At the risk of writing the least important sentence in the newspaper today, I have to say: The left nose-pad of my glasses broke.
Glasses are tiresome things. I have worn them since fourth grade. Somewhere around sixth grade, I took them off to sleep and things went much better. "Why don't you pay someone to drill your eyeballs with laser beams?" I get asked all the time, and I always say I don't want Lasik. Turns out they're just insulting me.
But the point stands. I suppose I could get it, but I have this fear of sneezing during the procedure, and half my face is sliced off. The last time I saw anyone get strapped down with a laser heading toward them was a James Bond movie.
"Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?"
"No Mr. Lill-leks, I expect you to see!"
"It's Lie-lex. Long I. Not a short i."
"A short eye is what you'll have if you don't stop squirming."
Did you know you can get an eye exam online? They will send you a kit. You prop up the list, and then read the tiny letters. I always wondered why there's that minuscule line in the first place. If I could read that, would I be coming in for an eye test? I'd be sitting outside at a cafe betting people I could read license plates from three blocks away.
They also will send you a can of compressed air, so you can blow it in your eye and feel annoyed. This test measures the pressure in your eyeball. If you're low you can always go to the gas station. There's probably someone using the air pump. Nine times out of 10, there isn't, but the day you want to top off your eyeballs, there's a guy with the nozzle to his socket. And, of course, he has to do all his eyeballs. And, of course, he's the type with the little pen that has the pop-out gauge that tells him if he's done it properly. Don't want to wear out your face with overinflated eyeballs.
Because I was happy with my prescription — meaning, I was used to it — I just reordered my old glasses online. Once upon a time I went to the store to do it, because I thought it was perfectly normal to pay $179 for a piece of wire the length of two Twizzlers.
"But they're designer frames," Big Frames will tell you.
Uh huh. Colvan Klain himself appeared at the eyeglass design studio, looked at the minimalist wire-rimmed glasses and frowned. Everyone froze. They'd been through this before.
"No, no, no, no! It's all wrong! The bows are too thick! I can see them. I told you what I wanted: a suggestion of bows, as if the lens are floating. This ...this is just a pair of glasses." (Crushes the prototype under foot.)
"But sir, if we make them any thinner, we will have to retool the factory in Italy at a cost of millions."
"I don't care! Do it!"
So the glasses end up costing $400. And that's without lens. So it was something of a revelation when we first shopped for glasses online and saw cool, interesting, distinctive frames that cost $39.
I know what you're saying: are you serious? $39? Who pays that much? Go to bargainspex4U.biz and use the promo code MAGOO and frames are $1.75. OK, noted.
Then there's the lens. I require, I think, quintfocals, and the prescription is complex. That adds another 75 cents. Do I want anti-glare coating? No, I haven't noticed that I am inordinately vexed by glare. It's not as if I walk outside and react like Dracula when the sun hits my face. Do I want water-repelling coating? Sure, why not, I can wear them in the shower. No. Do I want clip-on sunglasses? Yes, because sunglasses make you cool and mysterious.
Total cost: a pittance. Now, for shipping:
Standard shipping: $29. Arrives in 1 - 3 years
Expedited shipping: $79. Arrives in 6 - 14 days.
Chances are, you need the glasses quickly, so you go with expedited. There should be one more option: "Full strength Aspirin, $4" because the new ones will give you headaches for days until your eyes adjust.
(Note: The column may appear to have ended, but there is actually one more line, in tiny type. If you can't read it — and that's too bad, because it's really clever. Consider getting a new prescription.)