Recently, I began to notice that purveyors of print material and packaging designers have started using much smaller fonts than they used to. This annoyed me, as any consumer study will clearly show that people don’t like to have to squint to make out instructions, recipes, and article content.
One evening, as I was trying to read a major national newspaper, I made an offhand comment to Joel about this disturbing trend.
“I don’t get it. Is there some kind of new research that shows people retain information better if they have to struggle to read the tiny print? I mean, what’s the point of making media harder for the consumer to access?”
After struggling for weeks, I finally had to start wearing reading glasses to make up for these incredibly poor presentation choices on the part of modern media. I’m sheepish about this, because my much older husband has worn reading glasses for years, and, let’s just say, I haven’t been as magnanimous as I should have been during verbal repartee.
Joel though has been much kinder about my glasses than I have been about his. For example, he says I look intellectual - like an attractive librarian - in them. I assumed he was just saying this to get out of our latest home improvement project, but then I noticed that glasses do make me look younger. The lower rims rest in the crevasses formed by my deep, dark circles, hiding them better than the most expensive concealers I’ve ever tried. The only thing that I’ve ever actually concealed using those was how much I paid for them.
Throughout my glory days (when Joel had to wear reading glasses and I did not), I was often frustrated by how many pairs of glasses Joel either broke or lost. There wasn’t a trip to the store that didn’t feature a stop in the optical care section. I wouldn’t have minded the purchases so much, had he been expanding his glasses wardrobe. But all he was doing was buying another boring pair of black-rimmed 2.5 magnification, spectacles to replace the ones he sat on the day before.
As long as I had to adopt another accessory, I figured might as well live it up. Embracing one’s flaws has been a tenet of my philosophy for some time. In that spirit, I launched my glasses-wearing tenure with pizzazz. I discovered that a person can find just about any shape and color of reading glasses online. As listeners know, I am a lover of all things vintage, so my first purchase in the way of eyeglasses was a pair of wire-rimmed, round spectacles. I had imagined that these would make me look like a sophisticated, yet whimsical person with a flair for vintage style.
Unfortunately, once the expensive little set came in, I immediately asked my husband the obvious question: “Do these glasses make me look fat?” His long pause told me all I needed to know. He couldn’t even see the dainty wire rims, nestled as they were among my cheeks and jowls. After flouncing off to the mirror and digging the wire rims out of my facial corpulescence, I went shopping to see if a different vintage could capture the look for which I was aiming.
Sure enough, I was delighted to discover that cat-eye glasses come with rims wide enough that they won’t disappear into my face, and as an added bonus, are available in a variety of trendy colors. Some even have little gemstones on them. I started with two pairs in basic colors and held off ordering a few more until I had sat on one set and misplaced the other.
Now, before listeners start clucking their tongues at the way karma slapped me around, I’d just like to point out that making the transition to wearing reading glasses was a traumatic experience, and I suspect that after the adjustment period is over, I’ll do much better about keeping track of these nifty, age-defying accessories. As a matter of fact, if advertisers and newspapers ever do get smart and go back to printing things in readable font sizes, I might just continue wearing my stylish glasses anyway.
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