Progressives: A.K.A WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I got me some spanking new glasses almost a year ago. They are super hot looking and, therefore, upgrade my look from homely with earnest goodwill to less homely with earnest goodwill. (You can’t expect full-on makeovers from a pair of specs.) But when they are sitting by themselves on a table? Those babies scream SEXAYYYYYY!! I will swear to anyone who will listen that I’ve seen them wink at me and others who are believers in that type of thing. Check out these cheeky babies:

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But, they are PROGRESSIVES!! Oh wait, I should have whispered that. They are progressives. Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone. Of course, people to my left and right are able to tell because they are like, “WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL is wrong with your glasses? My eyes can’t make heads or tails out of anything. One area is trying to do one thing and another area is trying to accomplish something else altogether. What kind of madness is this????” And I just shrug and say, I don’t know what you mean. I can see things far away when I look in one area. I can see middle distance from one section, and I can read my books from the last section. And they look HORRIFIED. “You mean they are BI…….<sharp inhalation>….no wait……they are TRIFOCALS!!!!” And I’m quick to correct them. “No, they are p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e-s. That’s what they are called. You’re welcome.” And then in an aside to my concerned friend, “Actually they aren’t really trifocals anyway. That middle section is all smoke and mirrors. It’s just plain glass. See? Not so bad. Right?” And then I fan them because they appear to be about to faint.

I didn’t realize until people reacted to the fact that I got PROGRESSIVES how entirely embarrassing it was to wear them. Apparently, only old people wear progressives. Hey, old people? I mean no disrespect. I hope to be one of you some day. And I intend to mock the shit out of everyone because I can. Because I’m old and I’ve earned that right. Anyway…….. See, I’m not real good with the vanity thing. Some of the things that people are vain about don’t even register on my radar because I can be a little distracted. When the eye doctor dude said to me, “Well these are definitely overkill for you at this point. You probably won’t need them for years, but it would help you to go ahead and get your eyes used to them.” I thought, hey, this guy speaks wisdom. I will jump on the progressive parade float, wave the bespectacled flag, and teach my eyes and brain (that ornery frenemy of mine) how to handle them. It never occurred to me that I would be mocked, and that, in addition to the mockery, I would have to get used to blind spots in my new cheaters. Now, I’m young, or youngish, wearing old-people-glasses, and missing out on all sorts of shit happening in the bottom right and bottom left sectors of my glasses. And I know lots of shit is going down in those sectors. I bet there are parties going on that I could be attending if only those damn sectors were clear. But no, they are fuzzy, and it’s like amoeba-ville over there. My peripheral vision is for total shit! Would you like an example? I don’t care. You’re getting one. I was driving along at a speedy clip. DON’T WORRY! I can see FINE in front of me, and in my mirrors if I swivel my ENTIRE HEAD. Which I do because I’m a very responsible driver because I like to drive as fast as possible IN A SAFE MANNER. You do not have to abandon the roads, people. Anyway, it’s not a PITA at all to have to swivel your entire head to get a handle on what’s going down around you. Nope, not at all. Anyway, I happened to catch sight of a cop car in my left amoeba-ville sector and, knowing my speed was not cop-appropriate, I slowed down. As I began to verify the sighting by swiveling my head to thwart the blind spots while keeping my speed in the cop-approved zone, I noticed that it wasn’t a copmobile at all, but GRAMA T, stopped briefly in her cop car doppelgänger to snack on her breakfast, cheaters on the bottom of her nose, getting set to pull into traffic. As I had performed evasive maneuvers to avoid the police car, now known to be GRAMA T, I ended up following her to my dismay, as her rate of speed left much to be desired, what with the eating of breakfast while driving in rush hour traffic with a pair of readers dangling from her nose. Here are my tweets. As you’ll observe, I never mentioned any confusing of GRAMA T with a cop car. It’s not good to admit your total boneheadedness on Twitter. Bad mojo.

I guess I’m not taking to these progressives like I had hoped. Unless you’re supposed to just deal with missing out on things taking place in those bottom right and left sectors? If so, my neck better get ready for a lot of swiveling because I hate missing out on things!! And I am positive I saw an amoeba flip me off the other day!

Canines aren’t cut out for navigating, ok? Eating, pooping, napping? You betcha. Maybe chasing a squirrel or two.

I think it’s time to put the canines back in their place. They really shouldn’t be assigned driving duties. Really. Does anyone seriously think they are performing well in these roles? True story: I was stuck behind a car the other day. Wait, there’s more. The car hadn’t moved for long enough that the sun had shifted in the sky, so I thought it appropriate that I drive around it. As I attempted to drive around the left side of the car, a little teacup dog poked its head out of the driver’s side window and gave me a most disapproving glare. It was clearly quite put out by my maneuver. Since I don’t speak dog, I was unable to inquire as to its plans for moving the car in the near future, so I just proceeded along my way. But, I was shaken. I was desperately trying to draw the schema in my head that allowed that tiny dog to reach its legs down to the pedals. And, thankfully, at the time, it didn’t even occur to me that the car might not be an automatic. I can’t even imagine what that schema would look like. I guess I would have had to pull over and lie down for a nap.

I’ve been seeing a lot of dogs in the driver’s seat recently. I realize they are sharing driving duties with their owners, but I’m very uneasy with this arrangement. These vehicles seem to be operated very erratically, and I try to avoid them as much as possible. Look, dogs really aren’t great pilots, or even copilots. Their capacity for paying attention is pretty limited. If driving amounted to eating every morsel of a giant steak, then sure. A dog would rock at driving. But if you are expecting your dog to offer assistance operating your motor vehicle, you’re going to need someone to walk in front of your car with a very big steak. And you’re still going to have to do all the work because your dog is going to be pretty busy with the production of a very large puddle of saliva while gazing without blinking at that steak. So, you see, this is an experiment that is guaranteed to fail. I have tried it. I have given Lexi little copilot duties. The simplest of tasks. Hey Lexi, how about you watch for cars at the foot of the driveway. She can’t focus her attention for the 50 seconds of time it takes to move from the top of the driveway to the bottom. I’m really looking for a co-pilot that can perform to a higher standard than that. Cats might be a different story. I don’t have a cat, so I can’t perform this experiment. I’ll have to start checking my fellow travelers to see if there are any feline pilots or co-pilots. But, bottom line is that we should probably just steer away from the animal kingdom altogether when staffing our household vehicles.

I haven’t performed a car concert in far too long.

I used to perform car concerts two or three times a week depending on commutes and how inspired I was feeling by my music selection. But now? I’m down to a measly once or twice a quarter. I travel with kids too much now. I’d have to go with the kid-appropriate rock which severely limits my music choices. But I could do it if there weren’t other issues to be addressed when the kids are present. Anna’d probably be pretty chill about it and join in.  But JT is in middle school. It is imperative that you DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do anything to draw attention to yourselves when you have a middle schooler in tow. And a proper car concert may draw the attention of fellow travelers though ideally you try to avoid that as much as possible so it doesn’t inhibit your performance. When I drop him off anywhere, I have to pretend as if he is a random child I just met to whom I offered transportation. I’m allowed to briefly and quietly say bye as the door shuts. I am also allowed to smile at him as long as there are no witnesses. I can’t complain, however, because he’s still as affectionate as ever when we are safely out of sight of other kids.

When I don’t have kids in the car, I often have a dog in there who will no doubt freak out if I give a proper car concert. For starters, volume is very important and she’s not having that. Also, sometimes there’s exuberant gesturing and I might even break out into some limited-movement dancing, and she’ll take that as an invitation to crowd surf. And then I’ll have to be the sole crowd member and support her stupid crowd-surfing-body, but I’m performing! I’m not supposed to be part of the crowd. Also, I’m driving. I have to pay attention to those duties in addition to my performance, so I can’t have the added distraction of a crowd-surfing dog.

If it’s not the kids or the dog holding me back, it’s that the jaunt is too short to get a good concert in. I prefer not to hold a concert that has less than 10 good songs to make sure I’ve got enough of my favorites represented to satisfy me until the next one. I guess I could be an opening act, but that gig’s for rookies and I’ve been performing for too many years to go back to that.

I’m not entirely sure what the allure of the car concert is for me. I can hold a concert performance from within my house where I’ve got the freedom to move about freely. Plus there’s the added benefit of not having to worry about spectators. You can really put all you’ve got into it. Attire is optional and you can easily fetch up a microfauxne. But there’s something special about a car concert where you’re on the move and can pretend you’re en route to some spectacular destination while belting out the lyrics to your favorite songs.

Share the road?

I find it amusing how much the car you drive affects how others on the road perceive you. Isn’t this a bit ridiculous? I currently drive a minivan which doesn’t really suit my driving personality. However, we bought it because it is roomy as hell. You can cart so many kids in it that it’s possible I’ve got a stowaway of a much greater size than in my last vehicle. When cleaning out that vehicle preparing it for sale, we discovered a petrified lizard that had been accompanying me on my travels for years by the look of him. (You’re welcome, new owner!)

As a previous SUV driver, I’d gotten used to how other drivers interacted with me on the road. There were many evil looks. A couple of enthusiastically delivered obscene gestures. And I understood the pissiness and general mistrust of other drivers. After all, the purpose as I understand it of driving SUVs is to make sure that you inflict more damage to the other person’s car than to your own if things go wrong out there. You drive an SUV so that you can win if involved in an accident. Of course, there is the added bonus that an SUV can drive over all sorts of things. You don’t have to worry about that gigantic tree in the road after a brutal storm. Just drive right over it. And curbs/gutters? Were made for spirited driving sessions wherein you determine the actual clearance of the bottom of your car so that you can apply that knowledge to future obstacles.

So, the minivan experience has been completely different. I’m a somewhat aggressive driver, and I tend towards a heavier foot. It’s been fascinating to see the number of drivers trying to pass me. I know in their minds they are thinking: Here’s another damn minivan driver clogging up the works. I’m going to have to get past this yoyo. So, I’ve had multiple instances where the driver behind me has sped up to pass and has careened wildly in their dogged attempt to get around me without checking their speed to determine if they do, in fact, need to pass. Couple this with my natural tendency to want to drive faster than anyone in the lane beside me because, RACE!, (cross-posted in neuroses), and you can imagine that these folks aren’t going to get an easy pass from me. I watched the dude with the HUNDEYE license plate drive his car so fast and furiously to pass me that I could hear the whine of his overworked engine. I can only guess that as he sat by the side of the road miles later with his smoking engine, he was able to comfort himself with the knowledge that he had passed that stupid van so it was all worth it in the end.

You have to pay extra to get a personalized plate, so one would assume that when forking over the extra cash you might have something compelling to put on the plate. I find myself curious as to the purpose of a license plate that restates the model of the car. Is this a theft deterrent for the license plate in case someone takes it and puts it on a different model car? Then everyone is all: AHA, that right there is a purloined plate, my friends. We should notify the authorities posthaste. I, for one, would be more concerned about the possible theft of my CAR, but perhaps I’m missing the inherent value in the actual license PLATE.  If this is not intended as a theft deterrent, then what is the purpose? Do you need to restate the model of your car for your own edification? Or is this a clever strategy for locating your car in a parking lot swarmed with similar models?