Some time ago I bought some new contact lenses in Spain.
When they arrived the prescription was wrong. While I could see reasonably well out of one eye, the other was little better than my own very short-sighted vision.
After a few months, one eye was feeling a bit itchy so I took the lens out. It had ripped across the middle – not completely, but very nearly. Certainly more than half way.
I gazed at the offending torn lens and felt slightly sick at the thought of having narrowly escaped two shards of plastic scratching around in my eye.
At this point I went back to the previous lenses which I must have had for ten years. Although somewhat battered and knocked around, they were still intact. Just not brill vision as my eyesight has deteriorated since I bought those lenses.
Sadly the other day I dropped one of them on the floor. Even more sadly it happened to be the one lens that was the better prescription.
Despite not vacuuming (not something I do much of anyway), examining the contents of the dustpan every time I swept up, and crawling around on my hands and knees, I found nothing but dog fur, dust and grit.
There was no way round it, I was going to have go through the tedious eye-testing process again.
For anyone who doesn’t wear contact lenses, it basically takes twice as long as a normal eye-test and your eyes get filled with yellow gunk. Then there is the cost. And I am not fond of spending money if I can avoid it. Shopaholic me – never.
Partner suggested I get some glasses. He thought it would be more sensible than me crawling around on the floor every time I dropped a lens.
So I wandered into the local opticians and had a look at some frames. Mmm. Yes, there was quite a nice dark brown pair. I decided I could cultivate a new image. The sort-of librarian look. To any librarians out there this is not a derogatory comment. I was thinking, thoughtful, serious, intellectual. I asked the price. They were something over a hundred quid. Not cheap – to my way of thinking. Although there were cheaper frames. There were also dearer ones.
I wondered if I could get some of those cheap off-the-shelf jobbies from the supermarket like Partner wears for reading. Nope. They are only for long-sighted people. They don’t do the same stuff for us myopic types.
I bit the bullet and made the appointment. Partner came to help choose the frames. We all – me, him, the three staff in the shop – agreed on the same pair of frames.
Gucci. I ask you. How embarrassing. I have never bought anything by Gucci in my life and I end up with a pair of designer spectacle frames. I am sure it would be perfectly possible to design a pair of brown frames without putting that all-important double G sign on them.
Still, they looked better than all the others. And much better than the Prada ones that had disgusting pieces of diamanté on them. Diamanté on spectacle frames? Definitely not me.
I decided I wanted contact lenses too. Hard ones. PMMA. The nice easy-to-maintain, tough-as-old-boots ones that I have managed with for the last 20 years. My optician said she would need to get a price. Heart sank on hearing that.
In the meantime, they would try and get my spare pair of glasses (it was “buy one get one free” although unsurprisingly the free one did not include another pair of Gucci frames) made up as quickly as possible.
A couple of days later the lenses had arrived for the free pair so I went to collect them. The flash Gucci number arrived another week or so after that, and then a couple of days ago my contact lenses arrived too.
Total time from start to finish? Around two weeks. Cost of glasses (two pairs), eye test, and clip on sun-things – equivalent to one week of Partner’s take home pay. The contact lenses were not dear – cheaper (and better) than the ones I bought in Spain, and also cheaper than the spectacle frames. The prescription seems fine too, and the service has been excellent.
To anyone in Gib or Spain, I totally recommend Gache and Co opticians, just off Main Street in Cathedral Square.