Last week we had an appointment for eye tests and possible new glasses. I had not been into our town since last March. So it was a big excitement outing for me.
In fact, we were the very very first customers to arrive after the Optometrists’ Christmas break. The day was a day of black ice and snow, of snarling clouds and horrible wind. The pavement outside the shop was suspiciously shiny. I made Mr Furlong walk on it first in case it was slippy and I held onto his arm as we went. The street was absolutely deserted. And all the shops were closed. It was as if the citizens had been abducted by aliens.
Inside the shop they seemed pleased to see us but it was frightfully chilly. They had just turned the central heating on after the Christmas hols.
In my pocket, I had brought my favourite old glasses from circa 2004 for resuscitation as we cannot afford new frames and new lenses together. My old glasses frames are very special. They were hand made in Germany and are one of a kind, but the story is too long to tell today.
I was the first in to the inner sanctum, still in my coat and gloves and wooley hat – and mask for it was like a fridge. The optometrist did all the tests and we caught up on news since my last visit. He’s a most likeable chap. And we talked about their total closure during the first lockdown and how times were hard. He wrote notes. He repeated some tests. And checked a few more.
Then came the big reveal.
“Your eyes have improved since your last visit” he said. “You don’t need glasses at all.”
I was just as astonished as he.
I told him my mother did eye excercises regularly because, she said that eyes were just muscles and if you excercised them, you wouldn’t need glasses. My mother, even in her nineties, never wore prescription glasses. I told him I disliked my last glasses so I seldom wore them. Maybe that was it?
We observed each other with puzzlement.
The poor man, dealing with his very first customer of 2021, in his bleakly freezing rooms had to tell them, that they did not need the product he sells! It seemed truly sad.
I took out my very special frames lurking in my pocket. “I like these” I showed him. “I like these because they hide the bags under my eyes. Do you think you could put lenses in them to your prescription and tint them slightly pinkish?”
“Sure” he said. “That will be no problem! We can do that”
So today our reading glasses are ready for collection.
Today there is black ice, glowering clouds and snow is predicted. But I think the rooms, when we get there, will be warm. I am looking forward to my old glasses made new.
PS. (Can you put PS at the end of a blog?) I realised when I got home what might have happened to my eyes to improve themselves, but I’ll tell you in another post…..