Saturday, 18 April 2015

You know you're getting old when...

We had a job-lot of eye tests a fortnight ago, leaving The Husband, Son Number Two and me needing new glasses. (The bank account will take a while to recover.) I collected my new glasses today. Having worn reading glasses for a couple of years, these progressive lenses feel rather different. I've read up on how long it should take me to get used to them. The consensus seems to be between a couple of hours and six months, and that I should count myself lucky if I've not fallen down the stairs by the end of today. Some forums also warn of the danger of reversing your car into concrete pillars, but I've always been pretty good at doing that - I don't think a change of prescription will make a great deal of difference in the driving department, much to The Husband's dismay. So now I'm doing a neck workout, trying to find the right position for having an unblurry computer screen. The optician fitting my glasses this morning was very patient when I explained that I couldn't get any of her page of writing into focus. 'Move your head, not your eyes,' she said, but a lifetime of reading by moving my eyes (how the heck do you read without moving your eyes??) made that next to impossible. Anyway, seven hours later, I kind of get it. You have to point your face to where you want to look, which makes observing misbehaving school-children while pretending that you're not watching them pretty much a non-starter. 

I think the worst thing about the whole experience was the amount of money I had to part with. I used to quite enjoy choosing new glasses; I tended to head for the expensive section (because they're nicer. Come on, I have to wear these things every day.), and then spent ages trying on different shapes and colours and grading them out of ten, depending how much they made me look like my grandmother. But not for these ones. Apparently, for progressive lenses (I'm deliberately not calling them varifocals, because then I'm officially old), you have to look at the price of the frames and then add £110. Because The Husband looked close to tears already, I headed for the cheaper end of the offerings. 'These will do,' I sighed, ungratefully, after trying on one pair, 'even though they've got pink bits.' And then I complained about them all the way home. I really must stop behaving like a toddler, but it's difficult. 

And while we're on the age thing:

While I was taking down a display in the corridor the other day, The Boss Lady appeared, showing two girls around the school. Maybe they want to come here for work experience, I thought. Because I'm nosy, I went to ask Mrs Secretary (She Who Knows All) who the girls were. 'They're candidates for the teaching jobs,' she explained. When I just stared at her, she added, 'Yes, I know,' and we both sighed heavily. They looked like they should have been in school, not teaching it. Since when have they let fourteen-year-olds into teaching? Then she pointed out that one of the girls was the same age as my daughter, and I realised that The Daughter is now 24 and I'm a lot older than I sometimes think. It'll be odd, having to work with someone who's a similar age to my children. Should we get some fizzy drinks in for break times? Are they ready for the problems caused by primary school students: snotty faces and toilet troubles at one end of the school, and Boy Band adoration and hormones at the other? I discussed the problem of age with Auntie Mo, another teaching assistant. 'We may not be young, but at least we've got wisdom on our side,' we decided. And then we quickly changed the subject because we weren't actually too sure about that.    

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