Actually I was shocked when I went in to pick out new frames a couple of weeks ago, to see how GORgeous kids' frames are now. They don't know how lucky they are!
The last time I bought glasses, it was because the ones I'd been wearing were five years old and starting to look a bit shabby. I didn't want to have my prescription checked because despite pursuing recommendations from friends and family I'd had some bad experiences with optometrists. You know, crowded waiting rooms, long delays, rushed examinations.
(translation: I freak out about the eye drops that open your pupil and I don't like the glaucoma test either where you get a puff of air right on your eyeball.)
So, I did what I've done for the last twenty years or so - I went to see Haideh to buy new frames. Haideh isn't an optometrist, but in addition to making glasses for people she is also an artist, and when she looks at a client she sees shape and colour and knows instantly which is the perfect frame. Seriously, I've bought SO many glasses from her in the past twenty years and every time, no matter how many pairs I see and want to try on, I end up with one from the first grouping of three she shows me, two of which were invariably chosen by her to make me feel like I was exploring options. She is always, always dead on, which is helpful because I got two pairs again.
|... and my grownup professional persona|
As well as being Always Right, Haideh is also very professional. That last visit, she asked me several times whether I sure my vision hadn't changed. And I said Nope, it's just fine, no adjustment needed. And she made glasses for me that were very beautiful. But...
They really weren't the right prescription. They weren't terrible, but they weren't the right match for what my eyes had become, and five years down the road - well, I've had enough trouble seeing that I agreed to try the optometrist Pete's been happy with.
And he was GREAT! He is a relaxed guy, and when I told him I didn't love the drops or glaucoma test he said You know what, let's put the drops in the corner of your eye while you keep it closed, and you can just blink. And we probably don't need to do that glaucoma test because it isn't very accurate anyway. If I see something that worries me when the drops get working, then we'll talk.
And It turns out my eyes are very healthy anyway. phew.
However: when it came to my prescription, he looked puzzled and asked how long ago I'd been tested, because he was pretty sure based on where my eyes are now that my current glasses would have worked for me ten years ago.
I got graduated lenses again this time, which is to say the top area of the lens lets me see distance - at Haideh's, I was reading accurately two lines beyond what is deemed 20/20 vision - while the middle gives me mid-range, and the bottom allows me to knit or read on the subway without repositioning my glasses to serve as a hairband.
When you have three different prescriptions in one lens it can be tricky to get used to where your eye should look at any given moment, and when you have two different frames - it feels like an indulgence to have two pairs, but after the time I broke the arm off my glasses while camping, I don't say No - it can be hard to switch between them. Five years ago I chose narrow rectangles and larger horn rims and I don't think I wore the horn rims at all after the first week. I was smarter this time and chose two pairs in a similar size and shape, but even so it took about two weeks to get used to the difference in strength! It's almost double what it was ten years ago.
No wonder I've been having so much trouble seeing the TV while knitting. For months I've been doing stocking stitch only, and sitting close to the screen: now I can move further back without squinting. Between that and the new task-style floorlamp I bought ahead of when I will need it for the new living room, it is so, so much easier to close work now! I am actually typing this with my glasses on, which I haven't been able to do in ages.
And just like when I was new to glasses, and learned for the first time that the green part of trees is made up of tiny leaves and not just a single, soft-edged mass, I am amazed to be able to look out the condo's window and see individual pine needles and distinct leaves.
(good thing I haven't driven my car for the last year and a half, huh?)