Friday, February 23, 2007

shopping spree

I went to get an eye exam today. Because I am incredibly nearsighted, my doctor has to check me each year for signs of glaucoma and macular degeneration. That means getting my eyes dilated. I was smart enough this time to bring my own sunglasses, but I still didn't think I'd be able to drive half an hour back home with them like that on a sunny day. I could see but I felt kind of weird. So I went right across the street to the mall, figuring I'd read at Borders for a little while until I felt able to drive.

Ironically, I have been listening to I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron on CD in my car, and had just listened to "Blind as a Bat," where she describes not being able to "read a word on the map," "read a word in the newspaper," or "read a word on the pill bottle." I was trying to browse books and found that I couldn't read either, so I got a sneak preview of what it will be like sometime after I turn forty when I need bifocals or have to wear reading glasses to supplement my contact lenses. I went out into the mall and shopped, being afraid that people would think I was a weirdo if I wore my sunglasses, but if I didn't wear them, I figured people would think a druggie because of my extremely large pupils. Even clothes shopping was challenging, because I had trouble reading the tags.

At least I had a 100% guilt-free excuse not to work on my dissertation. I shopped with a vengence, too. I got a gorgeous suit -- whether I need it for interviews or not, I wanted it. There were two extremely nice women at Ann Taylor who helped me with it and were very patient with me even though I had to ask them if they thought the size I had on fit. I got some tops on sale at Macy's, 50% off clearance prices. I got cute black dress shoes at Steve Madden. I had to hand it to the salespeople, they didn't let on that they noticed the sunglasses (or, when I took them off, the weird pupils) at all. My appointment was at 9:15, but it was close to 1:00 before I felt like I could actually read the notes I had brought with me to look over in the doctor's office. I read some of them over a bagel and coffee when I finally left the mall.

I think that it was therapeutic to just go out, do what I wanted, and not to have to feel guilty about it. I enjoyed my day off, and I think that the money I spent was well-spent on things that are both beautiful and useful. I decided not to live provisionally after all.

But, as much I am a believer in enjoying every moment, I also know that my work has to be done. It's a little easier to settle down to it after having taken some time to relax and really enjoy myself, though.


  1. YOur shopping spree sounds like the perfect way to spend a few hours. Who deserves it more than you do? And you shopped wisely and well, outfitting yourself with very appropriate things that you love. The work does have to be done but you'll settle back to it now that you've had some time off. Retail therapy has definite points!

  2. The dreaded bifocals - . . . and it does creep up on you in your early 40's. I will not wear bifocals, instead I just switch glasses (reading glasses and seeing glasses).


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