Ode To Dollar Readers


Around the time I turned 40, I noticed that it was easier to read a large print book at night rather than one with regular print.   I thought “my eyes are just a little tired”.  In my mid 40’s I bought some Dollar Store Readers (1.25 strength) for my eyes that seemed tired a little more often but, of course, I really didn’t need them.

In my late 40’s, with my Dollar Reader strength up to 1.5, I often found myself in a desperate search for them as they were everywhere but where I had left them.   Finally I found the solution:  Buy five pairs at a time.  I still had trouble finding them because with so many pairs, I could leave them in the car, the barn, my pockets…………well, you get the idea.  I also seemed to have a hard time keeping them in one piece.  It was not that unusual at this point to see me running around with a pair of cock eyed Dollar Readers that had lost one of its ear pieces. I figured “why throw away a perfectly good pair of glasses” but if a lens fell out I ditched them. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Around 50 I tried contact lenses because I was tired of not being able to find my Dollar Readers that I was still not convinced I  really need to wear.  Against all odds I figured out how to get the darn things in but they didn’t work as well as I expected.  My close up vision needed some “help” but my distance vision was fine.  The lenses made everything weird which I realized in somewhat of a traumatic fashion while driving in six lanes of traffic on Connecticut’s Interstate 91. So, I was back to my Dollar Readers, now at 1.75.

You might wonder why the struggle?  I don’t know but it is not unique to me.  One of our pastors has the same struggle.  He drapes his readers on his nose, hangs them on his shirt and has confessed from the pulpit he can’t see without them yet he always has some crazy story about something he has done while he was not wearing his glasses.   Oh sure, I’ve sent a few texts while not wearing my Dollar Readers that had a couple wrong words –an email or to the wrong person.  So shoot me, anyone can make a mistake—I can see –fairly well without those glasses……………………………..

While preparing for a recent trip to my mother’s I was packing my quart sized zip lock required by the airline with miniature toiletries:  shampoo, conditioner, make up, deodorant, chap stick, lotions—oh and I think I’ll through this in—a small bottle of blue green mouth wash looking stuff.  Of course I wasn’t wearing my trusty Readers but I’d done this so many times I felt like I could do it with my eyes closed.

On the 4th day at Mom’s, we were off early to a church breakfast and I noticed Mom brushing her teeth.  Hmmm-thought I—I have that mouthwash in my room.  Off I went to grab my mouthwash stash for a quick freshen.  I went in the kitchen, took off the top and took a minty whiff of the stuff.  That ought to do it.  I took off the top, leaned my head back —————I thought it was a little funny that it didn’t come out so I squeezed the bottle and sure enough it dripped in my mouth.

I closed my mouth getting ready to swish when I began to have some serious concerns.  Though it was minty fresh, there was something seriously wrong and then I had a terrible thought.  “What if this is not mouth wash???  What if it something else???????? Like—–oh no”

I made a dash for the bedroom to get the container and my Dollar Readers.  As I looked frantically (because I can never find the darn things when I need them) a hyper vigilant effort not to let one molecule of that stuff go any further down my throat was launched simultaneously with  an all-points bulletin on the lookout for swelling, itching, or anything else unusual.  I grabbed the bottle and my readers and could not believe my eyes as they read (in capital letters) HAND SANITISER.

I scanned the bottle for poisoning instructions and rushed back to the kitchen where I rinsed and rinsed that stuff (UCK) out of my mouth.  Then, passing Mom nonchalantly, I hurried to the bath room where I brushed my tongue and anything else I could reach.  In the privacy of the bathroom, I look at myself in the mirror donned with my Dollar Readers on and grinned thinking,

“No one ever needs to know”.


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