So recently I had to finally breakdown and purchase some new spectacles. Of course, reconciling that my eyes are actually getting worse as I get older is just a small part of the overall problem. Finding a pair that I liked has been an odyssey for which I was not completely prepared. First problem is that the fashion of eyewear currently is the rectangular frame, which just happens to look rather stupid on my rectangular head. Too many sharp angles and long shapes to be sure.
Second problem is that shopping for glasses is a ridiculously overwhelming process. Anyone that has ever done this knows that you walk into a store where there are about a thousand pairs of glasses which serve to cover virtually every inch of wall space in the store. Of course this is all presented under the auspices of giving you more choices. Yet, al it really does is present you with more of the same and surprisingly less choice. Combine this with the fact that apart from the small corner in the front of the store, which is the “Men’s” section, nearly the entire store is labeled “Unisex,” which is practically code for how to wear women’s glasses. I have enough anxiety that I do not need to find myself staring longingly at myself in the retail establishment’s mirror, admiring my choice of specs, only to find out from the clerk that they’re chick glasses!
I was completely adrift on my own during this process, so it was absolutely paramount that I have someone to assist me. Picture a person aimlessly trying on so many pairs that all the clerks are wondering, “What is wrong with this guy?” I tried so many pairs on the first day that, at some point, they all looked more the same than they did on the wall, if that is even possible!
Initially, Ali was nobly trying to avoid being bossy in this process and left me to my own personal downward spiral into eyewear oblivion. Needless to say the first effort was a bust.
Also consider that I needed to get a new prescription which was actually the easiest part of the whole adventure. Next up, Keri supported me on the hunt. She too needed an eyewear update, and Ali and I both thought, as a fellow glasses wearing individual, she would be a great help. Well she was very helpful and gracious, but I still left again with no glasses to peep through. But I did get the new prescription, from a very nice eye doctor by the way.
At this point, I am approaching my wits end and lamenting to my wife that I simply cannot be trusted to leave a vision center with a pair of glasses that will not make me look like Clark Kent, or Harry Carey for that matter. So my lovely and supportive wife recognized that I was in need of some external decision making, that she is almost always more than happy to provide. She escorted me as we visited three separate places over two days before finally making a purchase.
Now I am known to shop around a little, but obviously things were completely unraveling for me. After narrowing the selection down to three alternatives, I really zeroed in on two pairs. I donned one them and stared at myself in the mirror, trying to determine whether this was the pair I would find myself wearing for the next two years or so. I turned to Ali with a pleased look on my face and declared, “I think this might be the pair.” At which point, she looked at me with a strange vexation, passed her eyes from me to the counter where the others lay and back again, I believe twice, before announcing “Those are YOUR glasses. That’s why, you goof!” Sheepishly, I gathered up the new pair and proceeded to the register, without a word.
Now the fun was only just beginning, for I had to pay for them. My previous experiences buying glasses had always been limited to the “2 for $100” variety. This time, however, Ali had unexpectedly triggered all of this madness by suggesting that I finally get myself a “nice pair.” As price conscious I am, I still ended up with a pair of frames that was under $150, amazingly given many of the options. I even chose some sunglasses, thinking I would get a prescription set of those too, since I was keeping the cost down a bit.
Then came the conversation with the clerk.
I had always been told that LensCrafters can be expensive, but I actually began to melt down when I was informed that the lenses alone were going to reach nearly $200 for the ones I needed and practically $250 to outfit the sun specs. I was absolutely flabbergasted and could utter little more than “What?!” and some inaudible moans, much to my wife’s embarrassment and horror. In fact, I was very nearly no longer in need of the kind LensCrafter lady’s services, as I had practically clawed my own eyes out of their sockets, pulling my paws down my own puss in an attempt to mitigate the daze I was experiencing and the profanity that was rising to the tip of my tongue. Obviously, Ali immediately switched into crisis-management-mode, intervened, and assured that I would be able to see within a few hours with the completion of my new glasses. The sunglasses were an obvious and instant casualty in the process.
Thus, the odyssey of my eyewear selection concluded and I am reasonably pleased with the glasses I finally found. I imagine I will be using these frames for the next twenty years. I undoubtedly will be the chucklehead that is still sporting the specs that are hopelessly out of style and have been for at least a dozen years or so, complete with a little tape holding them together. Without question, only another of Ali’s interventions may prevent this fate. It is a good thing I have her!