Eye Yi Yi
I haven’t been to a dentist in years for no good reason other than I just never think to go. I haven’t been to a physician in years because I don’t want to hear him tell me I’m out of shape and need to eat right and exercise. And, up a week ago, I hadn’t been to an optometrist in 5+ years because I hate getting air blown into my eyes.
Nobody’s afraid of the eye doctor, as a general rule. I’m technically not myself, but I do have specific anxieties attached to getting my eyes checked (just like I have specific anxieties attached to most things in my life, really). I know they say the air-in-the-eyes thing is a test for glaucoma, but I think they’re having us on. I think they got together and decided that they could do pretty much whatever they wanted to us in the name of “Doctoring,” and that’s what they decided to try. Whoever it was that allowed them to do that to him the first time ought to be noted in the history books somewhere so we can revile and curse them.
The other thing I worry about is the Flippy Lenses Test. You know that old joke about worrying you were going to fail your hearing test because you hadn’t studied? It’s actually kind of like that. I can never tell enough difference between the two choices to feel confident about my decision. Reading letters off a chart isn’t a very good approximation of real-world reading situations, I don’t think.
Furthermore, when someone’s having the laser surgery done on their eyes, don’t they take measurements with a computer to know how they need to make the laser adjustments? Why can’t they just take computer readings of my eyes and tell me what prescription I need? Why do I need to take tests at all?
Turns out Mr. Smarty Doctor was all set with answers to these questions:
- Puff of air: “We can tell things with that test that we can’t easily determine from other tests.” Mm-hmm. Like, for instance, just how much people will let you get away with.
- Flippy Lenses Test: “We double-check without you knowing to make sure you’re consistent in your choices. We’ll go back and try a lens from before.” I guess that makes sense, but why tell me that before I take the Flippy Lens Test? Now I know the secret and I’ll mess everything up.
- Computer measuring: “Computer measuring can’t take into account the little variances and the ‘feel’ that person is after. Also, you’d be surprised to know how much of the laser surgery is based on the Flippy Lens Test.” Actually, yeah, I was. I thought that was pretty interesting, but it means I’ll never be able to go get the laser surgery done now. I mean, can you even imagine the anxiety of having that be dependent on my choices?
Before my exam I had looked over the available frames and had narrowed my choice down to two. They were pretty much two different versions of the same style and, really, the style was a big part of my decision to finally go to the eye doctor. I’ve had the wire-frames for five years or so and it was time for a change. I’d always liked Lisa Loeb’s glasses on her, and I’ve seen those more and more frequently in the past couple of years on people, and I thought I might like to try them on me. More recent examples and recent exhortations for me to try them on me pushed me to do so.
This, of course, leads to my third anxiety about going to the eye doctor: I can’t tell how glasses look on me because I have to take my glasses off to try the non-prescription demo models on… which means I can’t see myself. This means I have to rely on the opinions of others (who, I should mention, I’m more willing to trust on matters of my appearance than I am to trust myself). The only “others” around at this point are the people who work at the doctor’s office. One of the ladies said she’d help me out and looked at the two I’d chosen. She gave a definite “Those!” to one pair, so those were the ones I got. I was a little suspicious because they were the more expensive of the two and she does, after all, work for the office, but I decided that fake or not, her enthusiasm for these particular frames was inspiring. Done & done.
“They should be done in about a week.” Say what? I’m not used to having to wait for glasses. I’d gone to a “we’ll have them done in an hour” place before, so that’s what I was used to (which translates in Markspeak to “comfortable with”). Ah, well. Not much I can do about it, I guess.
A measly four days later, I got the call that they were in. Not a bad wait, really. I went in to pick them up and the same lady fitted them on me to make sure they were okay. She did a couple of “Oh, yeah, those are gooood”s, but I was still distrustful. Do I need to tip for compliments, you think?
A couple of friends have seen them now and ruled them “hip” and “appearance changing.” The changing I’ve noticed is that they are forming new dents in my head above my ears, a painful process that I hope is over soon. I also hope that the old dents go away, as it can’t be good to have more dents in your head than you need, can it? I’m still noticing the frames while they’re on me, but I’m glad I’ve had the weekend to get used to them rather than trying to do that at work tomorrow.
So what do they look like? See for yourself. Try not to be distracted by the huge forehead in the picture, a feature apparently enhanced by the haircut I got the same day I got the glasses.