Better Up than Down the Staircase Pt. II

I make it about halfway down the first flight. I’m embarrassed, without the confidence to continue. Suddenly, one woman loudly exhales and whispers up the stairs, “Take your time, dear. I’m having a terrible time determining where to put my foot down. And with these heels, it’s even scarier. I never realized bifocals could not only be unattractive but create such a depth perception problem.” Two of the other women have glasses. One chuckles and remarks, “Whew, I thought it was just me that’s having anxiety about bifocals, heels, and stairs.” The other woman chimes in, snots, and says, “I’m glad someone spoke up about their eyewear issues. Imagine attempting to climb back up these stairs later after we’ve enjoyed the special wines reserved for these priestly Georgetown events!” The fifth woman doesn’t wear glasses. She groans, then says, “Oh hell, it’s just a matter of time before I’m in your shoes. No pun intended.” With me taking up the rear, we slowly make it down, laughing all the way. The evening is glorious with bussed hors d’oeuvres, abundant wine, and a sit-down dinner. As always, our friend looks gorgeous, gives a brilliant acceptance speech, and is gracious to all. She does not need glasses. No one even mentions going back up those dormitory stairs during our delightful time. At evening’s end, we’re escorted back to the dorm. As we ascend, we all realize that going up stairs with our various corrective lenses isn’t nearly as difficult as going down. Besides, we’re pretty relaxed since imbibing those wonderful wines. That was 25 years ago. I now have trifocals and no longer worry about how I manage with them. It’s no easier to navigate down staircases. And I rarely, if ever, wear high heels.