Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Getting a New Set of Eyes

I normally wear contact lenses and only use my glasses for times when my eyes need a break from contacts (usually at night) or when my eyes are irritated and can’t tolerate contact lenses. Because I don’t use my glasses that often I don’t upgrade the prescription every year; I can usually wear the same pair for two or three years, depending on my prescription.

I’ve had my glasses for about three years now, and was due to replace them in May. That was the plan until three weeks ago, when my glasses fell apart. The bridge that connected the lenses broke in half for no reason at all (well, it seemed random to me, but a technician later told me it's because I take them off using one hand, which puts stress on the bridge and causes them to fall apart). At the time I was hesitant to replace them because I only had two more months to go, and I figured I could hold out for at least that long. I mean, I only use the darned things at night anyway, so surely I could come up with a temporary solution until May came around.

At first I put tape around the bridge to hold it together – very nerdy, like the head geek from Revenge of the Nerds – except that mine were brown frames held together with clear scotch tape (as opposed to black frames and white tape). That worked out for about a week, until the adhesive ran out and couldn’t hold the two sides together. I didn’t want to keep taping the bridge so one night I came up with a great way to fix my glasses: why not fuse them together by melting the plastic and fusing the ends together? Genius! Totally WWMD, as in What Would MacGyver Do.

I was successful the first time out. Very carefully, I put each side of the bridge over the stove’s open flame and waited until the plastic melted on both sides, then fused the two ends together. Then I ran my glasses under cold water to strengthen the heat bond (right?). The thing about fusing plastic lenses together is that you have to melt just the right amount of plastic from each side and connect the two parts together at just the right angle so that you don’t get a lopsided frame. If done incorrectly, you end up looking like you’re sporting a pair made from two distinct glasses, like Sawyer always wears in Lost. I looked like I was wearing Sawyer’s glasses, only uglier. I was pretty happy with the result despite the awful-looking glasses. The people I lived with didn’t seem to care, so why should I?

The glasses stayed fused for a few days – they came apart as I was putting them away one night. The fusing method wasn’t so bad, I thought, so why not try again? Only this time I’d connect them at the proper angle and stick them under cold water longer so they wouldn’t fall apart so easily. Once again, I stood in front of the stove and held the two pieces together over the open flame. I was just about to fuse them together when I felt an intense heat near the top of my head and realized my hair was on fire! I dabbed at my hair and splashed water at my head. I surveyed the damage and was relieved to find that I had lost only a few strands of hair near the scalp. I combed out the burned parts as best as I could and tried to blend the rest with the longer layers. It was then that I stopped messing with my broken glasses and wait out the next two and a half months. So that night, and for the next week, I wore my contacts until bedtime, and read by pushing my books close to my face. It sucked. Toward the end of the week my eyes were burning from wearing contacts all day and my arms hurt from pushing the book so close to my face.

It finally dawned on me last Friday that I should just go to Lenscrafters and have new glasses made. After all, I had already budgeted for new glasses this year, and even though I'd be missing out on my insurance discounts I was prepared to spend the money now instead of putting up with my current situation, which sucked.

The next day, Saturday, I visited my optometrist, got my prescription, took the prescription to Lenscrafters, picked out new frames, and my glasses were ready in about an hour. It was amazing and I regretted not getting new glasses earlier. The price turned out to be around the same amount I wanted to spend for glasses, fancy new frame and all. Here were the finalists:

The first pair turned out to be too wide for my face, the second too petite, and the third too similar to my old pair. I ended up getting this pair, which combined the color and shape I wanted, and it fit nicely:

I came back an hour later to pick them up, and this is how they look on my face:

I am really happy with these new glasses, and might even consider wearing them to work whenever I need a break from my contacts. Unlike my previous pair, these frames hide the thickness of the lenses pretty well (my prescription is -6.25 on both eyes, which means that these would look like coke bottles if I didn’t choose the thinner, lighter, anti-glare lenses). They are worth every penny.


Camels & Chocolate said...

Hi there! Yes, I LOVE these boots. And unfortunately I have worn holes in them and can't find another pair in gray, aargh. But they are the Tianna slouch boots from Steve Madden. I got them at Macy's back in the fall, but they still have them in other colors online.

Miguelina. said...

We have the same prescription and similar glasses. Love meeting a fellow four-eyes with good taste! ;)

cici said...

hahah abby that was the funniest story ever :0) love the glasses too, they look really good on you!!