Advancing In Reverse

Taped eyeglasses

My first grade glasses looked sort of like this

I write this using a pair of backup reading glasses. Duct tape keeps this pair together. My good pair, the pair my wife begged me to get used to wearing, lies on a dresser with one lens missing.


When it comes to product development, we’re advancing in reverse.

I’ve glued the tension screw in place. That doesn’t  help. I’ve glued the lens in place with Super Glue and Tester’s model glue. The lens falls out. I’ve taped the lens in place. That works. But the wife says I look shifty in taped glasses. (At least I think she called me shifty. I’m hard of hearing, too.)

So I removed the tape.

And the lens fell out.

In the first week of first grade they made our class read the eye chart. I couldn’t even find the eye chart on the wall. Mrs. Swartz called Mom and told her I was blind. Mom took me to a doctor and I got glasses. Eleanor Rogers also wore glasses. As the only black girl in our class, Eleanor had enough to deal. 1963 was a tough year for blacks. Being called four eyes didn’t help. But there we were, the two freaks standing by our desks, trying to read the blackboard with our new glasses.

The lenses in those glasses never fell out. They were fused into the frames. The arms broke. The nose bridge broke. But that was user error. I played football, baseball, and basketball in those glasses.

Next week I leave to attend a writer’s conference. I’ll wear my old reading glasses. They look ugly but they work. Or, I should say, the duct tape works.

If only we could duct tape people. Fix their mistakes with strong adhesive and mesh. Maybe then, we could evolve into something that almost resembles a civilized people.

As creatures created by God we know how to improve.

We just choose not to.

We advance in reverse.