I Can See Clearly Now
Cheaters. Readers. Half-frames. Granny Glasses. I got a dozen of 'em. I thought I'd try "real" glasses. I went to the eye doctor (there's a first time for everything), who said I was OK except for accommodation- I just can't focus the way I'd like, a common affliction of age. He wrote me a prescription and I zipped over to the mall, checked out three optical houses, and ordered up a $400 pair of progressives. They were ready the next day, I paid and headed out into a brand new world.
I had never thought much about what it means to wear glasses all the time, people do it because they have too; I've been most fortunate in that my acuity is very high. After wearing the glasses for a week under various circumstances, I found that with them on, I couldn't see a thing properly! Distance vision had chromatic aberration (color fringes on the edges of things), middle distance had a field of view of about 5 degrees, and close up had one small spot where I could read two or three letters, maximum. All fields had a warp thing going on, good for inducing sea-sickness. Driving at night, I had ghosts dancing throughout my field of view. I took them back.
I'm back with the cheaters, so if you see a slightly comical old man with three pairs of glasses in his pocket, it's me. But I can see clearly now, without the psychedelic distortions. Benjamin Franklin invented bi-focals- he simply sawed two pair of glasses in half and glued them together. I think his pair might have done me better than the latest technology.