Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Spectacled Hen

Yes you read that correctly.

It will no longer be the "spreckled" hen, it'll be the "spectacled" hen.

When I first moved here at the end of March I jokingly wondered aloud whether the cold would do many things to me:

"1) wondering if my eyes will somehow be permanently damaged from being nakedly exposed to the cold, 2) thinking that my fingers will get frostbite even though I'm wearing glove liners and gloves with my hands in my down jacket pockets, 3) projecting how I might actually come to look my age against my Asian genetic structure because the cold makes my facial skin age faster."

Well, it seems at least that #1 and #3 seem to be correct, despite my best intentions. I have been identified as my real age (though still not by bouncers...they must be chronically tested as that subset of the population who is terrible at guessing ages..or are only there to flatter women who want to be mistaken for younger versions of themselves), and well, my eyesight is in fact, going south.

I don't remember if I actually published on this theory or not, but I certainly told my family once I moved here that I noticed that an unreasonably high percentage of Finns did in fact, wear glasses. And I mean strong glasses (their eyes are always slightly magnified as you look at them, which hilariously gives them a sort of bug-eyed appearance which is rather endearing). I immediately drew the conclusion that this must be due to the cold (hence my exclamation about my eyes being exposed to the naked cold, other than the fact that I did in fact worry that my vitreous humour would somehow be damaged by the cold...knowing something about eye structure), but also the incredible low-light situations they are faced with during the winter. I mean, how else could such a high percentage of a population have such bad eyesight? Sure, genetics, but how did they get to that point in the first place? O_O

Oh yes.

Anyway, my theory aside (which I think is at least worth thinking about), it seems at least for me, the data still points to this theory being true: my eyesight is in fact, getting worse. And yes I have noticed it getting remarkably worse since I've arrived here.

So, having noted this decline (and wondering what to do about it), I made an appointment with my doctor at my work site and had a chat about what my options were. Foolishly thinking that maybe I needed to be referred to some sort of eye specialist or something, I talked to my doctor about what I needed to do next. She simply said, "uh, you go to an eye glass store and the optometrist examines your eyes." "So there's no referral?" "No."

Well then.

My doctor also decided to tell me at that point that while we were talking she noticed I did not, in fact, have a lazy eye. Um, thank you...Doctor.

After realizing that I would need to find an eye glass store to go to, I remembered that my boss had some pretty sweet frames and called upon her help for recommendations (she having lived in Finland most of her life). She recommended a great private store with good prices, and I looked it up. Right in town. Yes.

I brought the subject up with several of my girlfriends during lunch one day and it turns out several of them needed glasses as well (one lost her only pair, another needed a new pair, and Hong Kong P...well, she just wanted glasses, despite having had Lasik a few years back...something something stylish).

So I did what any person would do. I made a Facebook event to go to the glasses store. Glasses shopping, clearly the newest trend.

And we went this past weekend. It was to the place my boss recommended, called Trend Optic.

Super cute place with friendly staff, I immediately went in and asked to make an eye exam appointment, since I needed to know how bad my eyes were before starting to shop for frames (I came in with Hong Kong P and while I was talking she had already started her perusing).

Turns out they had a slot open right then and there so I went in and got my eyes checked. As soon as he put down the first lens to see if I could see better through it, I knew I was going to need something - it was clearer. I could see clearer with the aid of something else. Damnit. I knew something was wrong. I just wasn't willing to fully admit that maybe it was actually true. I'd had 20/20 vision all my life.

As we progressed through the exam though, I started to feel a little better about things. Since Finland did have such a high prevalence of glasses wearers (read: glasses, not contacts...again, my theory is it's too cold here so contacts are actually unusable during the winter months...might damage your eye or something), they probably know what they're actually doing here. And would be able to tell the minute differences between someone who has actual eye sight problems and someone who, for example, just has something scratched and can't see correctly because of that.

Plus, I rationalized to myself, I'll actually be able to see clearly again. This is something I'd been lacking for several months to a year now, so...well, wouldn't I want to see the world clearly again? I mean it wasn't horrible during that time, just not perfect anymore. And it used to be perfect. So I already knew what I was missing.

Calmed down a bit after the initial shock of knowing that I was going to become a glasses wearer (something I'd never realistically considered for myself), I then thought of the silly positives: I can get sweet trendy frames. :D I can add this to my list of accessories.

As my exam was finishing the man wrote some numbers on my file card (which mean nothing to me, I'll have to repost later when I understand what my prescription actually means and he tells it to me officially) and reassured me that my prescription was quite low still. I would only need to wear the glasses when I was in front of a computer (simply to relax my eyes) and whenever I wanted to see more clearly farther away, like maybe when I'm driving a car or walking outside for a distance. Sweet, not an all-the-time thing. I can get used to that.

Done with the hard portion of the visit, I then set to the fun part: frames shopping. And the man was more than happy to help me out with that part. Their store was well-equipped for trendy frames. My boss was not wrong: they were wonderfully stocked.

Just look at the selection! Wondrous! Gorgeous! Frames in every color, shape, creed, style, that you could ever imagine!

I actually found several that I liked, but decided that I really should get one (let's be realistic here). Plus my work insurance only covers one set of lenses per year (and they're the expensive bit), so, I settled on one. The man said the glasses would be finished in about 5 days and they would text me when they were finished. Whoo! (I'll repost when I get them...I actually can't remember what they look like...sad, I know ~_~).

Even after I finished picking out my particular frames though, it was fun to just try on every other frame in the store (not literally, there were hundreds if not thousands). So many different kinds! Oh this opened up an entirely new world for me, and it was amazing. I had something entirely new to think about.

And so did the girls who came with me. It was Hong Kong P, Finnish Irish T, and a fellow American J. They all found frames they liked as well, and coincidentally, ordered theirs also (except for American J, since she had to check out one more store and had an appointment elsewhere later next week).

Anyway, we've all agreed, because of my precedent of the first event, that I will create a second event to go pick up our glasses together! Oh my, what a trendsetter I've become!

...but in all honesty, I cannot wait to get my glasses. The spreckled hen, will soon be spectacled. :)

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