Sometimes I really hate being me.
Most of the time, I'm okay with it. I feel like I probably could have done worse, in the grand scheme of things, than being me. But one thing I really can't stand is that I am just horrendously absent-minded. No need to blame "old age" here, either--I've been this way for as long as I can remember, even though my memory is kind of crappy from being so absent-minded.
The way my absent-mindedness manifests itself most, and worst, is in my constant losing of things, or forgetting where I put things. Over the years, after much drama and angst, I have devised (mostly) fail-safe systems for certain crucial items, like my keys, which hang on a special key-holder thing by our front door. (This did not stop me, however, from losing the keys to my brand-new motorcycle awhile back.) My wallet, too, is now mostly safe from my dunderheadedness, though the fact that I'm typing this now is probably not a really good idea.
But as my wife and kid can tell you, I am the worst, by far, when it comes to glasses. I don't know what it is. It's like some kind of gypsy curse, or maybe a deep-rooted psychological desire to be blind. My inability to hold on to sunglasses is beyond laughable. At this point in my life, I just go to the 99 cent store, and buy multiple pairs at once, with the full knowledge and acceptance that if I can make four pairs last a month, I'm doing well. That's no exaggeration. I'm just terrible. I can't even tell you where they all are. Probably where all those stranded socks are. In Narnia! I set them down everywhere---apparently. Or maybe there's just some guy following me around all the time with 400 pairs of sunglasses to his name thanks to me. If so, and if you're reading this: You're welcome!
It's less funny, though, by far, when it comes to my prescription glasses.
My eyes, to put it in scientific terms, blow chunks. I'm not just nearsighted like your garden variety nerd. Oh, no. That'd be too easy. Instead, I have some kind of weird, unclassifiable issue that manifests itself in a form of double-vision, and which can at times make me look cross-eyed or lazy-eyed or just kind of stupid-looking. (The drool and coloring books probably don't help.) For better or worse, this is only a problem with my up-close vision: talking to people, reading, using the computer. For distance, I'm your standard near-blind guy with the coke-bottle lenses--always a hit with the ladies.
So here's how I have to deal with things. For distance, I wear regular contact lenses. I used to lose these all the time, too, and drop them and rip them (remind me to tell y'all the story of being lost in the middle of nowhere in Germany in 1984 with only one contact lens, which I then ripped, had to take out of my eye, and then keep wet by carrying in my mouth while walking nearly blind for five miles. Actually I guess I just told you.) But with the advent of disposable lenses, that's not really a problem anymore.
So I wear contacts all day long. But in order to read or use the PC or talk to people without looking like a crosseyed dimwit, I need to wear my "reading glasses", which have big-ass prisms built in to help correct the problem. They are awesome. They are also horrifically expensive. You see where this story is going?
So, yeah. I need to carry around my reading glasses all the time when I'm awake, to put on and take off whenever I need to read something or interact up close with anyone. And for an absent-minded guy like me, this is just a logistical nightmare. For awhile, I was doing the lanyard/braid over my head thing, even though it made me feel and look even older than I already am. And truthfully I should probably go back to that method. But that has its own problems, too, and gets annoying if it's a situation where they need to be off for long periods and I'm out in public and they're kinda flailing around. I don't carry a man-purse or murse or whatever they're called, which might help, but, then, I'd just lose that too. I *do* carry a backpack around a lot of the time, but, then that's not quite convenient enough access when I need to do a quick read of something.
So more often than not, I default to the easiest way out: I stick them in my shirt pocket. Those wondering why I usually wear button-down shirts over t-shirts, this is why. So I have a glasses pocket. Most of the time, this works just fine. It may not be the best for the lenses, but, for the most part, it makes me feel the most secure: they're right there, and I am constantly, semi-consciously patting my pocket all day to make sure they're there. The downside, though, is that they are prone to fall out, if I bend over, or take my sweater off in a haphazard manner....or any other number of scenarios.
And one of these scenarios, or maybe something entirely different--I don't really know-- happened on Friday night, and I am now without my reading glasses once again, glasses that cost $400 and that I just got three weeks ago, replacing the last pair (which I wrecked, but didn't lose.) I've done all the requisite quadruple-checking in every likely place, and these things are apparently gone, gone, gone, baby. Who knows? Maybe they flew out of my pocket on the motorcycle Friday night. Maybe I set them down while grabbing a handful of chips at the Sims TGIF. Maybe they're in Narnia. All I know is, I am without those glasses and am utterly frustrated with myself, again. Seriously, Jeff--again??
I will replace them. And I have cheapo backups that will get me by. And life will go on. And in the grand scheme of things, I guess I do mostly well at this whole "living" thing. But good grief do I get tired of being me sometimes. This is one of those times.