About a year ago I thought I needed new glasses, so I duly had my eyes tested and was told that my prescription had changed. Not much, but enough to warrant new lenses. More significantly, one of my current lenses was incorrectly set in the frame, with the focal point two millimetres off. That was why I was seeing things less clearly than I should. That was the clincher.
In that curious, almost Indian, bureaucratic practice favoured by these High Street practitioners, I was released by the ophthalmic optician (OO) into the custody of the dispensing optician (DO), and a Chinese wall went up to signify the transition. The OO completely ignored me thereafter, as I now belonged to the DO.
The decision to make new glasses was now a given, and it was time to decide on new frames. In the company of the DO, I made straight for the selection of rimless frames. He steered me past them, saying that they were unsuitable for my complex lenses.
I found myself looking for a frame just like the glasses I had on my nose. Each time I tried on a frame, the DO shook his head in disapproval. Without prescription lenses and with the price patch blocking most of one lens, it was hard for me to see for myself which frame suited me best.
Finally I settled for a rectangular style in titanium, with brushed side arms. They looked pretty ordinary to me, not the gasp-inducing design I had hoped to find. But by the time I collected the finished article, I had warmed to the new look. Over the months that followed, quite a few people complimented me on my new glasses. It made me feel better about the high price I had paid for them.
Looking at them this morning, I thought they were no longer the almost anonymous frames I had accepted one year ago. They have become more than just familiar, and seem to have integrated with my personality. They are part of the image of myself that I present to the world, and they feel right. Does that happen with our cars, our homes and all our close possessions?
So what’s going to happen if my next eye test reveals the need for new glasses?