This column originally appeared in the Herald-Independent on January 28, 2016.

You know you’ve reached a certain age when you start to experience the effects of trying to read something without your reading glasses.

For example, I recently glanced at the Town Planner wall calendar in our kitchen, which has local activities helpfully printed on it. I wondered if there was anything interesting happening around here.

An upcoming Friday night entry said, “Cockatiels in the Conservatory, 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.”

We have three pet cockatiel birds so my mind thrilled at the possibilities of this event.

Was Olbrich planning to add cockatiels as permanent bird residents in the conservatory to join the quail, waxbills and canaries? How fun to imagine cockatiels flying about the palm trees and orchids of the conservatory as they wolf whistled at the guests.

Or would various owners of cockatiels bring their birds in for a sort of show and tell? I wasn’t sure how the logistics of this would work, and would be hesitant to bring in our own birds, but had fun imagining how much they would enjoy that tropical environment.

Perhaps the humane society would bring in any cockatiels and other birds in need of adoption.

Maybe even local artists would be there painting pictures of the birds and flora.

And local ornithology experts would give talks and answer questions about exotic birds and the birds of the conservatory.

Leaving the house on a Friday evening in the middle of winter is normally something I’m deeply opposed to, but I knew I couldn’t miss this event. Just as I was going to run off and check the Olbrich website for more details, I put on my reading glasses and looked more closely.

It said “Cocktails at the Conservatory.”

My heart sank.

True, these Freudian slips when misreading can lead to some interesting creative thoughts. One could make a party game out of it, where you are required to read something out loud without your reading glasses. Even better, compose and send a text without reading glasses on, and the recipient reads it out loud to the group. That could generate more laughs than Cards Against Humanity.

But I’m not sure what’s worse.

Being old enough to have to be a slave to wearing reading glasses to read anything.

Or knowing that cockatiels are far more exciting to me than cocktails.


Filed under: Anita's PostsHumor Column

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