Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

August 11, 2013

08/11/2013 — Lee Ward: Seeing my way clear to getting new pair of spectacles

ASHLAND — Obviously, at least to me, I needed new glasses.

Structurally, my old ones were fine; however, I knew I couldn’t see as well as I did a year ago. Either I had a dread disease of the eye or I needed my lenses updated. I always expect to have a dreaded disease but, thankfully, I most always don’t.

An eye examination isn’t all that stressful to me. While I do hate it when they blow air into my eyeball and I jump out of my seat, that’s less than five seconds out of an hour’s examination. I would feel guilty if I complained too much about that.

As a rule, my eyes don’t get much worse from one test to the next, and given I didn’t have a dreaded eye disease, the diagnosis wasn’t bad: Just generally declining eyesight most people have.

The most difficult thing about the eye exam visit is picking out new frames. I’m overwhelmed by the variety of eyeglass frames. I can’t tell which are meant for men, which are for women and which are for children. Nothing about the way they look differentiates them to me between trendy designer frames and nerd glasses. To me, they all look alike when they’re hanging on the wall.

Also, I know certain shapes supposedly suit particular face shapes better than others, but I have no idea how that works.

I rely on someone working at the office to help me. I ask that person to pick out three to five pairs they believe would suit me and let me narrow it down from there. I can manage that kind of decision and this system has been working for me for years.

I was due for a checkup recently and, of course, my eyesight had declined, so I was to pick out new frames. The woman who usually narrows it down for me was busy when I was ready to test drive some glasses.

“Go ahead and start looking around and I’ll be there in a minute,” she said.

I didn’t mind looking, but I was sure I would never be able to make a decision. I studied rack after rack of eyeglass frames, trying to make out differences and determine which colors and styles would be best for my mug. I relied on past advice and experience and picked out a few I liked. Before I knew it, I had narrowed the choices to five all by myself.

My usual helper was nearly as pleased as I was that I had managed to pick out five frames on my own. I modeled them for her and another worker at the office and got their reactions.

There was a pair I favored; I wasn’t sure, but I thought they might be old lady glasses. The women assured me they were not and, after considering the color options, settled on a new pair.

For an intensely independent person, it might seem like an easy task, choosing eyeglass frames. For me, it is not. We all have our weaknessess and this is one of mine, so I’m proud of myself for coping with it all by myself.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.

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