Wednesday, August 1, 2007
So I went to get new glasses today. I have been wearing corrective lenses since the Lion's Club came to my school when I was in the third grade to test our vision and it was discovered that I could not see the largest E on the chart.
"Which way is the biggest E pointing?" asked the Lions Club Guy.
"What E?" I asked.
"Oh my," they said. "You might need glasses."
Well, in the third grade, I thought glasses were the coolest things in the world. Especially when I got some (blue plastic frames, quite stylish in 1963) and could see the individual leaves on the trees! Wowzer!
Of course in high school I got contact lenses, the better to be beautiful, and I put up with all that saline solution shit for many years, but eventually decided that I was lazier than I was vain, and went back to glasses. Having children had a lot to do with that decision. Mainly the fact that when the opportunity for a quick nap arose, I did not want to have to get up and go take my contacts out, wash them and put them in saline in their clever little holder. Etc.
So anyway, today's new glasses were the latest in a long, long line of new glasses experience for me and I think they're going to work out. It's not a new prescription. I didn't think I was going to get new glasses, just my old ones fixed, but when I went to the optical place (which I shall not name), they said that I could just get a whole new pair! Again- Wowzer! I could have fixed the glasses myself with a spot of super glue, but offered brand new ones, I felt I should take them. I never liked the broken ones that much anyway. And getting them had been a major hassle. Between doctor prescription mistakes and optical technician mistakes, it took me about three weeks and over half a dozen visits to get things straighted out to where I could actually see.
Now, my eyes are old. I have nearsightedness I have farsightedness and I have an astigmatism. So I can see why things might go awry in the glasses-making process. And go awry they did. Over and over and over.
Which would have been fine if the people at the optical place had apologized or taken responsibility for their mistakes.
But no. They did not.
I kept having to deal with this one chick. And maybe it's just our chemistry or something, but she and I were like oil and water. No, that's way too tame. We were like fire and gasoline. Yeah, that's more like it. She evoked an anger in me that was more powerful than the burning surface of the sun. She kept insinuating that there was nothing at all wrong with the way the lenses were being made, but that it was my particularly picky attitude about my vision that was at fault.
"It's hard to get used to progressive lenses," she kept saying. "You have to give it time."
"But it's been a week," I said, "And besides, this is like my third pair of glasses with progressive lenses."
"Hmmph," she'd say, flicking her blonde hair over her skeletal shoulder. This is a chick who (and there is no doubt about this) aspires to be Paris Hilton's twin. She does pretty well at that, too. Except she is about half as fat as Paris and does not have Paris's winning smile or so obvious charm.
And it goes without saying that I got my first pair of bifocals when Paris Lite was still learning that pee goes in the potty.
Anyway, after much struggle and a whole lot of restraint on my part, I got glasses that finally were okay. Not great, but I just could not face going back in that place again. I got used to them.
And I had remembered the difficulties that I went through, getting those glasses, but I had completely forgotten (blocked?) all about the girl who had raised my ire to the point of spontaneous combustion.
Until I went back in today and dealt with her again for about forty seconds.
This optical place has more than one branch and the one I'd gone into for the repair has nice people. Very nice people. And they were the ones who looked up my records and told me I could just pick out a new pair of frames if I wanted and get a whole new pair of glasses. For free! Now they didn't have any frames in the brand that I needed that I liked, so I went to the other branch. Which is where the Sour Lass works. And of course, she was the one who waited on me.
"Name?" she asked, sitting at the computer. I gave her the pertinent information and told her what they'd said at the nice location and she said, "Hmmph," and flipped her blond hair over her skeletal shoulder. "Let me call my manager."
Which she did. And kept saying "Well, she's here wanting a brand new pair of glasses." As if I had come in and demanded a brand new pair of glasses when all I thought I was asking for originally was a spot of glue or something. I mean, those people at the other location were the ones who offered the glasses to me! I kept trying to tell Paris Lite this while she was talking to her manager and she kept giving me the "Hmmph" look.
The manager okayed the new glasses, which I personally think pissed off P.L. "If you take them," she said, "You will be forfeiting any more repairs on this contract."
"When does the contract end?" I asked.
"September," she said.
Since it's August, I didn't think that was such a bad thing. What the hell?
So I picked out new frames and she kept asking if I was sure I liked them and reminded me that it's hard to get used to progressives and just generally annoyed me so damn much that I wanted to pop her head off. This is exactly what I was seeing in my mind's eye. Me popping her head off.
I also wanted to say to her, "Why in God's name would I listen to what you're saying about my vision when you obviously are so dense that you think people can't see where your real lip line is?"
But I didn't say this and I didn't pop her head off. I swear though, I came way too close for comfort. I had two of my daughters with me and by the time our exchange was over, they were cringing and people were starting to stare. And I'm not usually like this. I don't send food back in restaurants, I don't take things back to stores for ridiculous reasons, and I generally try to be as polite and gracious a human being as is possible.
But this girl...
It's weird to feel that sort of self-righteous indignation to the point where it's almost enjoyable. It makes me feel powerful in a twisted sort of way. I can feel myself getting to the point where I am going to start screaming. Doing what I've never done in my life- creating a real scene.
I really didn't know I had it in me until I met this one girl with very blond hair wearing a black pantsuit and pink lipstick that went way past her lips.
And I don't really have a point here. Just...wowzer.
And I'd say "Bless her heart," but frankly, for once, I just don't have it in me.