The spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly… (Ibsen)

Just back from Specsavers where, despite not needing prescription specs for everyday use, they still gave me the hard sell.

Lanark’s Specsavers…haven’t a clue who the guy is…

I have a ‘slight astygmatism’ apparently. I already knew this, I explained – from the test they’d done on me way back in 2008, when they sold me two pairs of designer spectacles which I never wore.

Effectively the test today revealed more of what I already knew – that I can see the letters on the bottom line, as long as I squint a wee bit – but I can see them without squinting when the tiny prescriptive correction is applied. The optician suggested I ‘would be advised to use prescription glasses when watching t.v. (not something I do very often) and maybe when driving at night’.

I suggested that I might prefer not to get any glasses at all. That I might, in fact, prefer to continue just the way I always have – entirely unaware (physically) of any eyesight imbalance at all and managing just fine, thank you very much, with my ‘driving in the dark’.

I could tell she wasn’t terribly happy with my suggestion.

‘Now, Mrs Stewart’ she said slowly and carefully, coming over all Primary School Teacher-ish, as she frowned at me with what I presume she thought was a careful and intelligent look,  ‘Isn’t it better that you correct your eyesight problem now rather than leave yourself at risk of headaches and eye strain?’

She said ‘eye strain’ as though it were something I could die of. I had this vision of myself: one minute, sitting watching telly quite amiably and then, Bang! suddenly clutching my eyes as I breathed my last.

I laughed and asked (cheeky and rhetorical) – Isn’t that why paracetemol and eyelids were invented?

She looked perplexed.

And I felt suddenly sorry for her.

Look I said Let me take the prescription and go look at the frames that are out there.

Jamie was standing in amongst the racks of grim-looking frames. He had been tested too, but pronounced perfect and quickly got rid of. He looked at me as I clutched my prescription and advanced towards him.

Ha ha ha he said You need specs ya old wummin!

I looked at him. I looked at the multi-racked row upon row of spectacle frames. I looked at the prescription in my hand and then at the door.

Come on James, ya cheeky wee rat, we’re going home.

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6 thoughts on “The spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly… (Ibsen)

  1. It's the curse of the Glaswegian Scot, Divorced Lady… To be burdened with a quick put down…
    I live with 6 such people – all much better at it than me! Argh! It's not glasses I need – it's thick skin…
    You have an optician with integrity! Don't let go!

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