My eyes! My eyes!

Some things you can’t un-see. And some things, you just can’t see. Period.

My new reading glasses. $58 at Nordstrom

My new reading glasses. I-Line $58 at Nordstrom

It started about three months ago. I realized I was continually adjusting  the distance at which I was holding my iPhone. My friends and I talk almost exclusively via text messages, so I was doing quite a bit of adjusting.

I texted Kyle, who’d previously confessed to me she’d been wearing reading glasses for about 8 months — 6 of which her husband knew nothing about. She had been whipping them off and hiding them under the nearest object every time her 7-years-her-junior husband walked in the room.

Was I on the same track? “Sigh. Yes. That’s how it starts. And it’s a pretty rapid decline from there.”

Ugh. Really? I’d kind of hoped to just bypass that whole thing. Didn’t my youthful attitude somehow make me immune?

Then last week, at a dinner outing in a dimly-lit restaurant, I couldn’t read the drink menu. Kate offered me her “old lady glasses” only to find she didn’t have them. “That’s ok. It’s just ’cause it’s so dark in here.”

But no. The next day I couldn’t read my iPhone. I could deny it no longer.

But if I’m going to wear reading glasses, so help me they will not be ones that make me feel like an old lady. I will find ones that are chic, stylish and look every bit as young as I feel. Or so I thought. This did not turn out to be as easy as I’d hoped.

After searching everywhere from CVS Pharmacy to Neiman Marcus, I’d almost resigned myself to just not being able to see. After all, my vision isn’t too bad. Yet.

Then I stumbled upon my savior — Nordstrom! They have a great selection of very modern, stylish frames at somewhat-reasonable prices ($58-$68). Yes, I know (as my mother pointed out) that you can get readers for $10 at Big Lots. But I was more than willing to pay a bit more to feel like I hadn’t lost my dignity. Or all my youth.

Yes, it’s vanity, and even a bit of denial. But I felt like I’d turned a defeat into something of a treat. And sometimes that’s what we need when our bodies out-age our minds.

A few shopping tips:

  • Avoid the granny look by going for full-size frames as opposed to the traditional half-frame versions. 
  • Statement frames can make you look — and feel — more confident. Own the look, and your glasses. Trying to hide the fact that you need reading glasses only erodes your self-esteem.
  • The frames should be wide enough to cover the full width of your face at the temples. Too-narrow styles are unflattering and the tightness will pinch.
  • Look for frames that don’t extend too far below your eye or you’ll end up magnifying fine lines and under-eye bags.
  • Trying on multiple pairs can give you a headache. I suggest selecting all the frames you like (without trying them on) first, and then moving close to the mirror and trying them all on in succession to see how they look. This prevents you from shifting your focus too often.
  • If you’re not sure of the magnification power you need, bring a book or printed document with you to test out the various strengths.
    Corinne McCormack $62

    Corinne McCormack $62

    Corinne McCormack $62

    Corinne McCormack $62

    I-Line $58


Kate Spade $68

Kate Spade $68

Kate Spade $68

Kate Spade $68

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