It’s easy to buy eyeglasses online. No, you don’t have to call up a website and say “better” and “worse” when they show you blurry pictures. Nonetheless, turning my back on the glasses store felt like a divorce. I’m leaving you. I can’t take it anymore. You want something from me I just can’t give you, and that’s $300 for a few ounces of wire.
The online store had 10 times the selection and prices one-third the cost of the mall stores, and if the glasses don’t work I can send them back for a full refund. Maybe I missed some fine print that makes it a bad deal (Caution: lenses are made of sugar and may dissolve in rain; frames may be made from recycled Chernobyl fuel rods). But I hate the glasses I got just a year ago and don’t feel like cashing a municipal bond to buy another set, so this might work.
After I had checked out of the online store, I was invited to take a survey, with the promise of a gift at the end. Sure. Why not?
It was the usual process. They ask for a numerical grade on your shopping experience, and you write: “Wasn’t wearing pants. They make you wear pants at the mall. So, I guess, 8.”
First question: Would you recommend GlassesPlus4All to your friends?
No. But let me explain. One friend got the cut-rate laser surgery — they used one of those laser pointers instead of the surgical variety — and he walks into walls now. So it would be cruel to say, “Boy, did I save money on glasses, and I’m not seeing triplicate!” Another friend wears cheaters he gets at Walgreens, and I don’t think someone who’s content to get cheap glasses from a display next to bunion creams is particularly style-conscious. So, 6.
How would you rate GlassesPlus4All for value? I missed the guy in the store at the mall who wears a white lab coat and stares intently at your forehead while sliding the glasses on your face, like you’re a human bomb he’s about to defuse. But I know I paid an extra $27 for that because he was in a white lab coat, which means it cost someone something. You’re cheap. So, 10.
How would you rate the variety of styles? The website had a lot of pairs I remember Grandpa wearing — black on the top, clear on the bottom. I always associated them with old men, but they’re hip now. But if I bought a pair, someday I’d look in the mirror and see Grandpa looking back at me. Also, I was hoping you’d have a pince-nez option, because I’m thinking the Teddy Roosevelt look is due for a revival. So, 3.
How often do you purchase glasses? About a month after I put the car through the back wall of the garage. (I skipped the number rating on this question because I wasn’t sure if I was grading them or me.)
When I finished the survey, I got a link to my Free Gift. Four magazine subscriptions. I’d be charged two bucks for “processing,” of course, and then the magazines renew and you have to do something to cancel them. And no one wants to do something if you don’t have to, and you end up moving the magazines from mailbox to bathroom to recycling for three years. I’ll feel bad when I don’t read them. It’s odd. I love magazines. But please don’t give me any.
Anyway. The glasses arrived, and they’re great. The middle distance is a little blurry, which is probably why I rear-ended that guy, but the fine print on his insurance card? Razor sharp.