It used to be that I thought old people wore glasses. Somewhere in junior high I realized I couldn’t see past my arm and I needed glasses. Since that time I’ve worn glasses with a preference for contacts from high school on. Considering I need my eyes to do my job one would think that I might take better care of my eyes. The simple fact is that I don’t. I wear contacts that are designed for three weeks of wear for ten months.
The only reason I went to the eye doc last week was because, the right contact was actually hazy. Not that the thing had two pieces torn out of the edge, not that my eyes turned bright red after three hours of ware, it was actually affecting how my eyes would, rather, would not focus when I looked through a camera.
So I call the place I went to over a year and a half earlier for an appointment. Everything was fine I looked through the metal, mega, view-finder, goggles and did the dog and pony show like I’m supposed to. My eyes hadn’t changed a bit. I am just as blind today as I was a year and a half ago, Yippee!
Here’s the thing that got me. I was talking to the doctor and without a second thought he tells me, “well Matt you’ve got a slight stigmatism, it’s not anything to worry about now but as you get closer to forty we’ll watch it a bit more.”
I processed this a bit and had to figure out how old I was, “30, 31, 32, 33, 34… Holy shit I’m 34 years old.” Never before had the thought of being an actual age closer to 40 ever occurred to me. I know that I’m the older of the brothers here but I don’t think about my age in numbers. I had the thought that the reason I couldn’t remember my age might be because I’m suddenly older. Yes, suddenly older. It happened all of a sudden, without warning.
For the first time I was associated with the age of FORTY.
Turning thirty was fine because that’s almost a milestone. You’re well beyond teenage and you’re to the point where a stranger might suspect you to be a decent law abiding citizen at a glance. Forty is a decade from fifty and at that point I’ll need to be considering a regular doctors visit, an annual colonoscopy, a fiber filled diet, wrinkles, my hair line finally receding, angina (I don’t know what that is but it sounds awful) and eventually an old folks home.
Honestly it’s more frustrating than anything else because I don’t feel like someone who should have the “aged” word forty applied to them in any capacity. That’s what it’s all about and I thank God for the fact that I don’t feel anywhere close to forty. I honestly don’t feel 34, 30. I could say I feel like a mediocre 27.