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the glasses saga, pt.2
friday, march 29, 2002

this has been a miserable day. another one of those days that makes me completely rethink my plans to get my m.f.a., kind of miserable day. and it all has to do with me being blind, or fairly close to blind without my glasses.

recently my frames broke. they were about 4 years old, so i supposed it was time for them to do something like that. i started wearing the frames from prior to the wire and swore never to get wire frames again. plastic may be bulky, but i've only had them break when i was a kid a doing things like playing volleyball. and i know that when they have broken, they have enough solidity to them to be fixed. not wire frames. they break, they stay broke. they are too thin for super glue, and i do not need to go buy a soldering iron for anything else so i am certainly not going to buy one for a pair of glasses. besides, could you imaging the mess i'd make with me and my inexperienced soldering self?

so, i made the decision to go to lenscrafters and get same day service for my glasses, BUT all i was going to do is get an exam (i nknew i needed that) and get an older pair relensed rather than buy the whole shabang because i knew my lenses were likely to cost $150 and any more than that would kill our finances. i can't wait the 2 weeks it traditionally takes at another place because classes start next week and i was already getting headaches and sit down dizzy spells from the 3 or 4 year old lenses i was using in replacement for the broken pair. i already knew that i would have to pay more for the 1 hour service - there are just some things you prepare for yourself for in these situations. so i hoped using an old pair of frames would save me at least a bit of money.

lenscrafters had an entirely different idea.

one, the actual eye exam apparently included extras that i was not informed about until AFTER the exam was done and i was writing the check for nearly $74 (yes, you see that right, SEVENTY-FOUR dollars). my comment to my ex was, "gee, whatever happened to the $39 eye exams?"

mz. not-so-disclosing, "our eye exams start at around $50."

WHAT? and they don't ask if you want $23 of extras BEFORE doing the exam? they just drag you in the back, puff air in your eyes, take retinal photographs, and plop you in a doctor's chair without so much as a, "well, the glaucoma test is included, but such and such will be $20 more."?

but even that didn't prepare me for the downright LYING these people will do to get you to pay an extra $50.

i hand mz. not-so-disclosing my old frames and tell her i want them to be relensed. she takes them in the back and comes back not 5 minutes later with the following:

"the technician says we can't use these because the plastic is old and they may crack when we heat them. if they did that, we'd have to pay for the expense of replacing the frames."


so i ask something to the order of, "they can't just pop the lenses in?"

no, i'm told. she would have sent the tech out but i really didn't want to hear his techno-babble, especially since i've SEEN techs pop lenses in in the past. but he won't take them and i have to have glasses. so now i ask about the damage for my lenses. $144. pretty damn close to what i expected, but i subtract the eye exam, i can pay $144 for lenses, but not $194 for lenses plus a cheap pair of frames. there just isn't enough money in the bank. i even tried the pair of glasses i was wearing at the time, more than willing to go blind for an hour if it will save me that $50 and a lousy pair of frames i'll hate. no go. there's some explanation about how plastic gets brittle and yadda yadda yadda.

in the end, with me halfway to hysterical and all the way in tears, the ex hands back the $200 check i wrote him to repay a loan he gave us this month (making up for the $200 i spent on mfa applications and transcripts and such - now you see why shit like this makes me rethink the whole mfa thing: i see the benefits in the future, but the here and now is killing me piece by piece) so i can pay for the glasses i need.

the final killer? as we sat there waiting, i watched a tech pop the lenses in the new frames.

the next time i have $324 (protection for my eyes in the sun cost a bit more) i am going to get myself a backup pair of glasses. not that there will be a next time ANY time soon, but i won't be put in this position again. and i will NEVER go to lenscrafters again.

i'd rather be blind for 2 weeks.

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word of the moment: ceilinged

adjective form of ceiling: the overhead inside lining of a room; an overhanging shelter or a lofty canopy; the height above the ground from which objects on the ground can be seen and identified; an upper prescribed limit