Most Lost Eyeglasses Are Found by
25
(35 Stories)

Prompted By The Eyes Have It

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My big eye-news is my cataract surgery (I was going to say my “recent” cataract surgery, but lo and behold the time has flown by since the laser beamed me last August, flipping enough pages off the calendar to take the event out of the range of “recent”, although I acknowledge some things remain “recent” for years if not forever).

My small eye-news is my continuing search for my glasses, my multiple pairs of glasses, reading glasses, computer glasses, distance glasses, the sunglass attachment to my distance glasses, and bi-focals which I don’t like but resort to in a pinch, all of them adept at getting lost.

Almost all are found, often after long and frustrating searches, searches that preempt the day, wild goose searches, compulsive searches, trash barrel searches, return to the parking garage stairway searches, pulling apart the couch searches, screaming at everybody else searches.

Sometimes they’re not found until shortly after I’ve ordered a replacement pair, and sometimes not until I step on them (see Featured Image).  But one way or another, sooner or later, most are found, but not the pair of distance glasses that I wore on my drive to my shrink appointment early one snowy winter morning a few years back.  I parked in the designated spot, walked the snow-covered walkway to the shrink door, entered and got shrunk, then walked back to my car and buckled up.

I reached into my parka pockets for my glasses for the drive home.  Not there. And not in my zipper vest pockets, my pants pockets, or my shirt breast pocket.  Not under the seat, under the other seat, in the console, in the glove compartment. I got out of the car and looked around and under it. I retraced my steps to the shrink door, and looked all around the door area.  I surveyed the surrounding snow-covered lawn area.  I rechecked my pockets.  I re-checked my memory, which was already making up stories of when the glasses were last seen.

Then I bit the bullet and re-entered the shrink door.

“Hello,” I said loudly.  “It’s me, Jonathan, again.”

He poked his head out from his inner office, with an expressive raised eyebrow.  I explained.  He said he hadn’t seen them.  I asked if I might look in the waiting room where I had waited, and under the chair in his inner office where I had sat (in his earlier office, going back into the dim recesses of primordial time, he had a big Freudian-style leather couch which with his assent, or possibly under the auspices of another of his expressive raised eyebrows, I once laid upon to see how it felt, not unlike Goldilocks testing the bears’ beds for comfort; it was not comfortable to me, but possibly it would have provided comfort in the fullness of time, like if Goldilocks had only one uncomfortable bed to sleep in, and adjusted to it).

I crawled around the floor of his waiting room and looked under the pile of his New York Review of Books, and into the pot of his yucca tree. I grew frenetic. I wondered (to myself) where he might have hid my glasses.  I set back my therapeutic progress by months, if not longer, which is the kind of damage a pair of lost glasses will cause.

No glasses found there.

“Thank you, doctor,” I said via my own expressive raised eyebrow, accented by genuflection.  I went back outside.

Once out, I breathed deeply of the cold air, and micro-inspected the walkway from the shrink door to my car, with particular attention to irregularities in the snow cover. After a while, cold and concerned that I might be observed turning circles and seeming to drift, every neighbor’s concern if a shrink lives next door, I quit the search, and drove home, harboring the remote hope that the glasses did not leave home with me, and were snugly at home awaiting my return.

The glasses were never seen again.

“Thank you, doctor,” I said via my own expressive raised eyebrow, accented by genuflection.  I went back outside.
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Here is what I said about myself on the back page of my 2020 humor/drama/politico novel "The Debutante (and the Bomb Factory)" (edited here, for clarity):

"Jonathan Canter Is a retIred attorney; widower; devoted father and grandfather (sounds like my obit); lifelong resident of Greater Boston; graduate of Harvard College (where he was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon); fan of waves and wolves; sporadic writer of dry and sometimes dark humor (see "Lucky Leonardo" (Sourcebooks, 2004), funny to the edge of tears); gamesman (see "A Crapshooter’s Companion"(2019), existential thriller and life manual); and part-time student of various ephemeral things."

The Deb and Lucky are available on Amazon. The Crapshooter is available by request to the author in exchange for a dinner invitation.






Characterizations: been there, funny, well written

Comments

  1. Ah Jonathan, the perennial search for the eyeglasses. I remember thinking how moronic my parents sounded always walking around asking, Has anyone seen my glasses?

    Now of course I’m the moron, but I think I’ve solved the problem – it’s those lanyard things you attach to the earpieces and wear around your neck. Although truth be told I’ve been known to lose the glasses AND the lanyard thing.

    (But of course there are worse things to lose like your car keys … or your mind!)

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great description of the hunt, Jon. Perhaps you do enjoy it.

    Back in my VERY near-sighted days, I had wire frames which were small and difficult to see. I remember taking them off once to pluck my eyebrows, just laying them on my dorm room bed beside me. I knew they were close by, yet I groped around for sometime before I could find them. But that had more to do with my poor vision and their lack of being visible. Still – it is a frustrating situation.

    • Yes, the perfect storm of lost eyeglasses 👓 is losing them and then being unable to see to find them. More generally, thinking about eyeglasses opens a big book of metaphorical opportunities, seeing, not seeing, opaquely seeing (through a glass darkly), etc. I take it from your comment that you have taken control of your runaway eyeglasses.

  3. Marian says:

    I can relate, Jon, having reading glasses, computer glasses, distance glasses, and prescription sunglasses. The frame are light colored, which makes it worse. My nightmare was having my brand new glasses fall out of my pocket at the grocery store, never to be seen again.

    • I’ve recovered lost glasses from a supermarket: there they were, sitting in a tray with other lost glasses, like dogs at the pound hoping to be found by their people and brought home (no questions asked). “Welcome back, old friend,” I said. “Looks like I might have to affix an electronic ID on your collar for the future…”

  4. Dave Ventre says:

    I have to be careful to not place my glasses on surfaces where I will then place some heavy object, or myself, on top of them!

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Your story is a familiar one for me. My husband, who happens to be a shrink, can always find my glasses once I have given up in despair. He even found a lens that had popped out of my driving glasses on the floor of our garage. I have no idea how long it was there and must have driven without it for a while. The top of my head is a favorite spot!

    • Sounds like your husband has a back-up career, as an Eyeglass Whisperer.
      Looking for one’s glasses when they are on the bridge of one’s nose is akin to looking for one’s IPhone when one is talking into it. Embarrassing, but age appropriate.

  6. Suzy says:

    Jon, your story is wonderful, exceeded only by your hilarious replies to everyone’s comments. I tried to think of a comment that would elicit an amazing reply, and I am stumped. But I do want to know — do you still need those elusive glasses even after your cataract surgery? I’m so happy that I don’t any more.

    • Suzy,
      The cataract in my right eye was far more invasive than the not-ready-for surgery one in my left; my opthomologist surmised that the disparity was due to old trauma to the eye muscles and I supplied an anecdote to support his theory, recalling the only other time I was at Mass Eye and Ear which was because I had taken a squash racket to my eye, stupidly (young and stupid) not wearing goggles. The doc said the eye muscles don’t bounce back after trauma. Which is a long way of saying “yes” I needed glasses after the one eye surgery because the undecataracted eye still needed them (there’s also this thing that the surgery will only fix distance or close, but not both, but that could be its own prompt). Thanks for liking my story.

  7. Khati Hendry says:

    I enjoyed your oh-so-familiar and amusing description of the searches, not to mention the raised eyebrows and detour to Goldilocks. Well written and close to home.

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