It is over three years since I last got my eyes tested, so this week I popped over for a test to my friendly optician – Robert Callendar in Linlithgow. The good news is that my eyes remain healthy and my prescription is unchanged. I was happy because I thought I could keep my existing glasses, but Robert was in sales mode and persuaded me otherwise.
I was born short sighted and wore glasses till I was about 40, when I had my eyes lasered to get 20-20 vision. I loved not having to wear specs, and I still would rather not. But a few years ago I realised that I could not read small print, and got some reading glasses. Then, when I had my last test, I found my distance vision was also deteriorating, so I got some glasses for driving and watching TV. Now I have the two pairs, but most of the time I do not wear any.
The optician suggested I get some varifocals, so that I could wear them all the time, without worrying about where they are, but I am holding onto my identity as someone who does not wear glasses. If my prescription had changed I would have been persuaded, but I did not want to spend money. This is where my salesman optician got smart. Rather than continuing to argue for varifocals he just asked whether I had been wearing sunglasses on the narrowboat this year. Apparently not wearing them at my age on sunny days can lead to cataracts. That did make some sense and when I mentioned we were hoping to go skiing this year his eyes lit up.
So I have ended up ordering some fancy Bolle prescription sunglasses, with rose-blue lenses which apparently are best for bringing out contrast on the piste.
I do feel as if Robert has stolen my wallet, but I am pleased my eyes have not deteriorated these past few years, and I am looking forward to testing out my new sunglasses. As Huey Lewis said, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”.