I had planned to go in for a check-up when James lost his job and before the insurance expired... truly, I did. I don't know whether I've mentioned this, but I have a baby and that often gets in the way of my plans. Point is, I never made it, and three days after it expired, I sat on my 17-year-old glasses.
Fortunately, we'd built up a reserve in the HSA, so even though I had to pay for my eye exam, it didn't put a dent in our household budget. As an aside, Modern Eyes at West Campus is awesome! James had planned to watch Mal for me while I got examined, but he'd been up late working on a prospective job homework assignment, and I didn't have the heart to wake him. The doctor and the staff were so calm and accommodating to my having a squirmy and occasionally noisy kid with me.
One good thing: the last time I got a contact prescription (which was probably at least 6 years ago, and maybe longer... but thanks to the doctor who kept faxing that aged prescription into 1-800-Contacts), the doctor said that he thought my eyes were getting lazy. One of my eyes was at -750, and the other at -850. He dialed them both back to -650 and said my eyes needed to work or they'd get worse. Well, this time, the eye doctor said she felt like I could go back to a -600 in both eyes (the glasses prescription is different, closer to my old contact prescription, which I don't understand, but I'm not an optometrist!... or a postmistress, which is how spell-check suggested my original misspelling of optometrist be corrected.).
She gave me a laminated script for my glasses, which I brought home and immediately got online at GlassesUSA, My friend (whom I've never officially met, but have known for more than a decade and a half, and who sent me her fat clothes after I had D and most of my wardrobe was in storage in Spokane for 3 months) had recommended them, as they have a fairly wide variety of frames that aren't too expensive.
Here's the first good thing: If you sign up for an account and to get email from them, you get 50% off of your first purchase. Understand that you also have to purchase a care package for your lenses, depending on which level of frame you get; mine cost about $50 for scratch-coating, and... whatever else was part of the deal. Anyway, the half off is for the frames and base lenses so, for instance, my discount was $52 but I paid about $100 total.
Have you brought frames in the store lately? That's a mere pittance!
Okay, but here's the sort of awesome fun part about GlassesUSA: You can upload a picture of yourself (facing straight ahead, please) and then work to center some hash marks on your pupils (or center your pupils on hash marks, whichever) to get a virtual preview of how the glasses will work on you.
Pretty cool, right? Also, you can search by size of frame (s,m,l), style (square, circular, browline, oversized, etc.), color, material, brand, and several other parameters. You get to view the glasses front-on both by themselves and on your own face (or pick one of their stock models, all of whom are more attractive than I am, so that doesn't help me.), then also from the side and at an angle.
In the end, these are the ones I chose.
Now, as someone with extreme myopia, I knew one thing for sure: The glasses would not look like this on my face. I have thick lenses, even with the new, awesomely-improved-over-grade-school thinner lenses. Still, the lenses make my eyes look smaller and beadier, so that would be a thing.
After I placed my order, I immediately realized that I'd stupidly forgotten to put in my discount code for half off! So I both clicked on "live chat" on the page, and when I was holding for a rep there, I also called them. Within five minutes, they'd refunded the $52 to my debit card, no problem. That was great customer service!
It took about two weeks to fabricate, ship, and receive my glasses. They sent out email updates when the glasses were put together and preparing to be tested, and when they'd been shipped.
I love that the box they come in is tiny; it's just the exact size of the glasses case... which is really sturdy and nice! Maybe all glasses come in such cases now. I wouldn't know; I have never died. (That's true, but it was an auto-Harry-Potter reference.) I wouldn't know; I haven't bought glasses in nearly two decades!
How fun are they?! I love them!
And last night, there was a really cool sunset... or at least it seemed so from the light pouring into the back of our house. The back of our house is opposite the sunset, which meant that although it was cloudy, brilliant sunlight was spilling all over the tall condos behind us and reflecting our way. I wanted to see it, so James and I walked down the street and all the way up to the top of a parking garage (yes, I was carrying my baby in my arms; I'm kind of a rock star that way... a very tired rock star) so we might catch a glimpse of it. But what I noticed most was the detail of everything!
I was looking out over the Austin skyline and the trees and the office buildings, and everything looked like Google Maps 3D or something. It was like seeing a high-def television for the first time. I guess I was so used to seeing perfectly in contacts and whatever it was in my old glasses, that I hadn't realized how inappropriate the prescription was. Now I can see everything! Although it took me about two hours to get used to how things seemed to slope up from the bottom, and be closer to me than they "felt" before.
And what do they look like on? Here.
I like them! They're actually not too terribly close-looking to how they appeared online, though. Don't remember? Don't want to scroll up? Well, let me help you out there.
Now, aside from the fact that one of those photos was taken (and doctored) by a professional and the other was a living room selfie (and the first taken back when I was able to actually fix my hair), you can see the the frames are actually quite a bit larger on my real face than they were the picture I uploaded. The website actually gives physical measurements so you can compare it to your existing frames, but... me? Math? Pehh.
Final conclusion: Neat experience, great money-saver, and the glasses are not flimsy crap. They are well-made and have a 365 day warranty. However, I'd probably stick with small frames (these are medium) because I do like that general line. The upshot of having bigger frames, though, is that my field of vision is a lot wider than it was with my old glasses. Last night when I drove to Krispy Kreme for doughnuts at 9 PM, I had none of the "I hate driving at night!" fear that I have had in the past when trying to navigate traffic in the dark. So I'm happy with my purchase and thrilled with what I paid.