Who Turned Out the Lights?

: Tracy Beckerman on

When the time came to get new eyeglasses, I decided I was ready for an upgrade. The optician told me I could get transition lenses that would turn dark when I was in the sun, so instead of having a regular pair of eyeglasses and a second pair of prescription sunglasses, I'd have one pair that would do everything. If I could just get them to cook dinner, they'd be perfect.

They were wonderful in concept, but when they arrived and I took them out for a spin, I realized they didn't just get dark, they got really, really dark, and they stayed that way for a good five minutes after I got back inside. This left me looking like a celebrity trying to avoid the paparazzi, an extremely tired lemur or Ray Charles. The biggest issue, though, was that whenever I went inside, I was blind as a bat. This is actually a pretty strange comparison, considering bats are nocturnal and able to find their way around in the dark just fine. Unfortunately, I do not have any echolocation abilities like a bat to help guide me around dark corners. This meant I spent a lot of time walking into walls until the lenses faded.

Being a mother had somewhat prepped me for this experience, having had to stumble around in the dark for years, answering my kids' calls for help dealing with monsters under the bed in the middle of the night. But back then, my vision had been sharp, and I acclimated pretty quickly to the light changes. These days, though, there was nothing sharp about me except an acute sense of smell, which does not serve one well when one has a dog with gas issues. But that's another column.

In the meantime, I tried to decide if a few bumps on my forehead were worth the convenience of not having to switch glasses every time I went in and out throughout my day.

Wondering if there were perhaps a compromise, I stopped by the optician and asked if there was anything he could do to help with the issue before I ended up accidentally walking into a men's room, getting locked in a meat freezer or trapped in an indoor snake enclosure.

"We can't really speed up the time it takes for the lenses to go back to normal," said the technician. "But you could take the glasses off when you enter a building for a few minutes until they readjust."

"But I need the glasses to see," I said.

"Yeah, I could see how that would be a problem," he replied. "Get it? SEE how that would be a problem?" He laughed.


I shook my head. I needed an optician, but somehow I'd ended up with Jerry Seinfeld.

When I got home, I bumped into my front door and then greeted a coat I thought was my husband.

"Hey, honey, guess what?" I heard my husband say from another part of the room. "I decided to get transition lenses in my glasses, too. How do you like yours?"

"They're great," I said. "Just make sure you get the package that includes concussion insurance."


Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at


Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate Inc.




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