Saturday, June 24, 2017

MY ANNUAL EYE EXAM WAS A LAUGHING MATTER



I had my annual eye exam last week, and all I can say is I’m probably the only person I know who can find humor in a doctor’s office.

First of all, while I was sitting in the waiting area, I couldn’t take my eyes off a big poster on the wall facing me. It pictured a pretty, dark-haired woman having her eyes examined by an older, graying doctor.  Well, the guy practically was sitting her lap, and the background looked as if he were giving her an eye exam outdoors on a beach at sunset. So the pose ended up looking like something from the cover of a bad romance novel.


I had to stifle a giggle as I sat there, thinking of captions for the poster, like… “The moment the doctor saw the flawless shape of her sexy corneas, something stirred deep inside him and he knew he HAD to have this woman.”

I couldn’t help myself. When my optometrist, Dr. Deb, came walking by, I said to her, “What’s with this poster? It looks like ‘Fifty Shades of Optometry’!”

She stopped, studied it for a moment and then burst out laughing.

“Oh, great,” she said. “Now every time I look at it, I’ll think of that!  Maybe I should take a pen and write Dr. Grey on his lab coat!”

A few minutes later, I was led by an assistant into the pre-examination room for some tests. The minute I spotted the screen saver on the computer in there, I once again started laughing. The entire screen was nothing but a big eyeball staring at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said to the assistant. “But when I was a kid, there was this horror movie called, ‘The Crawling Eye,' about a giant eyeball that crawled around the countryside and mutilated people. It gave me nightmares for months!”

She gave me a look that clearly told me she thought I’d stopped at a few bars on my way over.

When I later mentioned it to Dr. Deb, she also gave me the same look.

“A movie about a giant eyeball?” she repeated. “If there’s such a movie, I have to see it. After all, I’m an optometrist!”

So when my exam was over, she went out to the front desk and told the receptionist to Google “The Crawling Eye.”

Both of them looked genuinely amazed when the movie poster popped up and it looked like the eye on their screen saver – minus the movie eye’s tentacles, that is, which the mutant eyeball used for grabbing its victims.
Even when I later went to another location to select my new eyeglasses, it turned out to be pretty funny. For one thing, I wanted a very specific frame. I’m not talking about the brand or style of it, I’m talking about the price…cheap. Preferably dirt cheap.


I was shown frames by every fancy designer out there, with prices to match. Finally, I drifted over to the sale section and found a frame I really liked – only because it was $65. I didn’t care that the lens shape was square or the side stems were made of flat, gray metal. They were Ray-Bans, and to me, the fact I’d even heard of the company was a bonus.

“Um, those are men’s glasses,” the associate said to me.

“I don’t care, I like them,” I said.

I put them on and she stared critically at me for a few moments.

“I don’t really think they’re you,” she said.

“Do you have any frames cheaper than $65?” I asked.

“I don’t think so.”

“Then these definitely are me,” I said.

“You’re sure?” she asked, looking skeptical. “You’re going to be stuck with them for at least a year, you know.”

If it had been any other time, such as a time when I actually had money to splurge on some attractive frames, I might have taken all of her subtle hints that the glasses I’d selected were….well, less than flattering (a.k.a. hideous) but my tight budget made me ignore her and buy them.

By the time she added the bifocal lenses, the protective coating, the anti-glare feature and heaven only knows what else, to the glasses, the total came to nearly $500.

Had I also opted for some fancy designer frames, I’d probably be living in a tent under the bridge right now.

When I got the glasses four days later, the distance portion was amazing. I could see a fruit fly at 20 paces. But the bifocal portion, which was supposed to be for my “middle” vision, so I could work on my laptop without having to either hold it up to my nose or out at arm’s length, didn’t give me the crystal-clear view of my computer screen I had anticipated. After struggling for three days, trying to get used to the glasses, I was suffering from a bad case of eyestrain.  Weirdly, however, I suddenly could read fine print that practically was microscopic…while my laptop’s screen was a blur.

I returned to my optometrist and asked to have the glasses checked, to make certain they were the correct prescription.

The bifocal part turned out to accidentally have been made for reading, not for seeing my laptop. So I had to take the glasses back to where I bought them and have them remade, which will take another four to five days.

So if none of what I’ve just written makes any sense, it’s because I can’t see my laptop.

In fact, I’m actually dictating all of this to my dog.


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