Shoes aren’t good place for glasses

Published 1:40 am Saturday, August 30, 2014

Have you ever wondered when people first got started using eyeglasses?

After a visit to an optometrist who surprised me when he said I had good eyesight for my age, I did a little research. I was amazed that the invention of eyeglasses is credited to the Chinese. There is little proof, but legend has it that the Chinese used them as early as 500 B.C. The famous traveler Marco Polo reported he saw people wearing them in China about A.D. 1275.

I’ll bet you have seen pictures of Benjamin Franklin through the years with eyeglasses propped on his nose, haven’t you? That colorful historical character gets credit for inventing bifocals to save himself the trouble of changing his glasses when looking from near objects like a book to distant ones like a landscape in the distance.

After learning those facts about glasses, I sort of wished I had access to a time machine to see how they dealt with the glasses they wore. Did they, as I do, have a problem keeping up with their glasses? For a long time, I only used those small reading glasses, misplacing them often. I finally got smart and bought myself a chain to put around my neck to hold my glasses. Even then, I managed to misplace them with the chain occasionally. These days, I put on my glasses when I arise and take them off when I go to bed. No problem there, thank goodness.

Most people who wear glasses go through a period of adjustment. Getting used to bifocals was slightly difficult for me. But my daddy had even more of a problem. I vividly remember laughing hard the day he told me his story. Soon after he got glasses with bifocals, he kept taking them on and off. At the time, he managed a service station. While he waited on a customer, he took off his glasses and placed them on the man’s car. He forgot to pick them up. The man drove away. Daddy missed them immediately, realized what he had done, and ran a short distance to where the man had parked at a grocery store. They were still on the car. Daddy retrieved them, heaving a sigh of relief. From then on, nobody had to remind him to be cautious about where he put his glasses.

My glasses stayed lost for three weeks one time. It happened after an outing with some friends. They just absolutely disappeared. I hunted and hunted. I finally gave up hunting. Then one day, I reached in my closet to get a pair of shoes. Tucked inside those shoes were my glasses. Then I remembered. I had gathered an armload of clutter in the living room on my way to the bedroom and slipped the glasses into the shoes, intending to place them on my bedside table as I walked by.

That taught me a lesson. I have never tucked my wonderful eyeglasses inside a pair of shoes again.