, 1963, little kiddies were expected to actually see the chalkboard in order to learn stuff.

So she dimed me off to my mom, who dragged me in to the opthalmologist, who diagnosed me as mildly nearsighted and recommended glasses.

I wore the goddam things all through grade, middle and high school and into college. The top picture is my sophomore dorm floor buddies in 1977. The "Mack" cap belonged to the owner of the room and I disavow any responsibility for it. The horrible tinted lenses and goofy facial hair, alas, are all mine.

As I aquired a veneer of sophistication - what used to be known as a "university manner" - from maturity and exposure to those wiser than myself I got a little more picky about my glasses stye. The clipping is a publicity still from "Romeo & Juliet" my junior year. Note the better beard and the part-in-the-middle Seventies hair, what I would eventually come to designate a "reefer part" in the Army because of its purported association with smoking weed. Not that I would have known - I wasn't nearly cool enough in 1979 to have smoked weed...

I hated glasses. I truly did. I was forever losing or breaking them, cleaning them, buying and repairing them. They were annoying and expensive and ugly, and finally in the Army they became such a pain in the ass that I stopped wearing them.

And, guess what? Abso-fucking-lutely nothing happened. I shot expert with pistol and rifle, seldom ran into things, passed my drivers' license vision test without them.

For twenty years I lived happily without glasses.

Until...several years ago I noticed while reading that my right eye in particular had difficulty focusing. It seemed to have a blurry spot in the center; I had to shift the text around to get good definition. My vision in the right eye got noticibly worse over the next couple of years. Eventually, just on a whim, I stopped at the little magnifying glasses kiosk at Fred Meyer and tried on a pair.

They worked.

Well, damn.

So now I'm officially "Foxy Grandpa" when I put on the glasses. Mojo finds them endlessly amusing, Sheadon considers them a toy, and Missy enjoys seing how far she can bend them or twist them before they will break (NB - this is not very far).

Youth is a struggle for attention: old age a struggle for dignity. Not sure where on this scale these damn reading glasses fall, but I'm betting "attention" isn't it.


walternatives said...

OMG, Chief. Thank you for those photos - too rich, facial hair and all. You are, indeed, Foxy, but the Grandpa moniker? Too early for that, friend. Thanks for this post.

Mrs. Vandertramp said...

So how sad is it that I really, really wanted glasses as a kid? Of course, I'm not so happy now that I have a pair that I have to wear if I'm doing any more mobile than reading a book, but....