Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Got them glasses!

After waiting a seeming eternity, my glasses were ready. I received the text on Wednesday, much to my glee. I immediately sent out the email to my girlfriends, anxious to see if they had likewise received their texts of confirmation. Within an hour or two all of them confirmed receiving their texts and the FB event was created - we were going to get them glasses on Friday (the first free evening we could leave work early enough to still make it to the shop before it closed...6pm apparently is a luxury for several of us...like me ~_~).

So on Friday we marched out from work, taking the bus with smiles in our hearts, despite the gloomy rainy weather intent on squashing our mission of picking up our new glasses.

We arrived at the glasses store with 20 minutes to spare before the store closed (I'm sure the staff there absolutely loves us).

Inside, Finnish Irish T was trying on her frame alternatives - she needed to specially order two different colors to complete her order. We stood by her as she tried on each pair in turn, carefully considering the alternatives and their possible consequences. Such is the weight of every decision regarding eyewear. We all understood the gravity of such a situation.

I, on the other hand, chippered with excitement as the man went back to retrieve my already-completed glasses. In my excitement last weekend, I had completely forgotten what they looked like. Several of my friends had asked me what they were like and the only thing I could say to them was..."have you ever had that experience where you just met someone you really like and you can't remember what their face looks like?" Everyone I asked said no. Apparently that's not a common phenomenon. Well, for me it is. Sometimes when I meet someone new who I really like I don't really remember what their face looks like. Or I'll remember it not exactly right. Of course I'll remember the essence of the person, but the details will be wrong.

(A quick side story as a case-in-point: met this guy once who I immediately hit it off with. We started texting and set up a date. I was pretty sure in my mind that he looked like Shia Labeouf. (You know, that kid from Transformers). When he came to pick me up for our date, I opened my door and instead I found someone who was the tall young thin version of Liev Schreiber (guy from The Manchurian Candidate)...which was totally fine because I think he's equally hot...but generally speaking these two guys look not so alike.)

That's what it was like with my glasses. I had even given them a personality name. And even that didn't help me. It was between two final pairs at the end. A pair of tortoisehell glasses I named Sexy Librarian and the pair I went with, which I named Cute Retro Girl. I went with the latter, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what they looked like or what color they were. I vaguely had the impression they were green or maybe yellow. That was it. I knew they were made of plastic instead of metal or any other material, and that they were roughly squarish instead of round...but zip past that.

So boy was I excited when I finally got to the store to see what they were like in real life. It was like coming back to try on a dress that's been tailored to fit my body but I've forgotten all the details that make it great.

And great is what they were. I put them on and all my fears melted away. Yes, I chose the right ones. Even with my skin looking like crap because it was 5 degrees C outside (read: blotchy and unhappy), my glasses fit. And I could see perfectly for the first time in a year.

Naturally the legs needed to be adjusted a little so they would fit my ears/head/noggin, etc, but that took the guy maybe 5 minutes and then poof! Like they were made just for me. Because they were.

And glory be. I wear them everywhere. I'm such a dork. But I love them. Best 290euros I've spent so far (well, that's debatable, but I feel very happy about them, anyway).

Check out my sweet specs:

They are indeed both green and yellow. And I do look like a retro person from the past. The other day I caught my reflection as I was walking home and I realized that I look like someone from the 60's...like this:

But obviously I could never be as cool as Michael Caine. Never. His kind of class? Eternal.

So back to my turning blind. I said I would cover my prescription, once I understood it more. As my company does apparently cover the cost of lenses, I asked the guy at the shop to copy down my prescription for me, since this is part of the documentation I need to turn in to get reimbursement. As he copied down the numbers, I once again realized that I know nothing of this system. As a child with up-until-now perfect eyesight, the only measure I had been told is something relatively referred to as "distance measure," i.e. 20/20 sight. This is the layman's version of saying something like, "what I can see at 20 feet, normal people can also see at 20 feet" When someone has exceptionally good vision, they are usually something like 20/15, meaning they can see something at 20 feet that normal people would need to stand at 15 feet to see. And when your vision is slightly worse, it's something like 20/30, meaning you need to stand at 20 feet to see what most people can see at 30 feet (meaning you need to stand closer). Etc etc.

Well apparently this measure is not used commonly around the world. After asking the man at the shop if he could translate the numbers he was writing down into this system, he sort of looked at me confusedly and said they didn't use that system here and that I could go on the web to maybe translate it. He knew enough to say I was one tick away from perfect (like one measure away) and that I was slightly more nearsighted. That was about it.

So I did some more investigation on the web. I found no such easy translation. I'll take his word for it.

But I did find a good explanation for what my prescription meant. Here are what my actual numbers are:

Left eye:
S: -0.25
C: -0.25
Axis: 90 degrees

Right eye:
S: -0.25
C: -0.50
Axis: 40 degrees

According to Web MD (naturally the most reliable source of medical information on the web...this is me being totally sarcastic, btw), this means I have astigmatisms in both eyes, and that I am slightly nearsighted in both eyes (because they're both negative). I also have a ridiculously light prescription. Everyone who has tried on my glasses and/or seen my prescription numbers has basically laughed at me.

Well, this is what I get for knowing what perfect is like and seeing the decay. What can I say? Once you've seen perfection, perfection is what you expect and desire.

My biggest example of this is using the bus or the tram in the morning. When I walk out of my apartment in the morning I have the option of using the bus or the tram to get to the major bus station that takes me to work. When I cross the street I am slightly closer to the tram stop by maybe 5 feet. Both of them have signs that tell you how long it will be before the next tram or bus is to arrive. Both of these signs use orange LEDs. These are incredibly hard to read and they're quite small (not to mention that both of these signs, when I cross the street, are about 20-30 feet away). Without my glasses, if I squint hard enough, sometimes I can barely make out what the numbers are and guess how long either the bus or tram is before coming. But basically it's a guess. I can't actually tell. I've guessed wrong before, which is frustrating (though in real terms it probably only costs me...maybe a max of 5 minutes extra commute time). With my new glasses, I can see both signs clearly, and voila! Problem solved. The world is perfect again.

And thus the case for my glasses is solid. :)

So, all you naysayers of my silly little prescription, I believe my reasons are sound.

I now walk around with my glasses on almost constantly. I can see the details on the farthest trees again. Pretty sure these glasses were worth every penny.

I can see the world clearly again.


  1. My prescription (for comparison) is -8.50 in the left, -9.00 in the right. If I hold my palm one foot from the front of my face I can not see the lines on my hand. Six inches, yes. But I go cross eyed. :)

    Those glasses are amazing. Coming from someone with years of experience picking out glasses frames... It's not always easy and you did a FANTASTIC job! I vote for a pic of them on your pretty face!

    1. Oh my indeed! My best friend also had a very strong prescription and he once took a picture of what his vision looked like without glasses (so I could see what his eyes saw before he got Lasik). It was so fascinating! I could not imagine.

      Glasses pictures will emerge at some point in time. :)