Cheaters! There’s a whole new meaning to cheaters!

Leave it to the egos of we Baby Boomers to come up with the phrase progressive lenses.

Who are we kidding? Our parents called them bifocals; I call them ‘need glasses for everything.’

A long time contact lens wearer for distance only, I’m now at that awkward phase of needing help to see stop signs and street signs and once I’m wearing that help, I can’t read a thing. Unless I have other help. This negates the convenience of contact lenses somewhat, since I now need to have perched (purched?) on my nose a pair of reading glasses.

The prescription can’t keep up with the downhill slide of my eye balls so, like most other people my age, I’ve taken to ‘cheaters.’

You get cheaters at the drug store near the pharmacist. For about $20 you can buy thin ones, thick ones, ones that fold up and unfold, ones that fit in sleek little cases. That’s all very good but one pair is not enough.

I need a pair in the bathroom (for makeup). I need a pair or two in the car. In my knitting basket. A few pair at my desk. (these have retractable legs that extend themselves and leap off the desk and run away at least twice daily) I need a pair in each of my briefcases. Yes, I have a number of briefcases in different colours. I’ll write about my favourite briefcase one day, just you wait. I keep a pair in my daytimer. I used to have a thin blue metal case that fiti nicely into my daytimer, but it too has stretched its legs!

So you can imagine how excited I was to see cheaters on the pegboard hook at the ‘dollar’ store. $1 for a pair of cheaters in a plastic tube case. Perfect. I’m wearing 2.5 strength these days so happily picked up 15 pair. And I congratulated myself at my thriftiness.

Fifteen pair of 2.5 strength cheaters. I couldn’t wait!

I got them home and started removing them from the blister packs. 2.5 strength it said on the blister packs. As I developed the little pile of grey cases, I noticed the sticky tag on the top of the case… 2. Not 2.5. But 2. Hmmm.

The glasses nestled in their own little indentations in the blister packs… and there were sticky tags on them, too. 2 on the right lens. 1.75 on the left.

Now the imagination leaps here and I envision manufacturing lines run amok… blister packs getting stamped and merging with the wrong assembly belt, marrying up conflicting product with labelling. And then? And then? There are the little lens lines, lefts and rights, all merrily getting heated, formed and pressed into shape, all trundling along, ready to meet their case and their blister pack. But no! No! You aren’t my mate! I’m a 1.75 and I’m supposed to meet another 1.75. And who the heck is this grey 2? Oh no, I’m now in a set of frames like this and I’m getting hot stamped into a blister pack that’s lying about me… completely lying. A 2.5? C’mon now!

And so it goes… my ‘deal’ is truly a cheater! Guess that’s why they ended up in a dollar store.

It doesn’t matter anyway. This morning I put my expensive ‘cheaters’ on and ended up grabbing a magnifying glass to decipher a label for ingredients. I’ve reached the stage where threading a needle is just a dream. I ashamed to say this but I used to laugh at my mother when she called me to thread a sewing machine needle. And, of course, what goes around, comes around. I’m now getting laughed at for the same request.

Apologies to Mom.

And so, and so… looks like full time spectacles are about to hit my face! But being able to truly see will be a blessing.

Anyone need a few sets of interesting cheaters? Going cheap. Very, very cheap.