Joanne Palmer: Body by bifocals |

Joanne Palmer: Body by bifocals

Joanne Palmer

— If you are looking for a new way to shape up for ski season, I have just the solution.

Buy a pair of reading glasses.

Owning reading glasses is the best low-impact workout I’ve ever had. There is no need to worry about finding the time to work out, because ownership provides a constant workout. Ready? Here we go:

Squats: Bend knees 3,011 times to look under the bed, sofa and car seats for the pesky glasses.

Stretch: Stand on tiptoes 2,021 times to search high shelves or other places glasses may be hiding.

Sprints: Double-time up and down the stairs 32 times to look everywhere.

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I am sure that Columbus discovered America, Sir Hillary summited Everest and Charles Lindbergh traversed the Atlantic all in less time than it took me to find my reading glasses this morning.

Please do not suggest the obvious. Owning more pairs and/or wearing them on a “leash” around my neck will not increase the likelihood of finding them when I need them.

When it comes to reading glasses, logic does not apply.

Up until recently I enjoyed 20/20 vision. In elementary school, I wanted to wear glasses so badly, I tried to cheat on the eye exams. I envied people who wore glasses of any size or shape and looked forward to the day I would join the ranks. Glasses, I’ve always thought, conveyed a sort of “I’m-a-smarty-pants-intellectual” look.

Imagine my excitement, then, a few years ago when I started to squint and hold things at arm’s length. I quickly made an appointment with an optometrist. I was deeply disappointed when he uttered a word no woman ever wants to hear: “Bifocals.”

I left and went right to the store to buy my first pair of reading glasses. Since then, a conservative calculation shows I have squandered at least one month’s worth of my son’s future college tuition on cheap plastic reading glasses. I have worked my way up the diopter scale (that’s the magnifying level) from 1.0 to 3.0. However, if the glasses are really cute, I will buy the 2.5 and suffer a headache.

Other than not being able to find my reading glasses – at last count, I think I had four pairs, and there may be more, but I can’t find them – the other downside is that it makes it impossible to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes – reading in the bathtub. Bathtub reading is essential to my mental health. This is the place where I take my weekly 30-minute vacation to read People magazine. It’s best to be in hot water to fully appreciate the trials and tribulations of Britney Spears and other celebs. But now, sniff, sniff and boo-hoo, bathtub reading is off limits until they invent reading glasses that don’t fog or steam up.

Not being able to see presents other problems. For example, for the first time in my life, I ran out of gas. The little light on my dashboard read “check gauge,” but since I don’t wear my glasses to drive – just to read – I drove around thinking it said “check gate.” Even though the fuel gauge thingamabob was on ‘E’, female logic made it easy to assume it meant something else, like “Everlasting Gas.”

Thanks to my reading glasses, I’ll be the buffest middle-aged babe you’ll see on the slopes – if I can only find my reading glasses before I leave the house.

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