Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Glasses!

I bring my sunglasses to work every day, because even when a cruel, indifferent G-d is raining his icy wrath upon us from above, the light from the office's floor-to-ceiling windows can get a little intense, and no one's allowed to put up curtains or shades because eff you, that's why! My sunglasses came with a nice, roomy glasses case, big enough to fit both my regular glasses and my sunglasses. They nest together like tender lovers when I'm in my yoga class. I like doing my yoga in a gentle, fuzzy haze of blurred faces and diminished depth perception.

But after last week's class, I opened my glasses case and found that the sunglasses had done a Pac-Man on the regular glasses and engulfed their slim metal frames--waaka waaka waaka--they were broken beyond repair.

I've worn glasses since I was four years old. They are a very big part of my identity. Sure, I flirted with contacts, everyone did in the late nineties, even people who didn't need them and just wanted to look like Marilyn Manson, but ultimately my laziness won over my vanity and I just went back to the specs. Why mess with what works, right? Also, I had eye surgery when I was fifteen, and contacts irritated the stitches on my corneas. Take a moment to enjoy that tactile image.

The point being, new glasses time is a very important moment in the life of a glasses-wearer. I'd had my glasses for almost four years; I got them right before I moved to New York, the last time I was fully employed and had health insurance. They were blue Guess glasses, metal, rectangular, with a little design cut away in the frame, my big girl glasses that replaced the glasses I got when I entered college, which replaced my high school glasses. You can see how this works: major life change=new glasses

Fortunately, with me being a gainfully employed, fully functioning member of society again, I have proper health insurance. Major life change often coincides with a change in health insurance situation. On Monday, I took the morning off work and toddled down to my friendly neighborhood optometrist for new glasses--new New York glasses!

Doctor was a great old Jewish guy who told me that the doctors had done an exceptional job on my eye surgery, and that the Brooklyn Dodgers got their name because trolley cars used to run all through Brooklyn, but the tracks were in the middle of the road, so when you got off the trolley, you had to dodge traffic to get to the sidewalk. Great guy. He liked me a lot. I picked my frames and was ready to go back to work and squint at my computer for a week or so until the lenses could be made, but wait! They'd have them ready in about an hour and a half. Did I mind waiting?

Let me tell you something about ordering glasses in Hawaii. Again, I've been doing this since I was four. I have certain expectations, one of which is that the frames will have to be shipped four islands over to get fitted with the proper lenses, and because one of my eyes is near-sighted and the other is far-sighted, they are rather difficult specimens, so I will get the glasses when I get them and be damned happy for it. I have never in my life received an eye exam and new glasses on the same day.

Lots of things surprised me when I moved to New York: the crowds, the difficulty of mastering the subway, the lack of alleyways for Spider-Man to change into his costume. But I don't think I was ever so shocked as when I picked up my new glasses less than two hours after my exam. It was like crapping in an outhouse all your life and suddenly discovering one of those fancy Japanese toilets that plays nature sounds to cover up the shameful sound of your tinkles. It's civilization, baby, and it rocks!

Now I'm in the stage of new glassesness where my new prescription is so much better than my old one that the clarity of the objects around me actually makes me nauseous. That pleasant fuzziness that haloed everything on Friday was completely gone by Monday, replaced by the raw, unadulturated scream of reality. And those shadows in the corners of my apartment? Dust bunnies. Clumps of filth.

Who comes in here and makes this mess while I'm gone?

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