Friday, May 08, 2009

Eye Way Robbery

Well, gang, I've got to get glasses, which is no surprise since I can no longer distinguish the dates on pennies and trying to untangle a necklace is an all day affair. Also, work is a challenge what with all the supercomputing I do. So, last fall, I bit the bullet and signed up for vision care. The enrollment period was in October and coverage was effective in December. I waited and waited and waited for my card to appear. Eventually it say a week ago. So I made my appointment and a week later, I set off to have my eyes examined.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE getting my eyes examined. I've always had fine vision (except in college when I was experiencing the same issues I have now for the same basic reasons). So I get to sit in the dark and answer tons of questions I totally know the answer too, all while having my head in some super-sci-fi contraption. I have trouble governing my glee.

This last time was no different. I was really enjoying the exam. That is, until the doc went into his hard sell. I want to test you for cateracts (!) and I can do that by giving you the drops and basically fucking up your day or you can pay $35 and I can use my new toy to take a picture of your retina.

I told him I wasn't prepared to do either today and he said he'd set me up for an appointment when I pick up my glasses. I couldn't think of a way to weasel out; his sales mojo was too strong for me. So I submitted to the $35 test because I just couldn't obligate myself to one more thing. I don't have all day to waste with blurry vision and light sensitivity. In hindsight, I could have agreed to the appointment an skived off of it later. Rats! Why didn't I think of that at the time.

Once all the testing was done, he informed me that I was farsighted and that close up vision troubles occur earlier in our kind. That fact combined with my eye strain at work prompted him to give me a perscription for spectacles. He then escorted me over to the shopping area where I could pick out my new frames. He handed me off to the eyeglass sales person and bid me adieu. The glasses lady then immediately tried to sell me anti-glare lenses with all the tomfoolery of a warranty.

"I don't need that type of protection; I'll only be wearing these for work...I won't be driving or wearing them outside," I said.

"Well, it would still reduce glare..." she said, but I could see she had given up. She's obviously not the salesman her boss is.

After running through all the options, and telling her I wanted the type of frames where I pay nothing and my insurance covers it in total, which amounted to plastic lenses and plastic frames, she offered to find some frames for me. Why I couldn't walk over and look for them myself, I'll never know.

"Do you like trendy frames?" she asked.

"Sure," I replied.

She brought over eight pairs of glasses all identical but for the color. I tried them on and they were really too small for my face.

"Are there bigger frames than these?" I asked.

"You won't need bigger frames for what you're using them for," she snotted. Touche, I thought.

"Are these the only frames in my price range?"

"The only trendy ones..."

"How about the non-trendy ones?" I asked, knowing she was hiding something from me.

She sighed and gallumphed her way over to the frame ghetto where the cheapo frames were and I dogged her every step. She finally admitted that I could get any frame for $100 or less and she waved her hands in a general area of the frames that met my criteria. My eyes landed on the exact pair I wanted.

I tried them on and they were perfect. Black frames with rhinstone accents (natch). They fit my face just right.

"I like these!" I said.

"I didn't bring those over to you because I thought they were too big," she said, lamely.

Somehow, this felt like victory. That is until she told me that she'd call me when the frames were about a week.


  1. I am also one of the people who like eye exams. Good luck with the new glasses.

  2. Thank you for giving me the answer to anyone's question about what I'm doing with the perfect response - I'm governing my glee! I can see clearly now!

  3. My bride just saved me from having to spend big money for my reading glasses when she looked at the prescription and it was just for magnifiers. I spent $25 for a pair.

    When I first got glasses, I didn't know that, and went to the optical store where I ended up spending $200 or so on reading glasses.

  4. that passage about getting glasses from Clifford's instead of Vanity Vision in the St. Cloud Mall from Keillor's "Lake Wobegon Days" all comes back to me now...

    Th' eye doc. A friend o' mine since I was age 4. And who I've gotta see again now 'cuz I'm both extremely nearsighted AND now I'm diabetic.

    fucking disease...

    Can't wait to see these gogs when they come in!!

  5. BUBS: I solve the reading glasses problem by propping a pair of $1 store lenses over my regular Coke bottles.

    No, I don't wear 'em in public.