Backstory info dump: I’ve worn glasses since I was a little girl. Maybe six or seven? I don’t remember when I got my first pair, although I do remember two things very clearly. 1) I could read words written on the chalkboard at school (I’m chalkboard-years-old) and finally figured out how my classmates knew things I didn’t. And 2) I felt very much like Mr. Magoo for the first few days. (I’m also I-know-who-Mr. Magoo-is years old.)
But I got used to them and, over the years, they just became part of my face. I’ve never considered contact lenses because I wasn’t a very responsible kid and I’m not really faring any better as an adult. They seem like a lot of work. And there are dusty days on the ATVs when, despite my face shield, my eyes are red and gritty from the dust and my tear ducts are packed with mud. I’m not sure that’s a contacts-friendly activity.
In January of 2008, I got my first pair of the glasses that magically tint when the sun hits them. I think because glasses had been part of my face for so long, I was super sensitive to the tinting and felt something akin to motion sickness as they changed for the first few days. Several years ago, when I turned bifocals-years-old, I stayed with the magic tint. (I forget the actual word for them. UV something something.) But I also bought a spare pair without the tint for head shots outdoors in natural lighting. (Which are still on my to do list.)
The tinting in the sun is something I haven’t given any thought to since the first pair, once I stopped feeling swimmy when they’d darken. Occasionally I’d see a picture taken outside and realize it looks like I’m wearing sunglasses, even though they didn’t look different to me.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with my glasses. I can never get them clean and parts of them seemed blurry or smudged. (I don’t care what the lady at Lenscrafter said, the new anti-glare coatings attract the oils from your skin—fingers, cheek, taking it off your freaking eyelashes—like crazy.) Yesterday I decided to put on the spare pair while giving my glasses a thorough cleaning.
Yeah, there’s no cleaning that. I know I’m well overdue for an eye exam/new lenses, but I didn’t realize how overdue. (And I’m sure cleaning the dust off with the hem of my shirt while four-wheeling doesn’t help.) The coatings are pretty much gone and I seem to be grinding them into a whole new prescription. You’d think since I can’t even tell my own kid from some other kid when I’m in the same room without them, I’d be better at taking care of them. (See again: why Shannon doesn’t just wear contacts.)
So now I’m wearing the backup pair, which seemed fine despite being so very clear my eyes couldn’t cope and I got a headache. Then I went outside this morning with Taz.
And the snow glare pierced my skull like a blast of lightning from Thor. Picture me staggering around a yard full of snow reflecting the brilliant sun at me like a mirror, with my eyes closed and my hand over my eyes while pain throbbed between my eyebrows.
My pupils were all “eh, the glasses got this” and the glasses didn’t have that.
I can’t go outside. 😂
Oh, I feel you pain on this. SO SO SO much. I do wear contacts, it’s a little dusty on the ATV, but I carry drops. I rarely wear glasses, but I don’t get any of the coatings because they get splotchy, and like you, I use the hem of my shirt to clean them
I’ve had the Transitions lenses for more years that I can remember. But I do remember when my current-at-the-time pair had a problem and I wore an older pair of glasses without the Transitions lenses. I had the same kind of shock you describe. The lenses change so that you don’t even notice but boy did I notice when I didn’t have those lenses on.
We must be of a similar age (although I think I have at least a few years on you). I got my first pair of glasses in the first grade but I don’t actually remember that it was noticeably better to read the chalkboard – but I’m sure it was. I also remember Mr. Magoo. Funny story…my homeroom teacher in 7th grade was Mr. Mague – pronounced “Ma gu.” He didn’t like it much when the kids called him Mr. Magoo.
I got glasses for the first time back in high school as I couldn’t see the blackboard (I am also chalkboard-years-old). I can’t remember when I first got contact, but I wore glasses exclusively for a few years. I remember when transitions lenses took 5 minutes or more to lighten back up. Nothing like coming inside and having to decide between (a) you can’t see because it’s so dark or (b) you can’t see because you have to take your glasses off.
My vision has gotten bad, so I’m grateful for the advances in contacts as I see much better with them than I do glasses. I have a pair of back-up glasses in case things go wrong and I can’t wear my contacts. They have no transitions and I agree going outside with them is headache-inducing.
Glasses are so pricey I haven’t updated my backup pair in years because even paying extra for thin lenses they are still really think and I can’t usually get the pretty frames. But once you add in all the coatings for this and that…
Agree that anti-glare coating is a fingerprint magnet. I don’t care what “they” say.