She handed me her reading glasses and said, "Try these."
I told her several times, "Trust me, these aren't going to help," but she continued to encourage me to just try them so I did.
Lo and behold!!! I could read! I could read the words as clear as if I were sitting in the ophthalmologist's chair, you know, when the one is better than the two and the three is better than the four. Oh, for a bookworm, this was as close to a miracle as me attempting yard work, getting pricked by something sharp through my thick gloves and not dying from it (if you read my previous post, you'd know I don't do yard work).
Okay, so I'm fairly young and the idea of wearing reading glasses made me feel... well, resignation. I'm not sure I would've come home after the holiday and bought a pair of reading glasses, even if they did make reading possible. I just wasn't there yet, you know? Buying reading glasses was like saying, "I'm old." Just don't think I woulda, but when I opened my sister's Christmas gift, neatly tucked in a box full of goodies were a pair of zebra printed reading glasses in a zebra printed carrying case.
Zebra print. My sister knows me well. After my mission trip and safari in Kenya, I am in love with everything African. It was such a magical time for me. The mission part was magical, too, but the safari! The animals were migrating and there were thousands of zebras and elephants and giraffes and topis and wildebeests and a bazillion more animal species. Seeing the world just as God created it, with a lioness hunting gazelles and vultures cleaning up the mess, with elephant herds protecting their young from our vehicles and the hilarious snorting sounds the hippos make while bathing themselves in the rivers. Just magical. I felt God in that place. All over Africa, really, I felt God's presence. So naturally, I was only too happy to wear my stylish zebra reading glasses!
I have since come to love reading glasses and even recently bought another pair. I was at the book store and forgot to bring my zebra readers. The clerk was going to let me borrow a pair while I was browsing, but the beautifully marbled purples and blues and greens that framed them left me reluctant to let them go. I'm wearing them now as I type this.
So folks, don't think of reading glasses as the end of your youth. Instead, think of them as just another way to look cool. Reading glasses are just another way to express the colorful you that the world doesn't always see. AND, with your fashionable readers, now you'll be able to see the world in the words you can once again read.
(A friend took this photo at a writer's get-together held a few days after I wrote the above post. I was preparing to read the story I wrote to the group. We all later read some of our work at our local library two days later. You can read my story here on my blog.)