Sunday, May 02, 2010

Optical Delusions

I was sitting in the patient’s chair at Tar-jay Optical. Why go to Target for your optical needs? Why not? I feel so comfortable at Target. Red and white is my favorite color scheme.
This appointment had nothing to do with the makeover, I just needed an eye exam. My arms were getting too short.

The optometrist is Dr. Miller, A friendly woman somewhere in her forties kind of age, I think. She had blonde hair, long and wavy in even undulations instead of curls. She directed me to put my chin here, look there, track the flashlight. “Don’t worry, this (nozzle that is zooming real close to my eye) just blows out a puff of air.” Later she asked repeatedly: “Which one looks better? (Click. Her voice lilted up in a soothing question)…A? (Click . Her voice slid back down.)…or B? (Click)…A? (Click, with a wee-bit longer pause)…or B?

The exam was over more quickly than I expected. She sat back in her rolling chair and began to explain how my far-range vision is fine, but my near-range vision is beginning to degenerate in that way that always seems to begin as you take your first waking breath on your fortieth birthday. She then eased into a practiced explanation about some glasses that would help me see at both distances and—

“You’re going to say the ‘B’ word, aren’t you?” I interrupted.
She smirks and regains her footing in her choreographed spiel, continuing without repeating the word, but dancing around it.

OMG! As the kids say.

A few minutes later I am at the front desk, asking if they have a pair of over-the -counter magnifying eyeglasses I can try on before committing a lot of money for real reading glasses. (I called them ‘cheaters’ when Rob got OTC magnifiers. Now it’s not quite as funny. Let’s call them “cheapers,” because they are.)

I slipped on the cheapers. They improved things sight-wise, but when I glanced up at the attendant, I reflexively pointed my nose down and gazed up over the glasses. The Librarian glare.

I already need age-related reading glasses, which is enough of a blow, I don’t want to be seen doing that over-the-glasses gesture that automatically ages you ten to twenty years.

I got the invisible trifocals. Doesn’t that sound better than bifocals? Like I have a legitimate vision problem, not just the usual accompaniment to crow’s feet and sagging assets (—my God-given bosomly endowment is now an “en down ment.”)

I purchased a pair of cool looking cheapers (yes, that's possible) to have as a spare, because Rob’s prescription reading glasses seem to run off with the car keys right when he needs them.

When I get home I talked to Rob about going out for dinner.
“I want to go now, I’m hungry.” I said. Both of us swivel our heads to look at the clock on the stove. It’s almost four pm.
“Oh, no!” I cried. “I’m even eating like a senior citizen now!”

At least now I’ll be able to read the menu without pictures.

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