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Thursday, August 10, 2006

LOSING THE LIGHT OF OUR BOOMER WARS

It is said that in every persons life comes a time when their eyesight begins to fail. As we gracefully age, darkness creeps upon us like swamp fog from a grade B horror movie. Along with a sundry of bodily evils handed to us in the lunch box of life, we are sooner or later forced to munch away on the Twinkies of dwindling vision.

Now mind you I am not putting any emphasis on age. Allow me to say this and I hope you will keep my words a preciously guarded secret–when the first Boomers were placed upon this earth, there stood I, a cuddly babe with marching orders in hand. I arrived on earth one spring day in Iowa believing youth springs eternal.

Without stamping any date on my grand entrance, let me just say Ozzie And Harriet was only an ignored script sitting on a producers desk, family photographs were shot with a Brownie Box Camera, radios still had tubes and cars had not yet sprouted fins. But most of all, during those wondrous early years, I had perfect vision.

We Boomers were destined to fight a very unforgiving war. Not Vietnam, no this war was fought to destroy the grim reaper, father time, gray hairs and he who invented wrinkles. We declared war upon anything that threatened our eternal sovereign youth. Our vanity comrades invented more anti-aging creams and lotions than a snake oil hustler ever dreamed of. Our weapons consist of liposuction, laser surgery, breast augmentation, hair transplants and Viagra surely was invented by those who saw the future.

So in this world of perfection, everlasting beauty and comfort, why in tarnation must I start to replace my 75 watt light bulbs with 100 watts of brilliance. Why am I wearing bifocals and still reaching for a magnifying glass in order to read the back of a CD cover? We invented the darn digital platters but sadly can't read them.

I sadly admit magnifiers can be found round about my apartment, secretly hidden out of sight of visitors who must never, never see me squint. So you recognize what I am talking about here is the aging of my baby-blues. Sadly those of my, oh so youthful age, are now living in a blurry, fuzzy and darkening world

Thankfully my diminished eyesight ( that sounds so PC) did not charge in like a Taco Bell Chihuahua tasting his first bowl of Ol' Roy Jalapeno flavored dog food. No it crept up like foot rot. One day the room is a tad bit darker, or so we think, so I attribute it to the generic Wal-Mart light bulbs that seemingly grew darker and darker.

If it wasn't for an alarming article I read recently about diminished eyesight in Boomers I would still be complaining about micro-print on everything from CD covers to contents on cereal boxes. But alas, it is to late to complain. I know better for the grim reaper has thrown a sinister hoodoo-voodoo upon my eyes. Why just yesterday my eyes beheld more beauty than the mind could comprehend. Now in order to observe what my neighbors are up to I have to dig out my binoculars.

I should have pictured this all coming years ago when I went to bifocals. My optometrist told me that by putting a pair of two different ranges of contact lenses he could make my brain believe all is well, but in fear of looking like the lights blinking away on a railroad crossing I opted out for the secretive blended bifocals.

Several years ago reality was served to me one damp, sullen February day here in Northeast Ohio when I performed an acrobatic double flip with a final slam-dunk-face skid in a dimly lit cement parking deck stairwell on the way to my office. Certainly a egregious situation.

This took place when I was still ambulatory in most situations. I uttered a word of caution to myself before entering the dark foreboding stairwell, especially with the, oh so stylish, multistory heel on my dress boots that elevated my height to a svelte six foot.

"Go easy now dear," my inner self cautioned. "Before you lurks disaster." Next thing I knew gravity called my name. A stupendous effort at cheap slapstick comedy broke the dark silence of the stairwell.

There were no judges with scorecards, no applause from the audience. Thankfully no blood stains marked my untimely decent. Just embarrassment. "Someone is going to pay for this travesty, " I muttered as I gathered my belongings. Not only did a brand new pair of nylons, bite the dust, the monetary damages became worse after I spilled my cup of Starbucks coffee.

For many months I walked with a noticeable limp. I suffered from nightmares about falling into an endless abyss. And yes, after an angry phone call to the city, promising a stupendous lawsuit for a dimly lit stairwell they did install brighter lights. The man on the other end stated in all those years nobody ever complained about the dark decent to the main level.

Busted. My eyes were no longer seeing light, but utter darkness. The maintenance man had to replace the 60 watt bulb with a much stronger bulb. Oh how could this be. I had no gray hairs, and ahem, no wrinkles, ahem. Let me count the years from my birth, well let's not.

Now several years later I long for the days of climbing and descending stairwells. Stylish boots and walking to the office, oh well, that is all passed. Fancy schmancy power chairs and 100, no 150 watt bulbs are my life here--high overlooking enemy territory.

7 comments:

mig said...

I am seeing the darkness already looming on the horizon. Macular Degeneration has set in. I am hearing impaired in one ear. My "lunch box of life" is already determined as a regular item, not a future special on the menu.

Sigh.

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

mig

I hear? you on the macular degeneration. I had prisms put in both lenses and the bifocal part is enough to magnify 1000 power. MS has done a number on my vision but the doctors have at least for now helped to see again.

It is rather neat when you are disabled and you can use non PC words to describe oneself such as crippled. There are many days when that is all that I am--crippled.

Yet I found the best therapy is to laugh at my condition and hopefully make someone else laugh also

camojack said...

I've had glasses since I was about 15...but I hardly ever wear 'em. I graduated to bifocals last year...

MargeinMI said...

Funny, Ms.RW! My optomitrist told me it officially starts at 40. After the drops were in effect, he told me that's what it'll be like in 15 years (5 years ago). Thankfully, my long distance and night vision are still excellent; my arms however, are SHRINKING!

As far as the multibillion dollar industry of creams, lotions, makeup, etc.

"APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!
APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!
APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD!"

Has anyone else seen this commercial? What IS this stuff? What's it supposed to do? Remove wrinkles? Make you smarter? Make you glow in the dark? Make you invisible? I'm tempted to place my order just to find out!

Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

margeinmi

I haven't seen the commercial but I often slap myself on the forehead and say "uffda"

That is Norviegan for damnit

Beerme said...

You go along for forty years or more, seeing things with perfect vision, and all of a sudden, wham! You need glasses to see fine print.
It's downhill quick from there.

Nicely written Ms. Rightwing!

Kajun said...

My Sister called me to tell me she has a cataract.

I told her: "It's about time you traded off that old Buick!"

I am too old to be a "Boomer".

I'll know Thursday if I get the electric chair.

If I do, I'll have to get something to haul it around.