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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

"Oh, say can you see...?" Er, no!



Replete with last week's bout of TCOB ('Taking Care Of Business', one of 'the King's' favourite sayings, (although I'm not sure what the Queen Mother would have had to say about it), I decided it was time to stop avoiding the inevitable and I took myself off to the optician's yesterday...

My optician has recently moved his business from a very bijou (and no doubt hideously expensive, rates-wise) part of town, to an area not five minutes' drive from the town centre (a twenty minute walk), but in a low-down, depressed and deprived city suburb where I stand out like a sore thumb because I'm not clad in rags and look far from undernourished...

His high standards have not changed.   I was offered a lovely cup of frothy coffee with cream from a brand-spanking-new machine by an exhuberant member of his staff, while I perused the bling-encrusted racks of attractive Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior and Bvlugari geps. (CLICK FOR NORTHUMBRIAN LANGUAGE TRANSLATION


I rested my hefty haunches on his black and chrome leather sofas, picking up a copy of Vanity Fair with an article about Johnny Depp to squint at, given that I was only able to wear my old Prada geps (Prescription Vintage 2008) in readiness for the full plethora of sight tests.  

...Normally, I go nowhere without my daily contact lenses held in to my tenderly glistening mince-pies with the vice-like grip of me eye-lids!

I passed the gruelling tests.   Which is amazing as I'm usually to be found ruminating on something like a previously undetected detached retina or a painful dose of glaucoma which my late Mutti suffered with...


'Go home and celebrate your healthy eyes!', began my bespectacled optometrist.  

What with, gin?!   Fireworks?  


He continued, 'Your contact lens prescription hasn't altered at all, which is good but you will need to change the prescription in your geps glasses...,' if you want to use them to see through and not as a fashion statement, he failed to add.
'And, if you need any extra help for reading small print, just borrow your husband's reading glasses.   They'll do fine.   Or just push your glasses further down your nose.   It's all very normal...  At your age!'



Great, I thought, I am turning into Miss Marple.

Afterwards, I sat before the bright, bespectacled receptionist (WHY DOES NO-ONE WHO WORKS IN AN OPTICIAN'S WEAR CONTACT LENSES??!).  

She beamed as she withdrew a tiny calculator from within her voluminous black cape - just on trend for Hallowe'en!   She calculated away, her fingers tippy-tappying across the keys...

"You are entitled to a reduction as the Government does pay for a percentage of your lenses, given that you are as blind as a bat a complex prescription...   That'll reduce the cost by, ooooohhhhhh, don't get excited, £15.00".

Wow, I thought.   A whole £15.   Approx. $30.   Period.  For being practically partially sighted?

But, never look a gift horse in the mouth, as my Grandmother would say...

And, as the pretty receptionist's black manicured fingers glided over the keys of the calculator, the damage emerged for the cost of fitting new lenses into my old, but good, glasses.   I had decided to be parsimonious, given my circumstances, and eschewed the shiny and new.

"That'll be £185.51p, please!    How would you like to pay?"

"Er, not at all," I said, somewhat unhelpfully...

11 comments:

Gigi said...

And THAT is exactly why I haven't changed my glasses prescription in EONS (since 2005, maybe?). It's just more economical to stick with the contacts and squint through my glasses, when I wear them.

Canadian Chickadee said...

LOL...great story.

When I had my eyes tested about two months ago, the optican cheerily said, "No changes in your prescription, but you may want some new frames to make a new fashion statement!"

"In your dreams," I thought as I put on my old glasses and drove home.

Elisabeth said...

I sometimes go for the chemist's brand, far less expensive though I know they are not ideal long term.

Z said...

I'm with Gigi. I haven't worn my glasses for years, so I'm reluctant to pay a lot for a new pair that I won't wear either.

SueAnn said...

Ha!! It is amazing what glasses cost nowadays. But just think how utterly fabulous you will look and you will be able to see what you are doing!! Good idea!!!
Hugging you
This was a great post by the way. I enjoyed the story
SueAnn

Expat mum said...

I used to read Viz back in the day, and I'm supposed to be a Geordie, but I've never heard "geps". Hmmm...

Vix said...

Blimey, that's a bit of a steep price, isn't it? I got my specs from a flea market for 25p and sent them off to an on-line optical company with my prescription to get them reglazed. Total cost: £20.25 xxx

Jinksy said...

And that's the way the money goes...better to take your glasses off when you read the bill, and pay up blind! LOL

Scriptor Senex said...

Yes, I quqlified for the wonderful £15 as well. Isn't it great - do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is you get £15 off - the bad news is your eyes are so bad we can't do much with them... (and that's a couple of hundred punds please...)

Clippy Mat said...

185 quid for new geps? what a bliddy nerve. whatever happened to those perfectly serviceable national healthers what went ower ya lugs and looked like jam jar bottoms? i hope you ran! :-)

BadPenny said...

Oh I hate it when they say, " it's an age thing " I had that too says she tapping at keyboasrd with specs balanced on nose.

You looked lovely last night at dinner Dahlink. Sorry you dropped a contact lens - I thought you were just winking at Colin !

Something I wrote earlier...

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