Vanity Unfair

eyeglasses“Not to be vain” I said to my daughter, “but have I always had circles under my eyes?”

“We all have circles under our eyes,” she said. I wasn’t sure whether she meant “all” as in everyone in our family or as in all of humankind. No matter.

Since my cataract surgery three months ago I have been getting used to what I refer to as my new eyes — actually, just new lens implants. Also to my face without glasses. The eye doctor urged me to try not to use my reading glasses but I still need them for newsprint and the smart phone. The daughter gave me a cord for hanging them around my neck, and I gave her grief for thinking I needed such an “old lady” accessory. “But this one is leather,” she said. “It’s not one with pearls or little beads.”

In truth, it’s quite handy, plus there’s no reason to bother with jewelry when you’ve got a pair of glasses hanging from your neck. They go with everything.

I find it especially useful in the supermarket where, without glasses, I can get my hand on our preferred brand of coffee. But then I need the glasses to be sure it’s whole beans, not ground, and regular tasting, not — heaven forbid — one of those awful flavored ones. So as I make my way up and down the market’s aisles, the glasses go up and down as well. When they go down I think, “I’ll bet people think I’m too vain to wear my glasses.” That’s what I used to think about other people. So far I’ve resisted the urge to periodically announce to anyone within earshot that this activity is born of necessity, not vanity.

However, when I mentioned to a friend my newly discovered under-eye circles, she sent this observation: “The circle under the eye camouflage has been one of my main reasons for wearing glasses for years. Forget the vision; let’s get to the important things!”

“Maybe,” I wrote back, “that’s why people wear those tinted glasses. Also sunglasses inside.”

Never too old for vanity.

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