We dress like students, we dress like housewives,

Or in a suit and a tie

I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,

I don’t know what I look like!

“Life During Wartime”

The Talking Heads

Lyrics by David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth




Now we are six……plus 41


They’re called progressives nowadays

But, let’s not delude via euphemism

They’re still bifocals


Thanks, Ben Franklin



The glasses of the old

No more optical lines of demarcation visible in the lens though

And, now, I have to wear them


From the Greek

Presbus meaning old man or elder

Ops meaning of or related to the eye



Refractive misfiring

Aging eyes

Tired eyes

Slowing eyes

In the last few months, I have tromboned newspapers, iPhones, grocery lists, deposition transcripts, pleadings, orders, pleasure books

“I think you need progressives,” said my bride

Like other folks of a certain age, I would place glasses atop my head to read fine print and press my nose into the paper

For decades, I’ve worn glasses to correct myopia

Insert joke here

Contacts came later

First diagnosed by our family’s ophthalmologist while I was in Law School

I probably muddled through for years prior

In fact, I know I did

One of those students who always sat on the back row but should have sat on the front

I leaned over test papers, exams, notes

One teacher in high school recommended an eye exam

So, I went over a break

The eye doctor made me read Snellen’s chart from the elephantine E all the way down to the puny PEZOLCFTD, which I memorized as I sat in the waiting room

Passed with flying colors

But, I didn’t

I cheated

The only time I ever cheated on an exam

Vanity, thy name is teenager

Vanity, thy name is forty something year old

Since donning my first pair of glasses in 1995, I’ve been through several pairs as prescriptions gradually strengthen to compensate for weakening eyes

I’m partial to tortoise shell or acrylic frames

I try to buy the hippest, youngest frames I can get in a futile attempt to keep looking as young as possible

In our youth obsessed, narcissistic age, why wouldn’t I?

Stuck in a hipness that exists only in my own mind

Warby Parker

Robert Marc

Garrett Leight

I try to avoid that Milanese Monopoly Luxottica

Optical Oligarchs

One of my favorite makers recently sold out to another company

The local vision store on King Street that’s been a staple forever, Jackson Davenport, always does me right

Their knowledgeable folks scour high and low for good frames

They ain’t cheap

One of their folks is heading to Paris as I write to go to the largest trade show in Europe

Luckily, they had a few old school frames from my favorite designer

Half price

“Their quality has gone straight to hell,” one of the owners told me

“Yeh, well, apparently, so has my vision,” I replied

“Stop it. We have practically the same prescription. It’s just aging, which certainly beats the alternative”

She had a point

But, bifocals


Putting on the progressives, I didn’t see waves or blurry lines

In my head, I saw, pun intended, weakening optic nerves, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, blindness, darkness

And, then, ultimately, the grave

“A place where nobody knows” as Mr. Byrne and crew sang

I’ll continue to fight the aging process just as his guerilla warrior fought in a dystopian America

I’ll fight with my progressives, youthful raiment, sunscreen, dressing like students, or in a suit in a tie

Truly Middle Aged

Middle Aged AF, as the kids would say


One thought on “Progressives

  1. After all this time I have moved to Caddis Frames. Heavy duty, hard to break, and I get the ones that have port and starboard marked on the top of the frame. Since requiring glasses I have lost, broken more than 50 pairs. Of course, I’ve been doing this since the 1/2 century mark of my life so I’m well along. You’ll know you’ve adapted when you have to put them on to think.


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