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2013-03-07 digital edition

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2013-03-07 / General Stories

Watch This!

I knew the day would eventually arrive. My arm is not long enough for me to read my watch. Over the last several years, I’ve been holding it further and further from my face so that I could focus on the tiny numbers.

Now, when I look at it, no matter how far away I hold my arm, the numbers are unrecognizable and the hands keep disappearing into the background. If you were to ask me the time, all I could give you was an estimate based on whether I’d had lunch or not, and whether at least one of those rascally hands made a sudden impromptu appearance.

“Excuse me. Do you know what time it is?”

“Well, I’ve had lunch and I’m not hungry yet. I haven’t heard a school bus, and my mail hasn’t arrived yet, so I’d say it’s somewhere between half past one and 2:15.

“Don’t you want to check your watch?”

“Oh, that won’t help.”

Of course, I still wear my watch, because I wouldn’t want anyone to think I can’t read it. But I have started hanging around jewelry departments when no one is looking and trying on reading glasses incognito.

I can’t decide whether I’d feel older wearing reading glasses or wearing a watch with three-inch numbers that light up. After all, my whole family wears glasses. I’m the last hold-out. My brothers and sister started wearing them before high school and I never saw my parents without glasses. So it’s not that I think other people who wear glasses look old. I just know that the reason I need them is because I’m getting older.

I can’t thread a needle. Thank goodness I don’t have to do that very often. It’s become very difficult to solve a crossword puzzle when the clues are all swimming around the page; disappearing from the 3-down position and showing up in 45- across. These inconveniences I can deal with by installing better lighting in my sewing room and bathroom. (yeah, like you don’t do the crossword in the bathroom). However, not being able to see what time it is has caused me some problems.

When I look at watches in the store, I know which ones I should get, but they all look like something my grandmother would wear. They are dead giveaways to the fact that I’m on the backside of middle age. The pretty, dainty ones were all equipped with the disappearing hands, but they were deceptively readable in the 400 watt lighted display case. It wasn’t until I asked to try a few on that I realized that fact. As soon as the salesperson took them out of the display case, I knew I wouldn’t be able to read them. So, I asked her to put them all back.

“But, you haven’t even tried one on!”

“I know, but my arms aren’t going to be long enough for those.” With a puzzled look, I could see her trying to mentally measure my arms.

I was desperate enough to consider the Tinker Bell and Winnie The Pooh watches. Why are the numbers on children’s watches so big? Kids have a little trouble reading time, true; but not because they can’t see the numbers. I could probably live with Tinker Bell, but the cloth/ Velcro strap would chafe.

I finally spotted a beautiful watch with a dark blue background and silver hands. Now that’s a possibility, I thought, excitedly. The contrast would surely help me read it. I bought it, took it home and tried it on. It was gorgeous, but the hands started disappearing. I should have taken it back, I know, but, irrationally, I wanted to keep it because it was so pretty.

I finally decided that needing to actually read your watch was highly overrated. If I needed to know what time it was, I would simply ask someone who was wearing a watch with three-inch light-up numbers.

You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more columns and info about her books.

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