When it comes to buying new glasses, finding focus can be a blur for the fashion challenged.
There’s looking, and then there’s seeing, but lens technology has yet to come up with an eye test for poor taste and indecision.
Nonetheless, health fund coverage tends to tick over December 31, triggering a familiar pre-New Year trip to the optometrist for the myopic.
It’s amazing people don’t get hurt in the rush given the lack of visual acuity.
Typically, the optometrist takes the sight defective on a retinal-bending eye examination with their nifty, clickety lens machine.
You list a range of guesses about what letters look clearer on the left, the right, in the red or the green.
And on that basis your next prescription is arrived at. For me, read ‘Coke bottle, marine grade, someone call the glazier’.
As usual, the future seems unclear, and not just because you are blind.
The truely fuzzy phase is next – choosing new frames. Even if you knew instinctively what looked cool and fitted well, you’d be hard-pressed seeing it because you have to take off your glasses to test them out.
Adding to the challenge, you get a wall of choice ranging from the barely distiguishable to the way too funky, and a really small mirror to squint at.
Talk about staring into the abyss.
It’s easy to lose track of what frames you like during this process, and often a pile builds, under which your glasses will typically get lost.
If only you could make those out, you could take another look at the frames you think you like. Instead, you’re patting around for your specs like Blind Pew.
Placing new frames on top of glasses at the same time can help you see.
But only how ridiculous you look – a look you’re striving to avoid this time round, but one you often end up achieving. (Remember the John Denver years?)
No pressure, what you choose now you live with until the next eye test.
It’s called freedom of choice.
Or rather the freedom to make poor choices, which is still choice but not half as re-assuring unless you’re John Denver.
Thank goodness for technology. A few selfies texted to loved ones can help.
But if they’re not responding, you’re left facing your worst fear again – yourself.
Facetime on your smart phone makes it possible to bring critical opinion makers into the equation in real time.
And by critical, I mean sometimes scathing.
Ear phones can be handy so the rest of the shop doesn’t have to hear you working through “the process” on speaker.
Ideally, drag someone along in person.
That way they can feel as uncomfortable as you do trying to make up your mind.
Rest assured, a choice will be made, because like most retailers, optometrists eventually have to close for the day.
Best case scenario the result will be, if not vision splendid, then a sight to behold. Bottom line, seeing is relieving.