What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

old eyeglasses

on April 13, 2014

When you were nine years old, your teacher noticed you were squinting to see what she wrote on the chalkboard. Bespectacled herself, she suggested to your parents that perhaps your sight should be checked. You didn’t mind; it didn’t hurt; it only involved more squinting. But the eye doctor said you had profound astigmatism and needed glasses. They were expensive, your parents warned. You’d have to take very good care of them. Solemnly you swore you would.

The glasses (with plastic lens blanks and the black, slightly flexible frames the optometrist recommended for an active kid) brought the world into a completely unexpected and wonderful focus. For a week or so they were your fascinating new friend. Then the lenses and frames simply became one with your body-self. You hardly thought of them again till a block thrown in a backyard ball game caught you in the face and your glasses split in two at the bridge. Ow, Dad was so unhappy. But he didn’t have to wear them taped together for days till a replacement could be shipped.

When you were eleven, your head had grown enough that you needed a new pair. What should you do with the old ones (now very scratched, despite good intentions to treat them as a fragile, precious fabrication)? Why, keep them in a drawer for a spare, of course, against the dreadful chance you might break the new ones. (Which would happen, more than once. Sigh.)

And for decades after that, every time you changed glasses, you kept the old ones, because life without glasses, even for a few days, was unthinkable. A battered old pair with a prescription so wrong it gave you a headache was better than no correction at all, no familiar frame about the world sitting on your nose.

Sometimes, looking for some other object, you run across those old pairs that have become very odd ends. Smiling, you think, I have to do something with those someday … doesn’t some service organization collect and process the parts for re-use by people who can’t afford glasses otherwise?

Blueberry says, "They're my color, but not my style."

Blueberry says, “They’re my color, but not my style.”

Indeed, the Lions Club International does. The eye care practice I use provides a collection box. So, with gratitude, old eyeglasses are what both Nimue and I shed today.

shedding style: give away, re-use
destination: Lions Club eyewear collection

Comments welcome … should you prescribe a correction for any of your saving habits?

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