Wrong Again

This morning, I became a grown-up: I attempted to remove glasses from my face that were already in my fist.

For those of you who are lifelong glasses-wearers (it is almost 40 years for me), you know that there are several distinct methods of removing eyeglasses and several messages that can be communicated in the manner of their removal. Off the top of my head, there’s “Two-handed and Thoughtful,” “One-handed and from the Right and Peeved” (I usually accidentally fling my glasses to the floor or across my desk with that one), and “One-handed and from the Left and Trying to Get to the Heart of Things.” There are others. Putting them on in front of people usually communicates this: “Enough Fun, Everyone. Back to Work.”

It can be like semaphore, but with glasses.

What I performed this morning offered such a complete set of mixed messages that I should not have been surprised if someone threw a glass of water at me, thinking I had requested it. In some cultures, perhaps I had. It would have almost completely relieved me of my red-faced embarrassment.

I do not remember right now which message I was going for this morning, but I was in a public place, which adds to everything. What I remember is this: Both hands were heading for my face, so I must have been attempting “Two-handed and Thoughtful” or maybe simply “Pensive,” but like an indecisive ASL translator, when I saw the glasses already in my left hand as they came towards my face, I doubled-down and confused everyone (including me) by improvising this: I scratched my face with the folded-up glasses, moved them from my left hand to my right, opened them, put them on, and then removed them with my left hand—”One-handed and Getting to the Heart of Things.” All in about three spastic seconds.

It was all because I was surprised. I was surprised because I do not do slightly forgetful things like everyone else does.

Strike that. I do not do slightly forgetful things like everyone else does. That’s better. I believe … (fist hits table) … ladies and gentlemen, I believe deep down where I know me better than anyone else knows me or I know anyone else, that I do not do slightly forgetful things at all ever. Atallever. Misplacing my glasses is something that rests just on this side of a terrible thing.

I had laser surgery last year, which transformed me from a wearer of Bible-thick lenses from my teen years until I had the surgery into a far-sighted person who can now wear cheap, dollar-store reading glasses merely for reading. Thus I can leave my house sometimes without glasses. After four decades of glasses-wearing, that sentence reads like someone else describing a life different from mine to me.

Back to me. I do not do slightly forgetful things. Remember? Not me. Not someone so organized that I would arrange my pens alphabetically if I could decide on what issue this would fix or how to do it. (By brand name? Hmmm. Perhaps.)

Simple, insistent, rigid organization has always prevented me from forgetting things: Keys in the same place every night. Wallet, too. Glasses on my bookshelf. Check, check, and check. And I have left the house minus each one of these items in turn recently. I need to re-organize the role of organization in my life.

So there it was this morning: Forgettingness in all its vanity-defeating ingloriousness. In all its lapses and gaps. “Mind the Gap” isn’t just a sign for British rail passengers; it should be stamped on my forehead from now on.

* * * *
This first appeared last year.

* * * *
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  1. Lola · August 3, 2015

    Hilarious! Your quick improv skills are commendable. Enjoyable read! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine · August 3, 2015

    You made me spit my cawffee outta my mouth from laughing. Spot on, dearie. Spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Reluctant Scribbler · August 3, 2015

    I’m a ‘two-handed and thoughtful’ glasses person. Mr O, on the other hand is a ‘tear them off with one hand, making sure to place the thumb and first finger on either side of the lens to leave fingerprints’ type of person. He is also the only person I know who lost not one, but two pairs of glasses, by pushing them up onto the top of his head – at the same time! I mean it’s not as though he has enought hair to mask the feel of them sitting there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Martha Kennedy · August 3, 2015

    As an English teacher, I sometimes invoked the head down, looking over the top of my glasses, “OH yeah? I wasn’t born yesterday, toots. I’ve heard all the excuses there are for late papers. Your ass is grass,” look. Never failed and no ones ass was ever grass, but it was nice to think they thought I had that power. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. angloswiss · August 3, 2015

    I am the one that puts on the vario focals when she gets out of bed and only removes them to clean them during the day. Otherwise I am a little lost without them. thank goodness I have an understanding hairdresser. She taught me how to wear them having short hair. You descend onto the head with the glasses in the hand and place them nicely behind the ears, covering the short bits of hair. At least that’s the way it works for me. I was glassless until I became a computer freak at the age of around 40 and now I cannot be without them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nonsmokingladybug · August 3, 2015

    I am not sure when it started, but I list “searching for glasses” now under hobbies and interests (if someone dares to ask me such a question) and I would list it with joy in my resume (if I would be on search for a job) because it is a special skill. Isn’t it?

    Thanks for the laugh 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Relax · August 3, 2015

    OMG, I think I sprained something!! Thank you, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nonsmokingladybug · August 3, 2015

    Reblogged this on The happy Quitter! and commented:
    I read Mark’s post today and it made me laugh so hard. I just joked with him, that I started to list “searching for glasses” now under hobbies and interests (or special skills) because it seems to be something I repeat over and over. Mark’s post is a humorous “must read” for everybody who wears glasses (or not).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn Armstrong · August 3, 2015

    As I’ve gotten older, I can see more without glasses. For the first time in my life, I occasionally forget to put my glasses on, then spend a weird hour wondering why something feels so wrong. Those senior moment aren’t just for seniors any more. Great post, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Julie · August 3, 2015

    It gets worse sorrytotellya’. BTW, I wore coke bottles as a kid, too. Then I wore contacts until I had lasik surgery at 40. To wake up int the morning and see without groping the nightstand for glasses, to swim and see, to ditch the contacts, it’s a beautiful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. loisajay · August 3, 2015

    Mark, this was so darn funny. And you are so spot on with your descriptions: top of the head, R hand, L hand, in front of people. Wow. I just peered over my glasses with one eyebrow arched: “Really, Mark? Really?” Oh, yes. I think this is your best post yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LRose · August 3, 2015

    So funny! My trick is on top of the head as I no longer need them for up close. I’ve been known to leave them there in order to sport the super-sexy “glasses on head and sunglasses on face” look. To heck with honey, I attract a multitude of multi-eyed creatures to me that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. John White · August 3, 2015

    I’ve always gravitated more toward “One-handed and from the Right and Peeved” but there are two methods for putting on glasses that I use: Two-handed and slow = getting down to business OR one-handed and squirreling them onto my face slowly into place = hmm…let’s read that a little closer or let’s take a closer look at that. This was a GREAT read!!

    Liked by 1 person

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