Nobody Panic, I’m Just Slowly Going Blind Over Here

{About a 2-minute read}

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a war going on right here in the good old US of A. It’s the battle between Growing Old Gracefully and Hanging On to Youth Like Your Life Depended on It.

My friends, I’m a soldier in this war, and I’m here to tell you: it’s brutal. Maybe this isn’t news to you, because maybe you’re in the fight, too. Or maybe this really is news to you, because you’re too young, or you’re not as vain as I am (lucky you), or you think you’re just one of the lucky ones–one of the few who actually dodged the bullet and will get to live out your days with that fabulously lithe body and your natural hair color while you eat carbs, partake in a leisurely 20-minute walk two times per week and call it “exercise,” and hear even background noise with crystal-clear perfection.


If only aging (and all of life) were as graceful and beautiful as these floral D&G glasses. Which we obviously can’t buy now since they hate gay people and IVF babies.

Well, I’ve got some bad news for you. Consider this your spoiler alert. Are you ready for it? Can you take it? Can you handle the truth?!! Are you ready??

NOBODY DODGES THE BULLET. At least not as far as I can tell so far.

Here’s how it starts.

You turn 40 and things are relatively normal. I mean, you’re not 25 anymore, but who wants the torture of that again? You actually feel better than ever, and you think (naively), that you look better than you’ve ever looked too. Why are so many people panicked about turning 40? This 40 thing is a cakewalk. I’ve totally got this. 40 kicks ass! No: I kick ass. Yes, me. I KICK ASS.

A year or so goes by and you notice that you can’t read things in dim lighting so well anymore. Okay, it’s just menus you can’t read in dim lighting. (What else do people try to read in dim lighting?) More troublesome: you can’t order a glass of wine in a restaurant anymore because you can’t read the print. (#firstworldproblems) You panic for a hot minute, because obviously YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE WINE. But it’s okay, you can totally just take the waiter’s recommendation. Fine. Done. Bring the wine.

Then one day, you notice that your eyes are really tired at the end of every day and you can’t see anything even in regular light. Jesus. Really? I mean, come ON. But okay, you just take your contacts out and wear your glasses at night. No biggie.

Then you go to the eye doctor and you spend so long with alternating eyes covered trying to read the eye charts that you leave with circle-shaped indentations around both eyes. In the midst of the longest eye exam ever, you hear the term “progressive lenses” bandied about, and you think that sounds fantastically positive, like something you want to be a part of. Progressive! How fabulous! Until you learn that “progressive” is the 2015 word for “bifocal.” So you snatch up your monovision contacts–one incredibly expensive box that helps you see close up and one incredibly expensive box that helps you see far away–and you leave with the realization that your contacts will never again be easy or affordable again.

And then one horrible day, when you can take it no longer, when you just want to read the carefully crafted description copy about the glass of wine you’re ordering–is it so wrong to want to know whether it’s jammy or earthy?–and you want to actually see what the words you’re getting paid to think up and type at work actually look like on the screen, you buy readers. READERS. You don’t want to be humiliated–hey guys, I watch the Walking Dead! I live in a neighborhood that’s not even gentrified yet! I have the cool kind of clogs! I’m UP on all the shit!–but you can’t see, so fuck it. You just do it. You buy them.

And you put them on and lo, you can see. And it is. GLORIOUS.

Until one day you’re sitting in front of your laptop wearing your regular glasses without contacts and you realize that if you want to see the screen, you have to put on your ugly square readers OVER your cute regular Prada glasses. There you sit, just waiting to die in your glasses on glasses. Which, because I’m so “up on all the shit,” I can tell you, is way worse than denim on denim.

And there you are. YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING BATTLE, wearing your readers over your regular-person glasses. Full bright lights in every room. Monovision prescription. How did I get here?

You’re in that weird place in the middle where you have to make some choices: glasses or contacts? Work out like a crazy person with a compromised middle-aged metabolism or work out like a person with younger-person’s metabolism? Sensible, comfortable shoes or cute high heels that make your legs look long? Get botox like the whole world seems to be doing, or just let the lines form where they may?

For now, minus the Botox, my vanity is still winning. But stand by. I’m sure it, too, will soon become a casualty in this war.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go smear some anti-aging serum on my face.