New Glasses – Or, A Fast $400

23 Apr

After last month’s little episode with the multiple traffic lights, I decided to get a new pair of glasses.

I’ve needed some sort of vision correction since I was in school. Most of the time I wear my contacts, but I have always had a pair of prescription sunglasses for backup. Last summer, the screw started to loosen at one temple, and the left lens would fall out.  I’d put it back into place and tighten the screw, and off we’d go. Until the lens landed in the drive way, and I couldn’t find it. I stepped back to see if it had landed under the car. And found it.

Under my foot.

Yesterday I went for an eye exam, and then had to select new frames. (Didn’t have the wits to bring the old ones with me.) The cheapest frames I could find were $139.00. I just about had a fit. And the lenses – which are NOT bifocals! – were $268.00! Fortunately, Medicare will cover the exam itself.

When I was in high school, my mother took me to get new glasses, and handed the optician my old frames. He looked at them, and then measured my face, and told my mom I needed new frames. She pitched a fit – a variation on the “don’t waste my money on X-rays” theme. The man showed her that the frames were already too small; in order to put them on, the ear pieces had to be pulled out so far that the lenses were bending inward, and this would only get worse as I grew in the next year.

My mother grabbed me by the elbow, yanked me out of the chair, and dragged me out onto Charles Street, muttering all the way to the parking lot. As she got into the car, she said, “That man must think I’m a mad woman.”

And I, like the tar baby, didn’t say a word.


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