I Want To Be Jack Nicholson

Visit to the optometrist

The eye doctor told me I needed new reading and distance glasses. I thought I’d have to buy two separate pairs, but she told me I could get one pair with “progressive” lenses that covered all distances. Sounded great. Not sure how the magic works, but I love saving money.

Here I am wearing the glasses in question. Finally, no bag over my head, though I'd look better with one on.

To prevent a fashion faux pas, I brought my wife. And after trying on a dozen styles, she helped me choose a pair of tortoise-shell Nike glasses with a green inner frame, which was a hip, youthful touch. They seemed okay, but I didn’t have lenses in them so I couldn’t get a clear image of how I looked. But my wife told me they looked good.

After the frame was picked, the sales guy tried to sell me every 80 dollar add-on I didn’t need. I gave in for the glare protection because that feature might help at night. Even with insurance I got pounded for over 250 dollars.

A week passed and I picked up my glasses. Looking in the mirror with them on, two things happened. First, I realized that I looked like Robert De Niro at the end of Casino when he wore huge old-guy glasses. Second, I couldn’t see clearly because of the progressive lenses, which require you to look out of certain parts of the lens to see close up, medium or far distances. Oh, #!$* me.

The sales guy told me not to worry because it takes a week to get comfortable using them, but not to walk down stairs or drive with them yet. What the? Do I have to visit a mall parking lot like I did at age 15 and learn to drive again in these things? Are you kidding me? How did I go to eyeglass hell and not know it?

I was pretty upset at that point. I looked 80-years-old and couldn’t see well (that is probably how I’ll be at that age if, by some miracle, I outfox CF). Yet, the coup de grâce was still on the way. When I got home, I asked my wife if she thought the glasses looked good on me. She shrugged her shoulders and said something like “I thought they did.” Oh, being married some days. Argh, argh, argh. You thought they did? Past tense? What about now, at this moment?

The real blow to the head came when I tried to use them while doing computer work. Impossible, as they had no sweet spot that allowed me to focus clearly on the computer monitor. I could eek out a “less-blurry” image if I tilted my head sideways at just the right distance, and held one leg in the air, but I wouldn’t be able to maintain that pose for the 10 to 12 hours I spend looking at three monitors.

Give me a new pair and I'll let you live. Maybe.

I hate situations like this where I feel like I got hosed. I wish I were Jack Nicholson with his unlimited funds and volcano temper and I could stand in the middle of the optometrist’s office, with the joker who sold them to me sitting there, and the doctor who told me progressive lens were the way to go looking on, and throw the new eyeglasses to the ground, then jump on them until they became a mass of pulverized Nike plastic.

I’d calmly say: “Now how about selling me a pair of glasses I can see out of and use for work without tilting my head like a curious dog waiting for a treat – a pair that doesn’t make me look like I accidently walked out of the nursing home during a game of bingo and can’t find my walker or my way back?”

Is there anyone here who can do that? Is there anyone here who knows what the *$&# they’re doing?

Of course I’d take a 9-iron to the racks of crappy glasses on the walls, destroying them all. Then I’d drop my credit card on the counter and say, “I didn’t see anything I liked today. Call me when your new inventory arrives.”

Oh, how I wish I could do that. Instead, I have to go back and see how much it’s going to cost me to get new ones. I can’t wait to take it in the shorts – again.

I’m living proof some of us don’t get smarter as we grow older. We just get fuglier.

Stay well.