One morning about two weeks ago found me groping on the nightstand for my glasses. “Where are my glasses?” I asked Andrew. It is always Andrew’s job to find my glasses, because it is faster, somehow, to look for missing glasses by simply glancing around the room instead of by physically covering the same area with one’s nose two inches away from all of the likely horizontal surfaces.
“Aren’t they right… ohhhh, damn.” That’s right, the baby, loose in the bedroom for some reason, had them. And had broken them. Snapped the left arm clean off, she did. I had a moment of panic, but then I remembered I still had my last pair which are the same prescription. Sadly, I hate those glasses, and did not want to have to wear them any longer than absolutely necessary.
“Well, I’m sure I can go get them fixed on Saturday. They just need a new arm. I bet they’ll have the part,” I said. This, my friends, is what is called “foreshadowing.”
So on Saturday, I duly called the place where I bought my glasses last fall, just to double check that they were open. “We sure are!” the salesgirl said, chirpily. “Ten to three!” So around 2:00 I headed out to the store which was located in the next town over, about ten minutes away. “Was” is the operative word in that last sentence, though, because when I pulled up I found an empty store. Not “empty” like, “no people because it’s closed for the day,” no, this was “empty” like, “there were no people and there was also no merchandise because this store has closed for good.”
There was a note on the door, which I will paraphrase for you here:
“Attention, Dr. Maureen: We have closed this location, conveniently situated a short ten-minute drive from your house. We still have a store open in a town much farther away, though. It’s about a thirty-minute drive. There’s no way you can go there today, of course, because you told Andrew you would only be gone for twenty minutes, so you’re going to have to go next week with both kids in tow. That should be lots of fun, because kids LOVE going to the optician’s. It’s like going to a birthday party, except there’s no cake, no toys, and they’re not allowed to touch anything because it’s all very fragile and expensive. Oh, and we didn’t tell superpages.com, so they’re still listing this address even though they’ve matched it up with our new phone number, so that’s what happened there. Just FYI.”
So I drove home in my stupid old glasses that I hate, and called the store back. “Um. You’re closed in the next town over from me,” I said to the chirpy girl.
“Oh, we closed that MONTHS ago!” she chirped. “In January!” She seemed quite stunned that I could be unaware of this, but I bought my glasses last year, and I am not in the habit of dropping into the optician’s just to say hi. So I missed it.
But it turned out not to matter, because when I explained the problem to her, she said that they would not have been able to do anything for me anyway. I had to talk to the owner, who wasn’t in that day, and yada yada yada, I loaded the kids into the car the following Wednesday to go get my lenses put into new-but-identical frames that were pity-priced at half off for me. And you won’t believe this, but as I was packing up the forty tons of stuff a baby requires to have at all times I caught Nora with my sunglasses. My prescription sunglasses. My three-hundred-dollar prescription sunglasses. And she was breaking them in the exact same way she had broken my regular glasses which was the entire reason for this whole stupid trip. I stopped her before they were destroyed, but man, I have to remember that she can reach the table now. Push things into the center! The center of the table only!
So I finally got there, but then I had to drive around aimlessly for thirty extra minutes because OF COURSE they both fell asleep seconds from the store. But the guy gave my my replacement frames and was able to fix the minor damage inflicted on my sunglasses, and then we got ice cream from the convenient store next door, so it all ended well. Right?
WRONG. The new glasses pinch! They pinch! I already went to a local optician to get them adjusted, and I hate doing that – going to an optician who didn’t SELL me the glasses and asking him to fix them for free. I realize it takes them two seconds, but I still feel like a jerk. And he fixed them, but then it turns out he didn’t because they still pinch. It’s a sort of low-grade background pinching that I don’t exactly notice, but then I take them off for a second and there’s this RELIEF, but it is brief because I inevitably have to put them back on. And now that I’m typing about the pinching, I’m becoming ever more aware of it, and OW.
And, oh, I can hear you all now. “So just wear the other ones, Dr. Maureen! THEY don’t pinch!” Ah, but I hate them. I hate hate hate them. And it is only 50% vanity; they are ugly, yes, but they also are a little too long so if I lean back on the couch, the couch sort of pushes them off my face. AND the plastic cover thingies on the end of the arms catch my hair when I take them off and I cannot begin to tell you how infuriating this is. I lived with that hair-catching problem for about three years, and I WOULD RATHER BE PINCHED.
Sigh. I think the problem is that I told the second optician they pinched at the end of the arm but actually the problem is at where the arm bends to hook over my ears. But I can’t go back to the guy who didn’t sell me the glasses AGAIN and have him fix them for free AGAIN. I’ve thought about going to the optometrist who gave me my last eye exam, but she also sells glasses, and I’ll feel all guilty then, too. I have decided that I will go to Target. Target gets plenty of my money, they can fix my glasses.
And so. I have no way to wrap this up. I guess I’ll just tell you that I’ll be sure to keep you posted regarding the pinching situation. I will let you know THE SECOND the problem is resolved. Or else I’ll forget and never mention it again. One of those two things.
*Bonus points to the first commenter who can identify both Seinfeld references in this post!