Attention Walmart Shoppers

I had two ‘firsts’ yesterday. Not that I had not done them each a thousand times before but these were the first times I had done them as the new – but not necessarily improved – me.

The first new thing I did was go into Walmart  – alone. I was not thrilled with the idea. As I said before, I cannot see faces and Walmart was full of people. What if I snub somebody again? Also the day before I had gone to Staples and had trouble with the credit card machine. Came out of there in tears. Something so simple and I had screwed it up!

Just the same, my husband was not going in with me, so I put on my big girl panties and sallied forth. Here goes nothing.

First thing, make sure you know where the car is, Susie Q. I have already walked up to strange cars at the dog park. If anyone had actually been in them it would have been embarrassing.

I got in the store and got a cart. I know Walmart and knew what I needed. The problem came when I had to read what was in the cases of frozen foods.

Now, sticking your nose on boxes of frozen meals so that you can read them is probably frowned upon by health officers. We won’t even discuss the possibility of getting your nose stuck! So, I did a little Radical Acceptance (DBT concept) turned my mind (DBT alert here!) and got out my near point clip-on magnifiers. Sigh.

These are my clip-on magnifiers. They look very much alike but the one on the left side is for looking at things close (called near point) & the other is for looking at things farther away (far point).

Turning your mind is a DBT concept that says acceptance of a problem does not happen in one fell swoop. Shazam! I accept that I am visually handicapped. Uh, no. Acceptance happens over a series of decision points. I did not get my clip-ons out at Staples. I did not accept that I needed them and turned away. Bad decision. In WalMart I decided I needed to turn towards the truth and accept that I needed the help. Sort of bite the bullet – a dozen times a day if necessary.

Acceptance happens over a series of decision points. I didn’t use my clip-ons at Staples but I need to use them at Walmart.

OK. So I have two pairs of really funky looking clip-on magnifiers. One for near and one for far. Let me tell you, people stare. They especially stare when I flip them up and it looks like I have…what? Antennae ?

At school I have been working on the problem by having class meetings. “This is why I look stranger than usual. ” “This is what this is.”  What am I going to do at WalMart? Put it on the PA: “Walmart Shoppers, Please do not stare at the strange woman presently in frozen foods.” ?

So, I put on the clip-ons and people stare. So be it. I was able to use the credit card machine. Score.

I even put on my far point magnifiers to find my way across the parking lot. Technically not supposed to do that. They are actually for TV viewing and you are supposed to be stationary. Having everything magnified messes with depth perception. However, I was able to find the car and did not run into anything.  Besides, the far point magnifiers make me undershoot, not over shoot. I reach for something and it is a foot beyond where I thought it was. All sorts of new problems. Sigh.

I used my far point magnifiers in the parking lot and did not run into anything.

I also took my far point clip-ons with me on my second new me first. I rode my bike! To get to the trails I use, I have to cross two fairly major roads. I “turned my mind” towards acceptance of my limitations and walked my bike across the roads. Did not want to but I wanted to be roadkill even less. Used my far point clip-ons to check for traffic. If the drivers stared, I could not see them.

Next: How to Win Friends & Influence People the DBT Way



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2 thoughts on “Attention Walmart Shoppers”

    1. Hi Sheila, Sue doesn’t use the near point clip-ons, she says that instead she uses the iPad with the Justand (check her page As far as the far point clip-ons, they didn’t work out, they were too heavy & kept pulling her eyeglasses down & wouldn’t flip up. She traded them in for ones that are like eyeglasses. Here they are at Amazon They are expensive (Sue’s were paid for by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Bureau of Vision Services). She found another pair on Amazon that are less expensive that MAY BE similar (no way of knowing for sure) here You might be able to find them for less on one of the other low vision supplies companies on the Internet. Let us know if you have any other questions, Linda…

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