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reading tiger

It is official: I need bifocals.

The biggest psychological obstacle to getting progressive lenses for me wasn't the need to acknowledge aging or anything like that. (My very blunt optometrist: "Yeah, sometimes I have to do a little therapy on the side.") I've had glasses since I was in second grade, a change in prescription isn't such a big deal. It's this:

I am going back to plastic frames.

Metal frames (and smaller lenses) were a mark of adulthood for me. My parents always bought me plastic frames because they were cheaper and more durable both.

I know that plastic frames have made a big nostalgic-ironic comeback in the last few years and that they are actually tres fashionable and au courant, but I do not do fashion; I do style. I had to rejigger my style today while ordering my new glasses-to-be. I was ready for the diagnosis, but not the treatment.

(Not to mention the fact that choosing a new frame style brings up gender stuff, too. I think I negotiated that fairly well this time around, but I never look forward to having to do it.)

I made my peace with plastic frames (and larger lenses) this afternoon. But I'll tell you one thing -- I am never going back to tortoiseshell pattern. I will go back to not being able to see the lines on my palm before that.


My trifocal progressives have been graceful wire frames the whole time. Why did they say you had to get plastic frames?

(my old-old glasses I'm wearing for a stopgap while I'm waiting for some miracle or other to deliver new glasses to me are dark blue plastic but I think I had gotten them on a whim. I don't remember actually wearing them before this)

The minute I hit forty I started getting the bifocals talk. The first time I had a guy explain them to me, I was confused. "Do I need these now?" I asked.

"No, but you will soon," the fellow said. "We just like to get this conversation started early."
They didn't say I had to, but I think that due to style, weight and "what's in stock" issues they steered me toward them, and I acquiesced. Basically, I think when the lenses are in such a strong prescription as mine, they look bad in thin metal frames, and metal frames sturdy-enough-looking are heavy enough to give pause. I've gotten away with non-clunky metal frames for the past two decades by having lenses that are too small, surface-area-wise, to accommodate progressives.
I can't speak to your specific prescription, but my husband has -11 plus correction for astigmatism and wears progressives in wire frames, so if you're in that zone, you may be able to find wire frames you like for your next pair of progressives. It did take some looking! He shares your belief that most metal frames don't suit thicker lenses, but found some he liked eventually.