my social distancing glasses.

Every now and then I drop hints about my age, and sometimes I even just come right out and say it out loud … I am 56 years old.  And these days that means I can’t see my hand in front of my face without ‘cheaters’.

Up until the age of 40 I had perfect 20/20 vision.  But I practically had to go out and buy a pair of readers on my 40th birthday.  Or at least it felt that way.  In many ways it seems like my previously perfect vision left me woefully unprepared to handle even the slightest blurring.

At first I only needed readers for the really small print, and only the lowest magnification.  But over time I found myself having to transition from the 1.25+ to the 1.5+ to the 2+.  Then I found myself needing the 1.25+ to see the TV clearly and read street signs while I drove, while I needed the 2.5+ to read small print.

For several years now I’ve found myself switching back and forth between a 1.25+ and a 2.5+ depending on whether I need to see up close, or far away.  It’s kind of a pain in the butt.

But when it really gets annoying is while garage saling … and we can’t have that!

I’d have to wear the 1.25+’s to scope out the whole scene and zero in on the items I wanted to head for first, but then switch out to the 2.5+’s to read the price tag.

I was constantly juggling two pairs of glasses over the past several years and it was really getting annoying.

So, in anticipation of garage sale season 2020, I finally made an eye doctor appointment a while back so I could get some bi-focals.  I paid around $600 for some progressive lens bi-focals (so they don’t have that line in them that immediately brands you as an old person).  Then COVID-19 starting going strong here in the U.S. and delivery of my glasses was delayed.  I finally got a call last week that they were in, but my eye clinic’s hours were reduced to 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. each day.  Fortunately, it’s not far from my office so I snuck out of the office one morning earlier this week to pick them up.

I have to say … bi-focals are definitely going to take some getting used to.

What I noticed about them initially is that in order to see someone’s face clearly I have to be right around 6′ away from them.  Any closer and they start to get blurry.

That’s when I realized!  I seem to have inadvertently purchased ‘social distancing glasses’.

In order to see the face of the person I’m talking to clearly, I will have to stand about 6′ away.

Did they make them this way on purpose?

 Recently I read an article that said we shouldn’t be calling this ‘social distancing’ at all.  We should simply be calling it ‘physical distancing’.  During these crazy, totally strange, emotionally unbalancing times, we don’t need to be socially distanced.  Instead we should be working on reinforcing our social bonds, or getting socially closer.  And we can easily do that by phone, email, text, Zoom video conferencing, Skype, Instagram, Facebook and any of the other multitudes of social media platforms out there.  The only distance we really need to maintain is a physical one, not a social one.

So how about we all start calling it ‘physical distancing’ instead of ‘social distancing’?  Who’s with me on that one?

And who else out there has graduated to the bi-focal?  How long is it going to take me to get used to these things?  Because for now I feel a bit sea sick wearing them, and it seems like nothing is perfectly clear … or maybe that’s just how everyone feels these days.

45 thoughts on “my social distancing glasses.

  1. I, like you, finally broke down and went to get “real” glasses this past fall. Actually I was needing to get a drivers license renewal and I assumed I would fail the eye test badly. I could see distance just fine but knew I’d have trouble with the small lettering on the eye test w/o my readers. I ended up getting the no line bifocals as well. It took me a while to get used to them. The transition of the bottom step to the floor was the worst for me.
    Stay safe!

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    1. LOL, I was in that same boat a few years back when I went to get my drivers license. Thought for sure I wouldn’t pass, but I did. Kind of made me a little nervous to wonder about the other drivers on the road who pass with bad eyesight 😉

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  2. I was thinking you needed bifocals as I was reading. I am hoping you got progressives without the lines. If you are not having success with them then they either need to be adjusted or the lens replaced. I have had the brand of lens changed in my glasses ( it is the dispenser who figures that out) There is something wrong with yours . I have them. They need no adjustment normally. I have had a few that didn’t work. My husbands present pair don’t focus properly but he didn’t mention it till long after they would replace them. The only getting used to part is not moving your head up or down to correct your vision like you have had to do in the past. The re fitting may be a problem with social distancing.

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  3. I couldnt walk right for about 2 months…………it was like i didn’t know where my feet were going. Hystericallylfinny!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trudge onward!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. The staircase at my office are particularly challenging. They have a checkerboard sort of patterned carpet on them and it’s quite psychedelic with my new glasses on.

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  4. We did our first Zoom Happy Hour last night with Joe’s high school friends. It was pretty fun! Next week Laura and I are going to see if we can do that with my parents. I will be so glad when the world is “normal” again!

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  5. Because I’m “cheap” and not terribly worried about beauty, I went with the lined lenses. Growing up, I had very bad vision, wearing very thick glasses until I was about 50 and then got lasik. OMG it was a miracle. I did need the cheaters for reading, but that was it. However, about 15 years after lasik the muscles relaxed a bit so now I wear regular glasses or vision correction with the reading magnifying bi focal section. Since I wore glasses most of my life it doesn’t seem like a negative thing! And as far as the physical/social distancing – I am getting so much done now that I can’t go to thrift stores, estate sales and gulp, my shop is closed. So it’s an interesting time of my life. I do reach out to family, to friends and on social media, it is a great lifeline to keep from feeling isolated. But if I’m not seeing anyone in person I can stay in sweats and relax…

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    1. We are rotating our schedules at the office, and even though I consider myself an introvert I find that I really miss my co-workers! However, working in flannel p.j. pants without having to do hair and makeup does have a certain appeal 😉

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  6. When I first put on my no-line bifocals, I felt the same way, and was told “I’d adapt” to seeing with them. I tried for two days and then went back because I was not satisfied. They adjusted to angle the glasses sat on my nose and it was an instant improvement! Please try this tip…don’t delay!

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  7. Wow, that’s exactly my story! I got my blfocals last fall and I’m still not used to wearing them for certain things like looking at the computer. I feel like my eyes have gotten worse and I need a stronger Rx already! The motion sickness does go away after a few weeks,

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  8. Those are some awesome new glasses!! I hit the glasses wall upon hitting 40 too, perfect vision prior. Physical distancing is a much better way of saying it – I like it! Thanks for that!!

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  9. I gave up cheaters, skipped bifocals and went straight to monovision contacts! They are amazing- one eye is set to see close up clearly, the other long distance. Somehow your eyes see all distances totally clearly! My eyes are like they are young again, and it is just amazing.

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  10. My biggest tip on getting bifocals is to be very, very careful doing stairs. I found this out the hard way. Lol. I wear only reading glasses now, but still have to be sure to take them off when walking or doing steps. It’s a weird feeling for sure. If you are still having problems after three or four days, there may be an issue with the prescription. My eye guy told me thats enough time for your eyes to adjust and you will just be straining your eyes to wait beyond that time. Good luck!

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  11. It took about a week to get adjusted to the bifocal, but I wasn’t having the same level of sea sickness. Sounds like a good idea to have them adjusted. Monovision contacts worked for me for two years, then the difference became too much, so back to the glasses. I appreciate that you continue to blog through this weirdness. You are definitely a highlight of the week and great source of inspiration!

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  12. I tried the bifocal contact lenses a couple of years ago. Had headaches/sea sickness for a couple of months.
    Since I have always struggled with motion sickness I decided against bifocals. So I wear contacts because I’m near sighted which means I can’t see far away but my reading is 20/20 without lenses. If I’m driving somewhere I’m not familiar with I wear two lenses so I can read street signs. And I carry readers with me. Total pain in the arse. I hope you are better able to adjust to your new glasses.
    As for the social distancing I’m with you a better term would probably be physical distancing.

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    1. I know right? It is a pain in the arse carrying multiple versions of glasses. Prior to this I had cheaters for reading, cheaters for distance and sunglass cheaters for driving with me at all times. I need a bigger purse just to carry them all!

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  13. I have varifocals that I wear all the time. The best tip someone gave me is point your nose at the object you want to look at and that really helped stop the sea sickness. In other words you can’t just move your eyes like you used to do but you have to move your head now!! The other tip I got was to look down (chin down) to go down stairs.
    Good luck x

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  14. I also suggest you try monovision contacts. I have been using them for 20 years and it is awesome. It doesn’t work for everyone but definitely worth a try. Good luck and as they say ” getting old isn’t for sissies!”

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  15. I am 84, one eye is used to them, but the other not so much. Lol. Betty from Ontario’s, Canada. P.s. just stay farther away from people that you don’t catch it. happy Easter to the famiy.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  16. So funny! The day I got my bi-focals I Decided to head to Walmart. When I got there I tripped on the curb by the entrance. Several people witnessed it so I just announced ‘new glasses’ and went on in. I got my cart and headed down the isle in the middle and boom, I hit a huge potato/chip display and knocked it over. It was bad, chips went all of the place! I typically walk fast (retired nurse) so I Was rushing. There was a worker right there that had just sat it up and I could see he wanted to kill me! I apologized and decided I to just go back out and go home!

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  17. I actually have trifocals – close up, computer, and distance. Took a bit to get used to, but fine now. If you have problems getting used to them after a bit, it might be they don’t have the areas set up correctly. I had one funky pair where I kept seeing wavy lines, so they remade them and they were fine. Take care and stay safe!

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    1. That’s what I’m supposed to have with the progressives, the ability to see all of those varying distances. I’ll definitely get them adjusted and see what happens!

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  18. When I started needing readers I went for mono vision with one contact that I “upgraded” over the years for a stronger prescription. I knew I could not keep putting glasses on to read a price tag and then taking them off to take a step because, I could not walk with the readers on, unless I wore them low on my nose and looked over the top of them. I have been very happy with this arrangement and I will turn 75 in July. I am now getting to the point where I might have to think about getting a contact for the other eye for distance vision. I’m starting to feel like my depth perception is a little off. My doctor told me when I asked for the mono vision that many people don’t like it, but from day one I was a big fan.

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  19. Hi, yes those bifocals are something else. When I go downstairs I have to put my head so it’s parallel to the floor and I’m look straight down at it or I’ll fall down the stairs. That would really make me look old. I don’t wear mine all the time and I’ve never really gotten used to them as a result. The eye doctor told me he sees people six months after their 42nd birthday and my first appointment was years after that so I felt like I beat the odds you did too… But they still make me dizzy and sidewalk curbs are a hazard!!!

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    1. After wearing this pair for a few days, it does make me wonder if the increase in people falling as they get older is more because of bi-focals rather than lack of balance!

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    1. Well, I’m faking you guys out. Those aren’t my actual glasses. Those are a vintage pair that I bought as a photo prop. And quite honestly, the cat eye shape looks absolutely awful on me. I tried on a similar pair at the eye doctor and even the person helping me had to admit that cat eye wasn’t really a good look on me 😉

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  20. first of all I love your glasses, they’re so cute. (Do you mind telling me what designer/brand) they were? I ran into the same exact problem you were experiencing. I really do not like my bifocals and paid around the same price. I tend to still use two glasses one for distance always in my car for driving especially at night and wear my cheaters that I have in multiple lenses, as I paint as well (lots of signs) and use 3.5 for close touch-up work. It’s a hassle but you can’t zoom in with bifocals. And you’re right about distancing. They drive me crazy! The only time I really like them is for church, so I can see my pastor and read the bible at the correct distance (lol) and theatre/movie/concert venues. Things of the sort. So basically I need at least 6 pairs of glasses.

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    1. I faked you out with the glasses in the photo (see my reply to Melissa). For now I am in the same boat as you Kimberly. I still feel like I’m going to need to use stronger readers for painting, and reading for any length of time. And I’ll probably still use my cheater sunglasses for driving during the day. And I find myself still grabbing my old cheaters for watching TV because with the progressives only the middle of the large screen TV is in focus which makes it annoying to watch foreign films with sub-titles. I’ll see if I can get these adjusted in any meaningful way, and if not, I’ll have a really expense pair of garage saling glasses 🙂

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  21. It took me a year of on off on off before I could wear and walk. It’s been at least 6 years of transitionals and I still can’t wear them all the time. Some distances they just don’t work! I thought my brain was the only one that couldn’t adapt!

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