Saturday, June 29, 2013

Eye See

I get an eye exam once a year and because of a generous insurance policy, a new pair of glasses every year.

Those of you who wear glasses know the agony and thrill of this decision.  It's a chance to reinvent yourself, to jazz up your look, to justify the placement of the nose on your face.

Every year I spend my time in the waiting room before the exam trying on different styles of glasses and every year, what promises to be a fun little activity turns into a crisis in self-identity.  The frames that I pick out are supposed to bespeak a glamorous, a fun-spirited, kicky attitude.

I place them on my tiny little face and they sit there, clearly out of place--my date who dressed to the nines to go clubbing in Los Angeles is transported to a makeshift picnic in a weedy field compete with ants and gingham skirted-companion.

I try on another pair I think totally fit my personality.  They are nerdy/cool.  I see myself wearing them on the slick pages of a magazine. They scream "Wow!  This chick has it going on!"  I put them on my face and turn to toward the mirror. They scream all right, "Nooooooooo!  Seriously?  No!  Step away from these frames and get thee to the nunnery collection. Immediately.

It's enough to depress a nearsighted girl.

Now, I recognize that I have to deal with several factors when it comes to my glasses selection.  First, of all the glasses have to be big enough to accommodate my progressive prescription.  I am fair-skinned, so dark frames usually don't work since I have fine features that are easily overwhelmed, but most of all, I have a very small head.  I mean, it is seriously small.  Unless there is a child under the age of eight in the room, I can guarantee I will be the smallest-headed person at any gathering. Without the illusion afforded me my volumizing shampoos and conditioners, you would be able to see that my ears nearly touch in the back.

This year, while in the office before the exam, I cruised the frame section and  I had my annual identity crisis.  Because of my small head,  glasses in the children's section are usually my best bet. However, for a bit I want  to believe the world of adult glasses is available to me.  Alas. none of the ones I pick out work and so I go over to the kiddy frames placed in a spinning little wheel and find the funkiest frames there.

And I fall for them.  They are cutting edge, funky, and I hope cool.  With them, I think I will be I one of those women you see in a mall and think "Why, that woman is a perfume advertisement in a glossy magazine come to life!!"  A tag line dances around my feet "She knows herself and is not afraid to make life happen!!!"

Both the optician and the doctor just happen to be in the waiting room when I turn around in the glasses. I asked for their opinion.  The optician immediately shakes her head, "For one thing, those are too big."   "But I got them from the children's section!" I whine.  Then the doctor, ever the jokester, says, "Well, you'd better check our neonatal section then."

(Oh yes, laugh at the small-headed person.  Go ahead. Just don't call me when you drop  your gold ring, contact lens, or better yet something you really care about like your cell phone in the monkey cage at the zoo and need someone with a small head to lean through the bars to look for it.)

I have my exam and sit and wait for the optician to help me pick out my final frames.  She is kind, generous and patient.  She pulls a lot of frames out and sits them before me.  I look at them and sigh.  They all look the same.  She is encouraging as I try on various frames.   I feel just plain old in some of the frames.  I turn to her expecting a "Oh no, those aren't you at all. What was I thinking?" reaction.   Instead, she says, "Oh!  Those are nice!  Those would work!" 

Suddenly, it dawns on me that this poor deluded thing sees me as a middle-aged woman!  Doesn't she realize I am only 54?

Suddenly, I go to the children's section and pull out my funky frames again.   I sit down across from her at the desk.  I bob sideways, like a weighted plastic clown, from the mirror to her and back again, and then she starts to squint at me just a little.  Is she starting to believe in the vision? Is she starting to see the real me? Is she eager to get the crazy lady out of the office?  Perhaps.

Just then another optician walks out and says, "Oh, those are young and hip.  You could rock those."  I could kiss him full on the mouth. (Now I wonder if, like silent alarms at banks if the opticians' desks are outfitted with buttons that ring to bring out help from the back for their "special patients." )

"I'll take them, " I said.

Maybe I made a mistake with the frames, but what the heck?  It's only for a year. I've been through bigger changes. My students already think I'm wacky so these will suit their vision of me just fine.  if not now, when, my people?  I picked them up last night and love them!

Now, let's fold up this picnic blanket and get clubbin'.

By the way, is my tag line on straight?

(No one around to take a picture of me, so froggy stepped in to be my model!  Doesn't he look fine?)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty - love the story - thank goodness I don't need glasses, so that decision is taken away from me .. and how wonderful you went for the funky look - yes Mr Frog looks a good companion with your glasses on ..

Small head - little hair - I think I might beat you!! No voluminous shampoo to increase the size .. such is life ..

Enjoy that clubbing .. happy weekend .. cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

I got new glasses this year too. Red ones that are metal woven to look like lace.
I had looked for some like yours, but mine didn't have any. Love how something that was considered old is now considered new!

Olga said...

I will have to forward this post to my sister in law, the optician. You are very fortunate to have insurance that will pay for glasses every year.

Ms. A said...

Froggy looks very hip and intelligent!

Cranberry Morning said...

LOL Loved this post! And I'd love to see the 'nunnery collection' of eyeglasses. ;-)

Lin said...

I hate shopping for glasses. Too little time, too much pressure at that one appointment. I always end up with something a lot less cool than what I set out for.

And this whole "size for the prescription" thing really gets in my way!!! although I hear "big" glasses are back in again.

Hilary said...

I end up in the children's section also. Though I only get to participate in that fun adventure when my eyesight changes enough. I think they look great on froggie and no doubt look superb on you.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Love the froggy and the glasses too. My husband bought all of us a holder for our frames. It is a nose that the glasses rest on and then there is a mouth, so when we put them on there it looks like a face!

My little girl has been wearing glasses since age 1 and she has the coolest frames. They are multi-colored. I totally wish I could carry that look on me, but I look best in tortoise shell.

Gigi said...

I haven't bought glasses in eons - I usually just go with the contacts. Needless to say, the glasses I have are so old, they could be considered "vintage." I like yours!

Nancy C said...

I love these glasses for you Betty! I just ordered two new pair -- sunglasses and regular (I can't see).

Have fun with these. Sexy lady.

YrHmblHst said... spirited KINKY attitude?!? oh, re-read...kicky. OH. :(
I think the frames will work fine. And what a fine bit of prose describing the process!

Leah J. Utas said...

Excellent choice of specs, Betty. I got through something similar when I need new glasses, but I don't have to get them from the children's section. That's reserved for my socks and occasionally gloves.

Que Merrill said...

That's the process, exactly. Plus, at my optometrist, they have you look at frames after they put in the eyedrops, so I can't see, and I always feel a little drugged. So mostly, I wind up with glasses that are great for at home, and I buy cheapies at the 99 cent store for the real world.

jenny_o said...

Oooh, you have an awesome benefits plan :) When I get new glasses, I'd better be happy with them for FOUR years. Needless to say, I tend to go the conservative route :)

Out on the prairie said...

I always like others opinions picking frames

Sueann said...

Those are great...very retro. Definitely rock it out girl

Ann said...

a story I can relate to except I don't get a new pair every year. It takes me forever to pick out ones I like and then when I finally get them and get home with them, I no longer like them.

Baby Sister said...

Froggy looks awesome. And I love your glasses!! I think you'll rock them as well. Enjoy them for me. Sometimes I still miss wearing glasses.

Shan said...

Love them!

Just two days ago I broke off half an arm on my light purple glasses. I also have good insurance, but not enough time, so we stopped at Target and I got a pair of readers. Darker purple with flowers. Not quite sure what I think as of yet, but they may be my gateway glasses that allow me to commit to something funky and fun.

My Mind's Eye said...

Very nice selection BB!!!
I do declare BB you wrote a most enjoyable buying new glasses post!!!
I too have progressive glasses and oh my word getting just the right contacts for that was a journey
Hugs C

Tabor said...

Yep, glasses are like new swimsuits!!

Pat Tillett said...

Oh yeah! Froggy is styling in those specs. I'm sure you are doing the same. I hate wearing glasses. They are so hard for me to keep clean.

Donna B. said...

Thanks for the long, commiserating laughter!! I too just put in for a new pair of glasses...haven't got them yet...but I avoided the identity crisis this year and didn't go "cool" with the plastic frames...I went with an old pair of wire rims again to keep the cost down. We have no eye insurance anymore....

I really like your frames! Very cool!!

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