By Bob Niles
“Honey where are my glasses!?” I accuse and ask the wife simultaneously. Knowing she’d moved them or hoping she’d seen them as I blindly search in vain for my visual aids to an ever increasing touch screen world.
“Use mine they’re on the kitchen counter!”
I hate that,… using other peoples glasses. It’s that whole washing behind your ears and eyebrows and hair and stuff. Or perhaps they chewed on the ends of them like some slobbery sexy librarian? Other people have no problem borrowing your glasses, talking on your cell phone that you’ve spit all over, and writing with your pencil that you’ve hungrily ate the eraser and the top two inches off. Not me! No thank you!
“Oh here they are” I lie, to cover my phobia that she doesn’t think I shouldn’t have because it draws her kisses into question.
I now hunt for my glasses covertly and in silence. I start down the stairs…forget what I’m doing or looking for until my phone jingle buzzes to let me know I have a text. I reach for the phone and then remember what I was doing as I look at the screen. “I need my glasses!”
“You said you found them” shouts the house from somewhere.
Dang too loud, gotta remember she can still hear.
Never in the course of history has humankind been so needy of quality visual aids. Because everything you do now has some sort of screen that requires you to have vision equal to that of a young eagle. And my vision started to fail just as everything started requiring video screens. And what’s bad about it all is I don’t need glasses for most things. So rather than wear them all the time, I leave them all over the house so I can curse and fume for them later.
I only need glasses to read, or if I’m curious about something. I drive the car without glasses! And, as they say, if you don’t like the way I drive stay out of the kitchen.
I have an HD TV and without my glasses on it’s just like the TV I had as a kid with rabbit ears. My dad had heard that rabbit ears improved TV reception. But no matter how many rabbits he killed the TV still had a fuzzy screen. And top!
I don’t need my glasses to watch Walter Cronkite (I think its Walter) every night on the news to keep up with current events. I watch a retro channel for entertainment, as I remember what all the stars looked like in the 60 and 70s. And now with my memory, as good as it is, they’ve started writing new shows again.
It’s just the new things in my life that trouble me. Everything digital! And everything’s digital! I can’t make popcorn in the microwave or coffee in the 12 cup drip without hunting the house first. It’s hunting,…then stopping trying to remember what I’m doing,..remember,…then hunting some more for the glasses before you forget again!
And it’s not just at home that you need your glasses. The whole world has now replaced humans for touch screens in everything we do. This morning I went to the bank to withdraw $100 bucks. The teller line up was so long (because there was only 2 tellers) I used the cash machine. Forget my glasses, and had to ask the nice skinhead (or he was wearing a nylon stocking?) man to punch in my password and withdraw $100 dollars for me. But he only gave me $60, saying the machine said that’s all I could get before lunch.
After that I went to buy a bag of groceries. It came to $78.54, and now have to use my bank card as my $60 won’t cover it. I then realize the nice man back at the bank forgot to give me back my Debit card so I have to use my Visa Card. I hand,….(can’t read her name tag) a girl, (I think) my card, and she points at a box with a keypad. I have no idea what the little grey box, that I’m suppose to put my card in, wants of me. Why can’t I just sign a big blank line like I use to!? (I do a lot of !? !? !? As I get older) Thank goodness the check out girl remembered my number from last time I was there.
On the way home I stop for gas but my card won’t work in the pumps! And I don’t know why. The machine knows why. It’s printed me a lot of information on its video screen to,… I guess explain why. But, I have no glasses!
I try blocking the sun from the video screen with my head and hand trying to ascertain why I can’t get gas. I’m moving from side to side, up and down saluting the gas pump as I verbally abuse it.
“Here borrow mine” says the guy on the pump beside me as he hands me his glasses.
Awkward……..are people this quick lending their toothbrushes? “Oh silly me! These special sunglasses I have on have a button I just need to push.” I lie as I remove my James Bond glasses and pretend to push some magical button. “Ah there we go. Oops says its rejected. Guess I’m poor. Well gotta go!” So off I drive on gas fumes wearing my James Bond shades with no idea why my card was rejected.
Hey isn’t that the nice skinhead from the bank coming out of the liquor store? Can’t be. He couldn’t afford a whole shopping cart full of booze.
I drive to the next corner while thinking I should of asked him about my Debit card. It’s there I cross four lanes of traffic and a big bump which I guess was the median to another gas station. I forgot I had $60 bucks!
“Home honey I’m high!” I joke as close the back door. I place car keys and hat on expecting hooks that through experience have been real timesavers.
“I’m not sure if he purchased a trip for two to Bora Bora. Let me ask him, he just came through the door.” my wife says then places her right hand over the receiver.
I mouth the word ‘NO’ as I turn my head in a negative fashion as my glasses fall from atop my noggin.
“Yes go ahead and cancel the card blah blah blah blah no I’m sure it wasn’t stolen, he’s not beat up. But he soon will be!” she assures the phone as she makes a slashing motion across her throat and then points at me.
Well, found my glasses. They were under my hat the whole time. Yet another story about getting old you plan to keep to yourself. More and more these crazy stories fill your life with all the old people things we do.”Let me get my glasses and a pen to write that down” she says into the phone as she reaches in the mug with the broken handle for a pen then gives me the universal sign to hand over my glasses. Then again…..and again. Fingers opening and closing.
I hand her my glasses as a child would hand over candy he was caught with. Hesitant and crying.
” What’s your problem? They’re mine anyway! Yours are in the bathroom.” she’s says. “You took mine off the kitchen counter by mistake trying to read a text on your phone! And I had to use yours to…..just you never mind what I had to use yours for.”
My mind runs wild with the things my glasses might of been used for or had seen in the bathroom. Now I’ve got to boil them without her seeing! She thinks I don’t love her when I boil my things after she uses them.
Interrupted, my pants vibrate and do a ring buzz as I search for which pocket the phones in. Dang, it’s a text! Where did she say she put my glasses? Here we go again! I hate glasses!
Author Bob Niles is an adoring grandfather who loves to share humorous stories about his amazing grandkids