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Gill knows that, although I have occasionally purchased ‘designer’ clothes and shoes, I am pretty low key about my everyday wardrobe. I have become even more so recently, since I am no longer on a University Board and don’t have the need for ‘business’ outfits. In fact, this week I panicked when trying to find something suitable for an unexpected event. Oh, I have several dresses in my closet that I thought would be fine and that I’ve yet to wear, but I discovered to my horror that they no longer fit! The tags are still on them and my body has changed yet again. That’s the worst thing about aging — you get one problem fixed (or cleverly hidden) and then some other part begins to sag, bag, shrivel or stick out where it shouldn’t. You then have to buy a new wardrobe to hide the new problems and hope you get to use it before another bulge appears. It’s like playing whack-a-mole with your body.

The one thing that has been a constant for me is my glasses. I have had the same black-framed pair for ten years at least. They still look fashionable and I saw no need to change them. Then L’il Sis began working at an upscale optometrist’s office. I had no idea there was such a thing. Imported frames from Italy? You have to be kidding me!  L’il Sis came home sporting a new pair (she gets two pairs free each year) of expensive glasses and immediately talked Gill and then me into upgrading our frames. In my case, the fact that Crazy D’s puppy, Mr. Pants, had chewed the frames where they go over the ear, was a motivating factor.

Gill was thrilled with her new, fashion-forward look. I suspect she thinks they make her look more professional for her job at the university in Bristol. And they do…of course, I also suspect that her rocking back and forth in her chair and quiet chatting with Little Dog, her small plastic toy, when she’s stressed detracts ever so slightly from the ‘in control’, managerial image her glasses project.

Having seen how attractive her new frames were, I allowed myself to be persuaded to upgrade as well. In a radical move (I was feeling daring that day), I switched to a horn-rimmed look with slightly larger lenses. I kept my original glasses as my ‘just in case’ pair: just in case I lose the good pair, just in case the dog eats the new pair, just in case I sit on the new specs, just in case I forget where I’ve put the snazzy pair. My life is a continuous ‘on the edge’ scenario.

Recently I had a strange thing happen — I had a ‘shimmering’ effect at the edge of my eye. I describe it as being like the Northern Lights in my eye, except not green! Trips to the doctor and tests later, it is assumed to be related to my migraine condition. Of course, this required new glasses. Now that L’il Sis is in the Optometrist’s office, she can check up on what’s going on with my eyesight. She and Gill were both convinced that, despite the doctor saying my prescription didn’t need to be changed at all, I was half- blind. Actually, ‘blind as a bat’ is the exact terminology she used. Gill(equally blind) backed her up. So, L’il Sis suggested at least that I should upgrade to a special lens that cuts down glare at the computer and one that has a split lens so I can look up at the computer and then down for reading in the same lens. Help for my aging eyes….

L’il Sis presented them to me. They are lovely and do make everything very sharp. So I now have three pairs of glasses on the go. “Now these are for the computer, Mom. Leave them at your desk so you don’t lose them. And don’t throw them on the floor!”

“But, I don’t…”

“No, we all know you put your glasses down at the top of the stairs when you go downstairs to the kitchen or whatever. We’ve all seen your poor little orphaned glasses lying there, waiting to be stepped on or kicked by someone. You really should take better care of them! And you are NOT allowed to put these anywhere near the floor. And P.S., here is a special cleaning cloth for them. The sleeve of your shirt,  the cloth you use to clean the bird cages, and toilet paper will not do! ”

“Yes, Ma’am…” I have the horrible feeling I used to admonish her (and Gill and Crazy D) when they were small.

So now I’m a bit paranoid.  The new pair looks a lot like the old new pair so it’s easy to confuse them. And I cannot seem to break the habit of leaving the computer desk with them on my face. I get halfway downstairs before I remember they’re still on my head. Hearing L’il Sis’s stern warning in my mind, I turn around, go back upstairs and put them delicately on the desk. If nothing else, I’m getting a lot more exercise these days. Up and down, down and up…

Yes, this truly is the age of decadence for me. I may not have any nice clothes that fit, but boy, can I see (spectacularly well) how bad the clothes look. Aargh! A cartoon image of a little old lady, wizened and naked with a spectacular pair of glasses just popped into my head. Save me now…