I guess buying progressive lens glasses means I’ve finally succumbed to middle age. They arrived in the mail yesterday. When I think of myself as middle aged, I’m hit by a wave of disbelief while simultaneously hearing Woody Allen’s voice from I don’t remember which movie saying something like “you call yourself middle aged…how long do you expect to live?” At this point I’m working on the 100 and teens. I fully understanding the meaning of ambivalence.

The purchase was by chance when we ducked into Urban Outfitters in the Upper West Side to kill time before a dinner reservation. It was a weekend visit that apparently included buying expensive glasses after photographing flowers in Central Park. In Urban Outfitters I discovered a glasses kiosk with super cool glasses and an even cooler salesman who effortless sold me a pair of trendy glasses in the 20 minutes we had before our reservation. “We have Urban Outfitters in Pennsylvania’ was the only weak objection I raised to his nearly invisible sales pitch. Of course the glasses stand is “a NYC only thing, not part of the store and we ship worldwide (Italy and Nepal he said)” as I pulled out my AMEX card and let him measure my face.

Coincidentally I also had an eye doctor appointment the following Monday so I guess the purchase was not entirely by chance. For several years I’ve worn Costco 3 in a pack for $19 readers dangling from the end of my nose. The look is reminiscent of Mark Shields, the columnist who provides the liberal counterpoint to David Brooks on PBS. Or Howard Fineman. Two liberal thinkers who look smart in their middle age, which is how I’ve imagined myself when looking over the top of my glasses at earnest 30 year olds while explaining the plan to sell their home. Alternatively, I’ve wondered if they are thinking “what are we doing working with this woman who’s our moms’ age”

So this morning I’m learning the process of isolating the band of glass that fits my gaze. Moving my head rather than my eyes is an unnatural challenge. I’ve been told the adaptation period is short. I’m skeptical. I’ve been working hard trying to get the hang of it, simultaneously willing away the creeping migraine trying to access my brain. We’ll see who wins. The important thing is these glasses look cool, even “sort of edgy” according to my assistant, and I cling to this as I move my head around like C-3PO, trying to get everything in focus.

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