Sunday, November 09, 2008

I am becoming my mother, example 12

It started a few months ago. I noticed that if I wanted to look at something close up, it helped if I removed my glasses. I started looking over them, in that way particular to 'people over 40', peering over the lenses as if I was in deep thought when in fact, I only was trying to see the needle I was threading. Threading a needle was something I never had a problem with before, in fact I was always proud of my needle threading skills. 1,2,3.....Good hand-eye coordination, sharp sight (through the glasses, I mean) and grab that needle and that thread, shove it through and poof, needle threaded. No thought no fussing involved. Just, done in a second.

Now? To thread a needle? Many steps.

1. Turn on punishingly bright light. Place light 1.5 feet from my head, light in line with job at hand.
2. Find needle with EXTRA BIG hole.
3. Make sure thread is neatly cut, no fuzzy bits or anything to interfere with the delicate operation ahead.
4. Remove glasses. (Place glasses where I can find them later.)
5. Hold up needle and thread approximately 3 inches from eyes.
6. Move needle and thread back and forth from face trying to find that little place where I can see them clearly. Do this for 10 minutes.
7. Tongue automatically goes into place in corner of mouth slightly outside lips, in classic "I'm concentrating really hard here" fashion.
8. Squint.
9. Stab thread at needle approximately 15 times before thread goes through extra large needle hole.
10. Tie knots in end off thread with same intense concentration.
11. Sew item (usually buttons).

I used to laugh at my mom when she would thread a needle. The concentration involved, the bright lights, the many failed attempts before success. What really always made me laugh was the expression on her face, the head down, frown, eyes up look that is instantly familiar if you have ever spent even a little while with someone over 40.

And now I am doing it. *I* am looking over my glasses with that bemused, 'I can't see you but don't I look smart and thoughtful' expression. *I* am having the problems putting on the mascara, as I no longer know where is the best place to hold the mirror...too close I can't see but too far is not good either. The mirror goes back and forth as I gamely attempt to focus on the efforts of my right hand to gouge out the eyeballs in my face, all in the name of beauty. (Major shout out here to Dior Show mascara. it has a brush so large you just wave it in the vicinity of your eyes and it hits something you want hit. A blind girl's best friend.)

I almost can't see close up at all in my contact lenses. I have to stand about 3 feet from the mirror to see my face then, and that, my friends, is dangerous when you are dealing with liquid eyeliner. Dangerous indeed.

I find myself, when reading, moving the book back and forth from my face in a pendulum of desperation, to find that place where both eyes will focus on the words I want to see, just wanting to hold still and see the damned page like I used to.


Give me back my simple nearsightedness. I was cool with that. I knew how to deal with that. This change in my sight, this transition zone between youth and whatever the hell I am now, is freaking me out big time.

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