My least-favorite doctor is the dentist. Throughout my childhood, I was plagued with inept dentists, who shot my jaw muscles full of Novocain, but never managed to hit the spot that actually deadened the nerve. Then there was the time Dad took us to the local dental school in order to save money; I came away from that experience with sore and bleeding gums. And when I was in seminary I broke a tooth during lunch one day. I went to the dentist across the street, who repaired the tooth, then laid out a course of treatment for me that included removal of my wisdom teeth and the addition of braces. Apparently he had a vacation home to pay off. I never went back to him. I hate dentists.
And, at least until I turn 50 and have to go in for a colonoscopy, the next on my list of hated doctors is the optometrist.
Actually, it’s not the optometrist I don’t like - although this guy was kinda creepy, with big bushy eyebrows and a big hairy eyeball! No, what I actually hate is going next door to pick out the new glasses.
Yes, it seems that whenever I go to the optometrist, there is always a need for new glasses!
My eye exam was at 4 p.m. It took less than ½ hour. I left the eyeglasses store at 6 p.m. You do the math!
I tried on virtually every pair of glasses in the store, as the salesman hovered nearby, wanting to be helpful. Well, I’m sorry, low-paid stranger who works in the mall, your opinion doesn’t count. And yes, I know the Ray-bans you are directing me toward cost four times as much as the store-brand frames I’m looking at. Deal with it!
Some of the glasses made me look dorky. Some of the glasses made me look like a 70’s porn star. Some made me look like a retiree living in Miami. Some even did the impossible and made me look “smart”.
Hey, I've got a reputation to protect!
My eyes were growing tired, my ears were hurting, and my patience was running thin. I was about ready to give up for the day, but I knew I would just have to return and do it all over again another day. So I narrowed my choices down to three and made a decision I will have to live with for the next two or three years.
Next came the really fun part. Adding up the bill.
Of course, there is a new type of lens I should try, and it costs only a little more than what I had, but it will make me see so much better. Throw in the anti-reflective coating, the UVA-UVB protection, the scratch-resistant coating…
The salesman’s hand moved quietly to his calculator.
Was that slight hand tremor I detected a mini-orgasm?
Next came the sunglasses. Same thing. Plus a polarized coating. Again, the salesman’s hand moves quietly over his calculator.
There was that tremor of excitement again.
Do I want insurance for only $29?
I asked to see the bottom line. For two pair of glasses, I was already up to $1,400!
I could buy a seeing eye dog for that much!!!
Wait, there is a discount.
There is always a discount.
That brings the total down to “only” $973.
Okay, then. Add the insurance.
That’s $29 per pair.
Yes, I know.
I’m only eight months away from my 50th birthday and my next doctor’s appointment. Might as well get used to the feeling now.