Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Some days it’s not worth getting out of bed…


Yesterday Costco had two new pairs of glasses ready: a new pair of progressives plus what the optician described as “intermediate” lenses.

I’d asked him to clone the pair of ancient close-ups I use to grope around the house, because my new close-up prescription is way too strong: I can’t see my feet through them, and so it’s unsafe for me to walk when I have them on. The old pair was perfect: I could see to walk around, but they sufficed to read most kinds of copy.

But no. He (being a man and so therefore certain he knew better than the little woman, eh?) insisted on making an “intermediate” pair that he thought would be better.

Apparently, the people who make glasses assume most wearers do only three things in life: watch television, drive, and sit down to eat at a restaurant. Evidently most people don’t read. For the life of me, I can not make these people understand that I need to be able to see more than one or two lines at a time, and that my livelihood depends on being able to see an entire sheet of paper! They just. don’t. get. it.

The progressives are good for those sorts of basic tasks: watching the television (yeah! like I do a lot of that!), driving, and forking food into my mouth. They’re useless for computer work, and they’re just barely adequate for short bursts of reading things like newspapers. Also, I thought it was odd that when the optician’s assistant marked these spots on the progressives where some part of the gradation was supposed to go, she kept getting the one on the right about 1/4-inch higher than the one of the left. She remeasured twice, and every time that’s what she got.

And as I suspected, the lenses on the progressives are not coordinated. When I try to read an 8½ x 11 sheet of music in the half-light of the choir loft, I can see the score OK (sort of) with my left eye, but everything’s a blur out of my right eye.

The intermediates are OK for reading a few things, but not for the variety of copy I read. Neither of them allows me to see enough of a page to parse out more than a three or four words at a time (I read a line or two or even three at a time), and  I can’t even begin to make out the photocopies of photocopies of music that probably was set in hot type. Microscopic hot type!

So this morning at rehearsal, I couldn’t sing because I couldn’t follow the music. I couldn’t see the stuff at all. I finally gave up and came home.

Guess I could have grabbed my bifocals and raced back to the Cult Headquarters—I could’ve made it just in time for the procession. But by the time I got home my mascara had run all over my face, because I cried all the way home, mostly out of frustration. I would have had to wash my face, remove the gunk around my eyes, and reapply make-up. Adding those tasks would have made me late.

Oh, damn it, how I hate that. Once I start to cry, all the loneliness and despair that haunt the corners of my life come bounding out into full daylight, and then I can’t stop crying.

Welp. Let’s get out of these uncomfortable clothes, wash the paint off the face, take the dog for a walk, stop crying, and grade some student papers.

Author: funny

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  1. I hope that you do two things, go back to the doctor and tell him you want this fixed … for free AND they same for Costco.
    This is your money, and they work for YOU.

  2. Yesh. I’ll traipse them back to Costco when I’m up in that part of town tomorrow to teach a class. Have a bad feeling this is another case of penny-wise & pound-foolish. Instead of trying to game the Avesis system for a deeply discounted single-vision pair and tried to get a better price on the progressives, I should’ve just ponied up four or five hundred bucks per pair and gone to Aspen Optical or one of its local counterparts.

    I just HATE dorking around with hassles like this. Especially since I know it’s not necessary: every time I go to an overpriced optical dispensary, I get exactly what I need. Every time I try to save a few pennies, I get (heh!) “compromise.” I should’ve shelled out to go to an expensive outfit whose optometrist would listen to what I said and whose optician dispenses glasses that last five or ten years. These cheapies are shot in two years, and then you’re back to jumping through the same hoops again.

  3. Could you get by w/ regular old reading glasses? They work fine for me. An eye surgeon I met (at a party!) gave readers his blessing.

  4. @ Frugal: I can use dime-store readers when my contact lenses are in. But as I age I grow less and less interested in sticking pieces of plastic in my eyes.

    To read up-close with no contacts, I need a prescription. I have an ancient prescription that, in the past, I’ve managed to persuade dispensers to reproduce. I have two old pairs of those, both pretty much shot. Because those are the glasses I wear all the time, they wear out much faster than the distance and the bifocal prescriptions.

    Really, I had hoped to do away with the Vision System: toting three pairs of glasses around with you every darn place you go gets mighty tedious. The new progressives, which are HUGELY improved over what we had when they first came out (does anyone remember that the early versions could only be made in glass, not in plastic lenses?), almost accomplish that. They would work if I didn’t do much reading: I could keep a pair of computer glasses next to the Mac, and if the only hard-copy I read was the occasional TV listing and the instructions on a box of Cheerios, the progressives would do the job.

    Unfortunately, I read a LOT, and often I need to be able to see a double-truck spread clearly, all over, not by the word or by the half-line. This is true for editing and also for choir. In theory these “intermediates,” which are great with the computer, should allow me to do that.

    But in the dim lighting of the choir loft (the recessed lights in the celing are a good 20 feet over our heads), I can’t see all of the verso and recto sides of a score if the score is laying open in a binder. Some of this stuff we sing is extremely complex: parts can include 1st & 2nd sopranos and 1st & second altos as well as the men’s parts, and sometimes the alto lines appear in places I don’t expect. If I can’t spot quickly where I’m supposed to go from the bottom of a verso page to the top of a recto page, I get lost easily. You have to watch the director as much as or more than you watch the score, so your eyes are moving from the page to the director, who is perched on a dais behind the organist, who herself is higher than we are. If you can’t see the copy clearly, you quickly lose your place.

  5. Oh my goodness, I remember the days of the progressives. I had a particularly inept optometrist who insisted that I needed bifocals (@ 22 years of age!) and issued progressives that were so poorly done, I was sick to my stomach and dizzy every time I put them on!

    *hug* Sorry about the day, the experience and the upcoming troubles of getting it repaired.

  6. @ Revanche: Yes! That’s pretty much the effect I had from progressives, too: they made me feel downright woozy! And I couldn’t see my feet to walk. I was afraid I was going to fall.

    Regular bifocals with a line in them are uncomfortable but a lot better than the first progressives.

    The new progressives are very good, much better than they were when they first came out. I was able to use them immediately with no sense of vertigo, and there’s only a small area that’s at all blurry. But they are useless for sitting in front of a computer monitor or for any serious reading.

  7. As an elderly friend has said….bifocals….can’t see with them and can’t see without them. That being said….I find if I just keep wearing them in a few days one gets used to them. And make sure to hold on to the rail when going downstairs. :0)

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