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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: I See the Problem, Sort Of

Daze of My Life
I See the Problem, Sort Of

Apparently there's nothing wrong with the printing on the reading material that I'm holding (it's not blurry). Nor is the distance from my eyes at which I'm holding the material somehow at fault. And presumably neither is there anything dim about the lighting in this or any other room in which I'm attempting to read what somebody else has written and had printed on some piece of paper.
Moreover, to be fair, I guess I have to further admit that the problem I'm having reading some (if I'm being honest, I should say, all) words has nothing to do with either the quality of the paper on which these words have been written or the process by which the ink was printed on said paper. If truth be told, in this case, the problem is most definitely in the eyes of the beholder.
I had a good run, though: 52 years and seven months without the need for any visual aides, not even "cheaters," the magnifiers readily available at your local pharmacy for the reading-challenged (difficulty actually seeing not difficulty pronouncing or understanding). But it's clearly my time to see what I've been missing and join the ranks of visually-no-longer impaired.
Besides, who am I kidding anyway? It's not as if my ability to read small print for as long as I have is the result of some work ethic that only I have.
Nor is it the result of some proactive lifestyle that only I have been living; a combination of eating right and exercising regularly. Hardly.
My visual acuity is inherited. I did nothing to deserve it or earn it other than be born to Celia and Barry Lourie back in 1954. And neither did they, so far as I've been told, make any lifestyle concessions during the conception and pre-natal stage leading to my birth. They ate or drank or smoked or did whatever was typical and recommended for the times, but oh, how the times have changed.
The effect on the fetus of all manner of consumption was hardly the cottage industry it is now. Then it was simply about procreation and common sense; now it's everything that it wasn't then: A to Z, if you're so inclined - or educated - no just A to B. So my seeing as well as I do (or did) is not about believing that I was born any differently, raised any differently or cared or provided for any differently. I was just lucky and blessed, you might say.
But now, all these many years later, this extremely good thing seems to have come to an end. Certainly it wasn't my idea, and it's only recently that I'm even willing to admit that what I'm having trouble seeing is what most everyone else my age has already seen, and seen much sooner than I ever saw. But so what, being able to read the small print in the phone book is overrated anyway.
Does that former ability make me a better person? No, it simply makes me a person whose eyesight was out of sight and out of sight much longer than one would have a reason to expect.
So I need glasses (or contacts). There's no shame in admitting that. It's not like I neglected myself or ignored doctor's orders. I simply used what was given to me and tried not to abuse the privilege; at least that's the way I see it, or should I say, saw it?

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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