Diving into middle age

It's been over a year since I got my first pair of reading glasses.
We were on vacation in Canada and found ourselves in a dollar store in Saint John, because we are just the sort of family to go to a dollar store while on vacation. It shows you the true nature of a place, doesn’t it, to see the rows and rows of material objects that have been deemed worth a dollar? It was there I found a pair of reading glasses that I loved. They were tortoiseshell and made me look quite smart, I thought. Plus they came with a case. Not bad for one Canadian dollar.
Back in the hotel room, I was overjoyed that they helped me read without squinting, even in dim light. The reading glasses were symbolic, though I did not realize it at the time. I waded into the shallow waters of middle age that day; I just did not think of it in those terms.
I have long since lost that pair of reading glasses, case and all. I now have reading glasses all over the house. I have a pair in the bedroom for reading at night. A pair by the living room couch for daytime reading. A pair on my desk for research, and a pair in the kitchen for deciphering the small print of cookbooks. Even with glasses all over the house I still misplace them often, setting them down absentmindedly and going on long searches for them when I need to read something.
Getting dressed this morning, I looked down at my bedside reading glasses and thought, wouldn’t it be nice to carry a pair with me throughout the day? I suddenly had a mental image of middle-aged librarians and teachers I knew in my youth, wearing their reading glasses on a lanyard and putting them on as needed. It was vaguely mysterious back then, but now it suddenly made sense why people would wear glasses around their neck like a pendant. I too want to make that fashion statement.
I want to dive into middle age fully; I’m done with wading. I want to wear my reading glasses proudly like a medal. After all, it’s taken me almost 50 years of living to get to this phase of my life. Now that I’ve made it, I might as well celebrate it by shopping for the most beautiful lanyard I can find. It’s the perfect accessory for person I’ve come to be. Then when you see me coming with my reading glasses around my neck, you’ll know I mean business: that I plan to read no matter how fine the print, and that I’m not afraid to act my age.


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