Jeany, a close friend of mind, shared her experience in visiting a glasses store to make new glasses. She usually wore contacts, but she said that many of her recent colleagues seems to admire girl with glasses. And Jeany, when she wore glasses, is not an ordinary girl with glasses. She has very high myopia, with -20 glasses prescription. And this is her story, with some twitch.
I crossed the street to McShane Glasses Store, leaving my car in front of the fast food restaurant where I just finish my early dinner. Since the day is still pretty early, I think I’ll just pay a visit to this glasses store to make new glasses. Not that I need one, since I’m mostly wear contact lenses. But it seems that some colleagues that I met during some business meeting seems to adore Girl With Glasses. Few of them also pretty nice looking, and I won’t mind being adored by some of them, for business or maybe, for long term relationship.
“Good evening, welcome to McShane. May I help you?”, a man behind the counter greeted me.
“Yes. I need new glasses. Can you make glasses for very high myopia?”, I implored. Not so many optical shop can make glasses in my range, especially glasses shop in a small village.
“Yes we can. What is your prescription? Do you have it with you?”
“Ummm, I can’t remember. It has been a while since I ordered a new glasses. I’m mostly wearing contact lenses these days, and they are at -18 range”, I answered.
The man paused for a moment. “Yes we can, but it will take a while as we work with a lab to make the glasses. It will be around 1 week. Is it OK with you?”, he finally responded.
I will be in the town for 2-3 weeks, so this is not a problem to me. “Yeah sure”, I said. “You will need to take new measurement for me. Where can I take out my contact lenses? I will also need contact lenses case and new contact lens solution”, I said.
The man grab new lens case, and a bottle of contact lens solution. “The lens case is free if you decided to buy glasses from us. The solution is also free for use by our customer”, he said as he handed me both.
So, I walk into the bathroom, wash my hand, and took out each of the lens, and put them into the new contact lens case. I’m used to the routine every day, but I usually do it at the comfort of my well known home that I can walk around with my eyes closed. But taking out my contact lenses, and being without correction for my high myopia made me feel blind. Once I walk out from the bathroom, I almost feel the urge to feel my way around. However, I save myself from such humiliation, and able to walk back to the showroom.
And another problem emerge. Without my correction, I can’t tell where is the counter, or the man that serve me. Everything was so bright and blends together, making it impossible for me to discern anything. So I bit the bullet and open my mouth.
‘Hello”, I said.
“Over here”, I hear a voice. I tried to look into the origin of the voice, but unable to really see if someone there. Even when I’m squinting hard.
“Are you there? I can’t see you”, I said. Not long after I see a shadow coming closer to me.
“Over here”, I heard he said while taking my hand. “Lets walk to the examination room.”
He helped me to walk into a dark room, and get me a chair to sit on. I can see a shadow of a device in front of me, to which he asked me to put my chin on. An auto refractor. I put my chin on the chin rest, and he pushed few buttons. First I see some light on my left eye, then my right eye.
“The machine can’t refract your eyes. Please sit on the chair behind you,” he said. I look back, and see a big dark shadow. Slowly I move to the shadow while putting my hand in the front. Once I feel the chair, I set myself to sit on it.
I can see a light in the distance, but unable to make anything out of it, until he put on trial lens in front of my eyes. I can see the big E. Not in focus, but good enough to tell that it is a big E. However, once he pushed a button and make three rows of smaller letters, all I can see is few black smears.
“I can’t read anything. Is it a D or and O?” I asked
“It is a D. Not bad. What about the next line?” He responded
“Not a chance.” I said
“OK, this is your current contact lens prescription, -18. I’m going to put more power”, he said as he put another lens. The additional power helped to put the letters in focus. I thought that is the 20/20 line, but he clicked further to show 3 rows of even smaller letter, which I can’t read.
“Holy shit. I thought that was the 20/20 line,” I said. “I think I need more lens power”
He complied, and switching the trial lens with another stronger one. This time everything come quite focused. However, the letter become too small to read. I can successfully read the first row with few mistakes.
“The 20/20 line is on the 2nd row. Can you make anything out of it?” He asked
“No”, I said. “They are very small”
“OK, that’s all I can do for now. You are now at -21, 3 diopter over your contact lens. If I add more power, it will make you dizzy. You are at 20/40, and it should allow you to drive”, he said. “Now come with me to choose your frame.” He took off the trial lens and start walking to the door.
“Umm… actually, can I keep the trial lens? I really can’t see anything”, I told him.
“Yeah sure, it is to your left”, he said.
I look to the left, and see nothing that resemble glasses. I started groping when I heard a voice.
“Here you go,” he said while putting the glasses on my hand.
“Thank you,” I said, a bit embarrassed on how blind I am without any correction.
I followed him to the display room. The next few minutes is a repetition of me putting off the trial lens, putting on blank glasses, took a selfie, take off the blank glasses, putting on the trial lens and look at the photo on my phone. Sometime I missed, because I can’t really see the phone screen through the blank lens, so he ended up helped me to take my picture.
“OK, I’m down to these 3. Which one will you suggest?” I asked him.
“Hmm….. your glasses will be heavy, so I would choose a frame that is strong enough. It will also be thick, so a thicker frame will help to hide the thickness. But nevertheless, the lens will still protrude from the frame.” He paused a bit and pointed to one of the glasses. “I think this one is better from function-wise.”
“OK. I think I will be very dependent on my glasses, so better choose the strong one. I can always pick and choose my blouse and change my hairstyle to hide the thickness. By the way, how thick are they going to be?” I wondered.
“It will be very thick. Kinda fitting the description of coke bottle. We don’t have a very high index stock that go to that prescription.” He said.
Now I’m ecstatic. I’m pretty sure my business colleague will enjoy the sight of a girl with very thick glasses. And it will also help with the business discussion. In fact, this is the reason why I want a new glasses. So I immediately agree and pay the price.
“Your glasses will be ready in 2-3 days. Now, if you want to put your contact in, the lens solution is still over the counter”, he said.
“No, no need,” I said as I took off the trial lens. The whole world immediately turns into shapeless world. “I have spare glasses in my car across the street. I’ll just wear my glasses the whole evening.”
With this I took the order sheet, and bid him farewell. Once I turn, I just realize that I don’t know which way is the way out. So, with another embarrassment, I look to him and said: “Can you show me the door? I’m sorry but I’m really blind without my glasses”
“Oh sure. Follow me.” I followed him, and he was kind enough to open the door for me. Otherwise, I will probably walk into the door.
“Do you want me to help you cross the street and find your car?” He asked.
“No, I’ll be fine”, I said, saving myself from another embarrassment.
“OK, have a nice evening,” he said as he close the door.
“When I turn my back and head towards the street, now I really realize that I’m totally blind. I can see the restaurant neon sign across the street, where I parked my car. But that’s about it. I walk carefully, making small step, because I can’t see what I”m stepping on. The black patch can be a hole, or a gravel, and it make me tripped couple of time.
I come to the side of the street. I can see headlight from the left, but unable to judge how far are they. So, I decided to wait. Once the car pass, I make my way to cross the street. I gave up and stretch my arm in front of me. I’m so relieved when I arrived on the other side of the street and my finger touches the fence.
Now, how am I going to find my car? I know in general direction of where I parked my car. But then the parking lot was so dark. There are few lights, but they made me dizzy instead of helping. I feel my way around the fence, and get into the other side. Letting the fence go, I started to walk to where I think I park my car. In order not to humiliate myself, I didn’t extend my arm, and paying the price. I hit a pole, and fell.
Few people come and help me stand. Immediately after I stand, I feel disoriented.
“Are you OK?” I heard a familiar voice
I decided to give in and ask for help. “No, I’m not OK. I lost my contacts, and I’m blind without them. I have spare glasses in my car. Can you help me to get to my car?”
“Sure”, the gentleman said. He asked for my license plate number, and held my hand to the car.
“Thank you,” I said. Then something struck me. “Are you the guy from the glasses shop?”
“Yes I am”, he said
“How come you can help me so fast?” I asked.
“I’ve been following you. I know you can’t see well because my mom also wear glasses as thick as your glasses. She is really helpless without glasses, and will put out her arm in front, just like when you cross the street.”
I’m blushed. “I really can’t see anything. Everything is so dark, blurred and the light make me dizzy”
“There you go young lady. This is your car”, he said. Do you need another help?
“Yes, if you don’t mind. Can you please take my glasses from the drawer?”, I asked, totally humiliated
“Yeah sure”, he said. After few minutes, he handed me over a case. “Here you go”
I feel blindly until he took my hand and put the case in my arm. I opened it, and put the glasses on.
“Thank you so much”. I gave him a kiss in the cheek. “I owe you a dinner.”
“No problem. You are customer, so you owe me nothing”, he said.
“BTW, I haven’t got your name”, I asked him
“Adam”, he said
“OK Adam. Lets meet somewhere for dinner in 3 days, and you can take my glasses”, I teased him
“Ummm OK. I’ll give you a call”, he said. “See you in 3 days Jeany”