Saturday, July 17, 2010

Adventures in Eyewear

Okay, so I should get my eyes checked and my teeth checked and all of that at least once a year. About the only medical thing that I manage to get done once a year is the check-up at Planned Parenthood, or else they would not give me my birth-control pills, and I am not a happy camper without my hormones.

And it isn't that I don't know better. I had annual eye exams for years, which usually resulted in getting new glasses. So I've gone from a ten-year-old whose eyes could use a little help, to a forty-something blind bat. And I've gone through a lot of glasses, though the last few years I don't have as many pair as you would think, as I have often skipped that annual exam.

My husband did not grow up having to wear glasses, and very rarely had an eye exam. It just isn't on his list of things to do. And his list of things to do is mostly stuff like going to Disneyland and buying toys. It doesn't occur to him that things like going to the eye doctor and the dentist should come first.

So, most of the time that I have been married, the eye exams and such have not been every year, or even every other year, unless I have had a job to pay for them myself. As now, most of the time I have either not had a job at all, or it has been some silly part-time thing that doesn't pay much (or doesn't pay on a regular basis), and sometimes I have been his assistant (which may or may not be a paying job). So over the last twenty years or so, there should have been twenty eye exams and dental check-ups, but I'm guessing there have only been maybe six each, and I've paid for half of them myself when I had my own regular job.

So when I don't have my own regular job, the exams come either when a). one of us is having a serious problem, or b). we have just had a serious fight during which I bring up the fact that I can't see very well due to the fact that I'm wearing glasses that are four years old while he's bugging me about going to Disneyland.

Okay, this time it wasn't Disneyland, but you get the idea. And the serious fight was two weeks ago.

Anyway, he isn't getting any younger himself, and he needs to have an eye exam too, which he probably hasn't had in like twenty-five years.

So he had off this week and we made appointments for later to see a dentist, and while we were at Walmart asking about an eye exam they had time to squeeze both of us in Monday. So we got the eye exams over with and both got prescriptions for bifocals.

I've never worn bifocals before, and I'm worried that I won't like them and that they will distract me too much while I'm driving.

Okay, so I usually get the one pair if the new pair isn't that different from the old pair. Or, if the new pair is very different and/or there is a sale, I might get two new pair so that I'll have a spare. Having a spare (or an old pair that isn't that different) is really important if you are as blind as I am. Usually, the spare is nowhere to be found when I need them, but still, I have to have them.

So, I'm giving in and getting a prescription for bifocals, but I'm not really sure that I actually want to wear the bifocals. So this gets me to thinking that I might want to have separate glasses for distance and for reading. Or I might want one pair for distance and one pair of bifocals. Or I might want three pairs, one for distance, one for reading, and one of bifocals.

Then there is the really silly thought of getting one pair for distance, one pair for reading, a pair of bifocals and a spare of the bifocals.

I'm looking on the Internet for sales. There were some good ones that we just missed. Whatever. There will be other sales.

Anyway, we are at the Walmart and we get our prescriptions, and my husband's thought is to get this over with as soon as possible. That is not my plan. Even when you have regular eye exams and get a different pair of glasses every year, you have to put some thought into them, as you will be stuck with them for a whole year. And the way things have been, it's more like I'll be stuck with them for about four years. So I am not buying the first thing that I see, unless I'm just really in love with them and they are on sale.

So, there's a sale at Walmart for single-vision, scratch-resistant glasses for $38. Of course, there's a limited number of frames at that price, usually not so new and fashionable. But, as it usually takes me a while (if ever) to like new fashions, this is usually not a problem for me. Still, I look at the ones pointed out as the $38 options, and I don't like any of them. They are all plastic frames, and mostly right now I like wire. After asking again, a few wire frames are pointed out. They are okay. I'm not in love with any of them, but they are okay.

My husband finds a pair that he's okay with, and we ask how much more they are for bifocals. Like a hundred and thirty-five dollars for the lenses, plus the frames. And that's for the regular bifocals, cause the no-line lenses are nearly twice that much.

Now, I know that someone must be having a sale and that we should go look somewhere else, but my husband wants to get it over with and pays $145 for the first pair he looks at. I look again and find some wire frames that are okay, but not worth $145 (much less twice that for no-line lenses), and I get them for the distance pair that I will use to drive with if I decide that the bifocals are too distracting. They are a little bigger than my last pair, and the frames are almost pink. We are told that they will be ready in nine or tens days, but Thursday we get a call that mine are ready, and by the time we go to pick them up on Friday they have his ready too.

They don't feel right. And I can't tell the girl how they feel wrong for her to adjust them properly. And always when I get a new prescription, the floor looks farther away than it did. They will take a while to get used to. I am already wearing shoes that make me almost two inches taller, so now with the glasses I feel six inches taller.

My husband, whose new glasses have almost no distance prescription in them, is having trouble getting used to them and frequently takes them off. But I'm sure that he will appreciate them later when he's trying to read something.

Right, so I'm off to look at more glasses.

Since I have never worn bifocals before, I am thinking that I need some really big glasses to fit in both the distance and the reading parts of the lenses. I used to wear really big glasses when I was a teenager, but that was the eighties, and I don't really want to wear those same frames now. So I'm out looking for big glasses that don't look like what I wore in eighth grade. And I know that there are a couple of places that have no-lines on sale, so I go and look at Optical Clinic and Eyemasters.

Some eyeglass sales you get what you think that you're getting, and others are more like bait-and-switch. I guess most are somewhere in between, where you can buy almost what you want at the sale price, but wouldn't you like to add a thing or two?

So I'm at the Optical Clinic, and I look at the limited selection of the sale items, and I find a couple that I think might work. I'm not in love with them, but I like them much better than anything that was going to cost twice as much at Walmart. I turn around to ask my husband which one he likes better, only he isn't there, he's on the other side of the store reading a magazine. I'm supposed to be a grown-up who is able to pick out her own glasses. Well, I know that, but I would have liked a second opinion. Anyway, we leave the store without him seeing me try anything on, and I figure that I'll probably be back next week.

Then we have some errands to run, and at the end of them we go to the mall and look at Eyemasters. They have a sale, two pair of no-lines for $150, if you like anything in the limited selection of frames, which I do. I think that there is also a sale for one pair for $99, and I ask about it, and they say it is supposed to be over now, but if it is still in the computer we can do that. But, again, there is a limited selection of frames, but somehow this is a totally different selection of frames, and these are just the opposite of what I am looking for. These are mostly little rectangular plastic frames that look like what the computer girl on Criminal Minds wears. I hate them, and they won't do at all for the large lenses that I imagine I'll need for the bifocals.

So I'm back to looking at the $69 frames, thinking that this is a really good deal, but do I really need two pair of bifocals in addition to the distance pair I'm wearing? So I ask my husband if he wants another pair, cause sometimes with the sale you can get two different prescriptions. But he says something like he doesn't even want the pair he already has, why would he want another one? So that's fine. I pick out the really big pair and a small one that I like better. And I ask if two are $150, how much would one be? Cause I know that it isn't going to be anything as simple as $75. So she takes my prescription and goes to the back of the store and gets a calculator and comes back with a figure of $142. So for eight extra dollars I'll get two pair? I'll take the two that are on sale.

Then she tells me that the $142 pair is a sale price for polycarbonate lenses. Normally, it would be twice that much. But I'm not into sports, and I really don't care anything about getting polycarbonate lenses, just so long as they are scratch resistant.

Scratch resistant coating has been around for so long, I forget that some places still charge extra for it. There was not an extra charge for the $38 pair I just bought at Walmart. Okay, I'm thinking an extra twenty dollars or so, but it turns out to be an extra fifty dollars. Each.


So I'm looking at my husband, and he really has no opinion, cause I'm supposed to be a grown-up who can pick out her own glasses.

Well, I can pick out my own glasses, I'm just having a little trouble deciding about the money. He would know more about that than I do. And I've gone from thinking that I'm going to get what I want for either $79 or $99 to thinking that I'm going to get two pair for $150, and now I have to decide between getting two for $250 or one with extras I don't care about for $142. And he didn't see the glasses at the other store and he can't give me an opinion on those, if he has an opinion anyway.

Okay, as much as I think that I want that other pair, I can't see spending an extra hundred and eight dollars for them, and I can't see buying glasses without the scratch resistant coating. So I pick the $142 polycarbonate lenses in the big frames.

Okay, now she mentions an extra thirty dollars for some protection plan in case I have to have them replaced in the next year. I have only one other time bought the protection plan, and I wished that I had not, because I also paid for some other stuff that when I needed I couldn't have because the store had either moved or gone out of business. But this Eyemasters has been here a long time, and I don't picture that happening again. Besides, if like the glasses and something happens to them, it will cost almost three hundred dollars to have them replaced if I don't get the protection plan.

So I'm looking at my husband, and again he has no opinion. And yes I know that I am supposed to be a grown-up who can pick out her own glasses, but sometimes I would like some input. If he is thinking that we might have trouble paying for the dentist later and he would really appreciate it if I went back to the other store and got something for nearly a hundred dollars less, then I would like to hear about it. But he doesn't say anything. Earlier he said that I could have anything that I wanted except the five hundred dollar designer stuff, unless that was what I really wanted, in which case I could have them anyway.

Okay, so we are at Eyemasters, thinking of paying $172 for one pair of no-line bifocals, when we originally came in looking at two pair for $150. And then I remember that this is one of those hour places, and we might have this whole business done with by the time we were done eating dinner. So we agree to the amount and make plans to eat at Chipotle's and come back.

Unfortunately, after consulting with someone in the lab, the lenses (that are the special polycarbonate things that I didn't especially want anyway) will have to be special ordered, and we will have to come back on the 26th.


We pay for the glasses. The girl gives me the receipt and goes over it again, what I've bought, what a good deal I'm getting with the polycarbonate lenses that have UV protection.

Crap. UV protection. I forgot about that. I don't like it. I knew that there was something I didn't like about the polycarbonate lenses (in addition to them being more expensive and having to wait two weeks). They have a greenish tint to them. Not that everything looks green, but if you have your picture taken you get this green reflection on your glasses. I'm sure it is good for my health, but I don't like it.

Well, I'm not a model, and I'm probably not getting my picture taken anytime soon anyway.

We go eat at Chipotle's and then go and watch three hours of stuff recorded on the SyFy Channel. I'm not giving the glasses anymore thought until the 26th.


dmarks said...

So, used to the specs yet? I know headaches can happen while you get used to them.

I hope you have good scratch protection. The protection on mine wore off, revealing an etched sort of Superman symbol on one of the lenses. Seriously, what's up with that? It makes no sense, but I would have expected if these were heat-vision or x-ray glasses. But no such luck.

Ananda girl said...

I hate picking out glasses and they always cost more than you think they will.

My UV lenses aren't green tinted. The did have a slight tan hint, but not bad. Not obvious.

I have trifocals. But my lenses are small too. It took some getting used to, but they worked out well for me because the middle part is adjusted for computer use.