I should have gotten a monocle

It is hot as a mug out. It’s what, 90 degrees? Holy smokes. Summer is here. I’m sitting at your favorite coffee shop again, watching through the window as warm-looking people walk in the warm air. Once I get up from here I’m getting on the bike and riding somewhere through this soup. Not sure where, yet. But keep your fingers crossed I don’t bust a flat! Your good vibes will count.

Here’s 900 words on my glasses

Okay, so I’ve got a new pair of glasses! I got them from a company that markets them online, sells them directly to the discerning consumer … yours truly, in this case.

Sometimes I have a hard time describing Warby Parker’s business model. But they’ve figured out to how to sell faux high-end hipster frames for those shopping on a budget. And the key word there, you understand, is budget. For those of you who have good eyesight and are out of the loop on this kind of stuff: Glasses are expensive, and getting a new pair once every year or two takes a bite out of your wallet.

So Warby Parker cuts out the middle man that is the overpriced frames store that serves as the lobby for every optometrist’s office you’ve ever walked into, and sells cheap prescription lenses and cheaper frames (they’re all $95) directly to the customer. It’s got a savvy PR plan (see: Toms) wherein it donates a pair of glasses (or throws a sum of money to affiliated vision health nonprofits) for every pair of Warby Parker frames purchased, which should give you an idea at how dang cheap it is to manufacture these things (in China). And they’re so tasteful! so stylish! that it all adds up to a very well-planned business strategy.

So I got these here.

I wear these.

It was a real pain in the ass taking a picture of my glasses, because I can’t see anything when I’m not wearing them.

Now, when you get a new pair of glasses via the internet, certain hurdles come into play. For instance: After entering my prescription, I had to measure my pupillary distance in front of a webcam with a credit card held up to my nose to provide scale. And once I had ordered them, I spent a lunch break sitting on my building’s stoop in a rain storm, waiting for the UPS guy to drop them off; my man wouldn’t just leave the box at the door.

But we’ll just file both of these hurdles under inconvenient.

Because I could sidestep this inconvenience. I could, I guess, just get contacts, and have new soft lenses mailed to me once a month. This is what most of the kids do these days. And so my optometrist asked me if I wanted an examination for contact lenses last time I was at his office, a storefront next to a bagel shop on Connecticut Avenue (I always get a bagel after my appointment, natch).

Had I ever thought about lenses? Or was I interested in laser eye surgery? Zap a laser into your eye and presto, you can fix your vision. This is what you do if you plan to take up flying, deep-sea diving, skydiving.

“Do you plan on doing any skydiving in the future?” my optometrist asked earnestly.

No, probably not. If I do, though, I’ll just leave my glasses at home, or place them in a pocket, and put them back on once I’m on firm ground again.

This is what I do when I find myself in those rare instances that I’m on a rollercoaster, especially one that’s got loopty-loops on it: I use one hand to grip tightly to the padded safety bar, and the other to press my glasses hard against the bridge of my nose lest I lose them to gravity in a moment of adrenaline and panic.

And so I don’t really like roller coasters. Did you guess at this?

Poor metaphor

Anyway. I passed on the contacts, as well. I tried them once as a teenager, and decided after a few hours that I’d rather not poke at an eyeball to get them in and out every morning. I’ve been wearing these joints since the third grade, I said. The arrangement I’ve got with glasses ain’t broke. So let’s not fix it. Plus, they lend an unearned air of dignity to the wearer. And two decades later I can still use all of the extra dignity that I can get.

So I took my glasses prescription, got an onion bagel next door, and here we are a month on. I purchased my glasses from a website that also sells monocles. What kind of asshole buys a monocle?

But once they arrived came the hard part: breaking the frames in. I’ve been wearing these around for a few weeks now, and for a while when I put them on they were quite tight behind my ears. Not tight enough to immediately notice any pinch, but enough so that had you removed them after having worn them for a while, you would feel a sharp pain and then relief. You don’t even notice that you’re hurting.

I don’t feel it anymore. I rode that pain out; the spot right behind my ears no longer stings. I figure it must be the muscle or fat or cartilage (probably fat,  I have a huge head) in that spot has shifted and toughened, just like it has had to afresh with most every pair of frames I’ve ever purchased.

So right behind my ears, you understand, I’m tough.

And it could be that waiting out the pain, adjusting to pair of tight new frames is a metaphor for something, but it’s probably not. Because I could have just gone down to Lenscrafters and had somebody adjust the dang things. Maybe it’s simply a metaphor for dumb.

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4 comments so far

  1. Anonymous on

    Onion bagels are legit!

  2. mustafapie on

    LOL. Seriously. I heard nothing but Warby Parker this and Warby Parker that in my masters program. I’m glad they found you seeing as you are their demographic. It’s like that one Mad Men’s episode where a wife serves Heinekein at a fancy dinner party and her husband pointed out to everyone (embarrassing the shit out of her because she was clueless of his sneakiness) that he used her as the primary demographic example to sell to Heineken. So don’t feel too bad because you’re looking stylish now.

  3. Anonymous on

    I read this on the ferry this morning and couldn’t stop laughing. Loved it 🙂

  4. dudeokay on

    thanks dudes. as for onion bagels: that’s what I’m sayin.


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