I’ve been to the Opticians today. I loathe going to the opticians. It’s hard. I can’t do it. Those tests
‘which is best number 1 or number 2?’
Which is clearer red or green?
I’m never quite sure and terrified I’ll end up with a dodgy prescription because I am quite hopeless at telling which is best. They look the bloomin’ same – blurry. Probably ‘cos I haven’t got my glasses on. And, by the way, I can, sort of, read the third line, but I have to squint and concentrate and that probably isn’t good on a day to day, hour by hour basis.
Then there’s the looking up, looking down, looking left, looking right, look up to the right, look up to the left, look down to the right, look down to the left.
Ok, I admit it, when you’re invading my space and peering into my eye with a brilliantly bright light I find it extremely difficult to tell my left from right. There’s no need to get tetchy.
If the test wasn’t bad enough, I have to brace myself for the humiliation of choosing frames. To make it even more painful, it’s a two for one offer. I have to choose two flaming frames.
Now what is it with frame manufacturers? All the frames come in one size. Don’t they know we all have different sized heads? I tried on practically every pair in the shop, and the one pair that I actually liked, and thought suited me were ‘too wide’ for my teeny tiny head. Or so the glam assistant, who hadn’t been out in the blistering wind, and who had had time to apply make-up this morning, told me (she didn’t actually say I had a teeny tiny head, but that was the gist).
As I tried more on, it became increasingly apparent that I have a pin head. Smaller than average, with ears that are set on wonky. My nose is slipperier than everybody else’s and my eyelashes are freakishly long. Dark frames are ‘too heavy’ for my tiddly features, and light ones make me look ‘washed out’. Round frames make me look like an owl, square one’s like a (badly) computer generated robot.
For a while glam assistant seems quite sympathetic. But an edge in her voice starts setting in and she disappears to ‘find my file’ and presumably kick the cat. She comes back with one of her colleagues who shakes her head and says
‘Too wide.’ reasonably sympathetically when I show her my frames of choice. ‘How about these’ Nope, too blingy. I don’t do bling. Too Edna Everidge.
After a further hour and a half of this fiasco, I eventually make a decision. Two pairs. One quite plain and boring, the others purple with somewhat peculiar thick arms.
We go over to the seats where they measure and dot, and do things I don’t understand, to get the varifocals right (oh, yes. I’m also so ancient I need varifocals – my god it’s depressing).
‘Are you happy with them?’ she asks.
I pout churlishly
‘not really. I like the other ones. The ones that are ‘too wide’.’ I am aware I sound like a sulky schoolkid.
‘Shall I get them?’ She asks.
‘Yes please’ She may as well have offered me a giant bar of chocolate. Hooray, I’ve got my own way (I am undoubtedly an overage brat).
The said frames are adjusted. They feel comfortable. They feel like they fit fine. I think they’re ok. Glam assistant starts agreeing they look ok.
‘If you like them, then go with them’ I can almost hear her muttering ‘be it on your own head’ under her breath.
I discard the boring pair and buy the too wide one’s for a humungus amount of dosh. I get the purple pair too. Just in case. When I get them I’ll be able to either wear a pair that don’t fit properly ‘cos their too wide, or a pair I don’t like much. At least I’ll have a choice, lets hope I didn’t fudge the tests!