H. B. G. X. M. D. Y.

So a couple of weeks ago, the Better Half and I got a little tipsy, and it was decided – while in this state – that is has been too long since our last eye check up. So a pact was made: To visit the opticians, soon. Ish.

The last time I had been to the eye-specialists was a long time ago, over ten years, in fact, and the Better Half hadn’t been in a few years, so we decided to pop into town today and see if we could get appointments. Before I go into the saga, I should probably point out that I used to wear glasses, from about age four to fourteen, approximately. To be honest, I really cannot remember, but apparently one of my eyes is slightly long or short. I have no idea which one, I can’t tell just by looking, but that is why we pay professionals, is it not? To tell us what our problems are before we realise they are problems.

Anyway, my mother used to make me wear the most ghastly of specs when I was unable to make the decision myself. I was forced to wear ones with coloured frames, but not just one colour, FOUR! On each lens! I looked hideous. But I have been assured they were all the rage at the time.

So, opticians have changed a lot, haven’t they? I remember my mum making an appointment for us all to go into Hersham town (back near to where I used to live) to visit the family’s optician. Now it’s all franchised money-grabbing brand-name businesses. We initially went into Specsavers, but couldn’t get two appointments close together, so we went to Boots. They had nothing available for today, only checking eyes between 12.30pm and 2.30pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Monday evenings. Or something equally obscure. Next stop, Vision Express. Again only one appointment available, so our last port of call was Optical Express. They also only had one appointment left for the day (serves us right for getting drunk the previous night and waking up late, but Better Half has landed herself a lecturers job at a college, so yay), so she took that one and I returned to Specsavers to blag the final appointment of the day. I paid my £15 and got me eyes checked for all of about 5 minutes, at the end of which I was told I should probably wear glasses.

Now, it wasn’t a bombshell, nor do I particularly care that much. It’s just that it takes me forever to find a pair of (sun)glasses that suit my face. Honestly, I spent eight years finding the pair of sunnies I’ve currently got. And I just know that when I break them and need a replacement, Ray Ban won’t make them anymore. So I started to wander around the opticians looking at glasses, trying on the odd pair, and after about 45 minutes, settled on a pair of frameless ones. They were more expensive, which I totally don’t understand (less materials = lower production costs for crying out loud), but then I was told that because I was buying expensive specs, I could get a second pair free and have them tinted if I want.

So I went back to the rows and rows of glasses, trying to find a second pair that suited me, all the time trying to think what they would look like as sunglasses. Eventually, and I really do mean eventually, I found a pair of Quiksilver frames that are okay. Signed up for anti-glare, took out a second mortgage to pay, and left. I needed cheering up after my stressful morning – did I mention this was all happening in Southampton city centre on a Saturday? – so I went to the Levis store a bought a new pair of 501s, then wandered around H&M with the missus before coming home and collapsing on the sofa.

Currently enjoying a beer, listening to Led Zeppelin, cleaning the flat (Ma and Pa are visiting tomorrow) and sorting out work problems over the mobile. One of these days I’ll actually get a weekend off when I can do what I want, and where I won’t have to pay vast sums of money out. Oh well