Monday, 1 July 2013

I don't see it that way.

This morning I had to endure a very traumatic experience. The whole thing took two hours, this is quite good for me, it usually takes a lot longer. The first part wasn't so bad, quite enjoyable in fact, it sort of put me at my ease, I felt quite relaxed about it, trying not to think about what was to come later. I was in a darkened room and there was a nice young man getting close up and almost personal. He was tall and slim, and rather handsome, with thick dark hair and just the right amount of  facial hair. He had the look of a romantic Bollywood actor about him. Our eyes met briefly as he moved around the chair I was sitting in. He asked lots of questions, 'is it better like this or like this?' I was confused and asked him to repeat the options. 'Better like this or like this?' 'Oh, the first is better', I replied. This little game went on for some time, always the same question, 'like this or like this?'

When the session was coming towards the end, he leaned quite close to me and peered into my eyes, I could feel his warm breath on my cheek. 'Fine', he said, 'nothing to worry about there, all is well'. Then he escorted me out of the room, smiling and chatting like we were old friends. He steered me in the direction of the ladies section, and said someone would be with me soon to help me to choose some new glasses.  
What happened next was not a nice experience at all, in fact I would rather not have to go through with it. But it is several years since I last changed my glasses, and they are decidedly yellowy looking, and I'm sure the lenses must be scratched to buggery as I am not too particular with what I clean them with. Also my prescription has changed slightly since the last eye test, so I suppose it is better to get a fresh new pair, and I find I have to keep tilting my head a lot more often to get things in focus, so maybe the varifocal settings need changing.

Every time I have to choose new frames I end up quite stressed out. I hate wearing glasses, always have done. I had about 20 years of wearing contact lenses, which was a great relief, it gave my confidence a boost, knowing that I didn't have to look at the world through a pair of windows stuck on the front of my face. But then age caught up with me and I found I had to wear reading glasses on top of my lenses, so I had to carry them around with me. It was such a pain to keep getting them out every time I wanted to read something in print. I decided to give up with lenses and go back to specs, it was the easier option. Get a pair of glasses that are suitable for everything, close work and distance vision.

So there I was, back in Speccysavers, trawling through the hundreds of frames on display. This isn't an advert for a particular shop, they are all the same, and I hate every one of them. But, the job has to be done. It's very hard to choose something that you have to buy, but don't really want. Trying on loads of frames means you have to look at your face in the mirror, and I don't want to do that at all. I don't see what everyone else see's,  I see ugliness. I have touched on the subject of my BDD before, (Google it), most of the time I can push it to the back of my mind and get on with my life, but every so often it rears it's ugly head, such as today when I am forced to look in the mirror to choose a new pair of specs. The despair creeps back in again. There is nothing I can do about it, it will always be there, but it comes and goes, and thankfully as I get older it doesn't bother me so much.

Keeping busy and living my life to the full is one way I have of keeping it under control. Distraction is a great healer. Not paying too much attention about what I wear helps as well. I went through all that when I was a teenager, trying to look pretty when I knew there was not a cat in hells chance I would ever be pretty. I think I have done quite well to keep it under control in the fifty years it has plagued me.

On that note, I have another distraction coming up, I've booked a holiday for next week. I shall be driving down to the west country. I have three nights camping at the Youth Hostel in Street, only £6.50 a night, then I move to the Hostel in Bath for another three nights, in a dorm. I shall be meeting up with our lovely blogger friend Kath, in Glastonbury, hoping to visit Cheddar, maybe Wells, Shepton Mallet, and other places if time. It's going to be great, looking forward to it. As always I will be looking to keep the cost down, can't do much about the price of petrol. The cost for six nights is £59, I shall be self catering, and looking for free places to visit. I'm not too fussed about paying entrance fees to go inside places, I'd rather look at the architecture on the outside of a building. Free art galleries and museums, and free gardens and parks, that will do nicely.
Toodle pip

34 comments:

  1. If you are anywhere near Ledbury please come and say hello and have a cuppa!

    And I think you look lovely and not ugly at all :-)

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    1. Thank you for the offer of a cuppa. I hadn't planned on going that far west, was thinking more Cotswolds side of the M5. I won't have time on the way down there, but leaving the end open, no set date to come back. Email me your mobile number, then I can text you if I have time.

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  2. I know how you feel ! when I got my last pair of glasses, I flatly refused to try any on at all because I too can't stand my own reflection. I just said 'give me any - any of them will do'
    The optician was gobsmacked, but I refused to look in the mirror !

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    1. That's a funny story, Wean. I don't think I could be that brave as to let someone else choose my frames for me.

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  3. I, too, gave up contact lenses when they weren't helping my short sight and reading. I only put my glasses on when I go out. Around the house I can function very well and read without them. When I'm CSing I keep a look out for glasses frames. My last 2 pairs were found in charity shops so I only had to pay for lenses.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  4. Hahaha when I read your blog I thought the last blog about lust has gone to her head lol. I too have had to have new glasses and hate looking and choosing but it has to be done. Enjoy your few days away look forward to the pictures.

    Sue R

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  5. I hate the whole business of eye tests, after a few times of "This or This" I can not tell the difference and my brain goes to sleep. I looked at laser treatment and then lens replacement but do not have £2000 to £5000 per eye to spend. I am sure that when I look in the mirror it is a total stranger looking back.

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  6. I have a very round face, nothing looks right. I finally found 2 sets of frames. and I just have lenses changed. Then you don't have to worry about them suiting you.

    why go through all the stress of looking if you already have frames. get one set done at a time so you have the other ones for driving etc. and then all done and no thoughts that people are looking at strange frames.

    I am in no way fashionable so maybe they hate me when I go in as I wont have new frames.

    Also if you have your prescription, what about putting a picture in one of those websites where you can buy your glasses on line. Serious savings can be made there

    Sorry long comment.

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    1. I could never buy my glasses on line. As much as I hate looking at my face, I want to get the glasses I feel most comfortable in, whatever the cost.

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  7. I completely sympathise Ilona. It's so hard trying to decide what suits your face- I got so stressed that I left the optician with my prescription and took it elsewhere so that I could look at the different frames available in my own time. They are so expensive that you can't afford to get it wrong!

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    1. Hi Aril. The last time I had an eye test I was left to look at the frames, no one came to assist me, I got fed up and walked out of the shop without buying any. I soldiered on with the glasses I already had for another two years.

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  8. When l turned fourty l had reached my goal. I nolonger hate looking at myself in a mirror or in a shop window or anywhere. I am simply thrilled to be me, flaws and all. When l trurned thirty l made a sereous agreement with myself, refusing to spend my whole life hating the way l look l was going to make it change. And l have. Life is just too short. You look lovely by the way and l do apprechiate glasses being a nuisance to wear. All the best, Pam

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  9. Hi Ilona, i think the cost would worry me the most. Has your local Tesco not got an opticians? Ours has, just imagine all those clubcard points and if there were the much coveted yellow stickers on the frames..... Lots of people suit glasses but vanity stops us being ourselves.
    I remember meeting you when you were trucking and found you to be a really nice person.
    Dave

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    1. Thank you Dave, you're a star. I tried Tesco optician once, they didn't have a very big selection of frames, I couldn't find any I liked. I don't get many club card points now as I don't spend so much.

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  10. My eyesight is so bad that I can't see what a new pair of frames look like on. Just like you, I hate looking in a mirror. It's especially scary when sat in the hairdressers.

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  11. Just got my new reading glasses last week, I found it quite stress-free, the nice young man only took about 10 minutes and pronounced my eyes well in for driving and distance, but new prescription for reading. I got the same or very similar frames as last time about 3 years ago. The old ones get used for the computer screen.

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    1. Hi, My new ones are of a similar style to the ones I have, but slightly deeper lenses to hide my wrinkles, and a bit more stylish.

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  12. Hi Ilona, I feel just the same as you (and don't get me started on haircuts!) I wear contact lenses but thought I needed some emergency glasses as a 'back up'. My problem is I wear hearing aids so although I've got some glasses, I'm trying to get used to them balanced on the top of my hearing aids. Hated the picking a pair from the selection. There were that many of them it was overwhelming! Louise

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    1. Yes, going to the hairdressers has the same effect on me, hate looking at myself in the mirror. I want to be in and out of there quickly. Thankfully I have remedied that situation by cutting my own hair at home. I no longer have to endure that torture.

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  13. I went through this a couple of months ago. I've done the Vision Express, Specsavers and then decided to try ASDA, as my Vision Express ones cost me two legs and one arm. I had a very good eye test, the nice young optician gave me a note to give to my doctor to say the pressure was a little high in one eye! I sought out about 10 frames. Then was helped by a very honest technician lady, who helped me choose a nifty metal frame and a contrasting rimless, both varifocal and £159. (ish) for both! It would have cost the same to have lenses put in my old speccies.

    I must say I saw better in these speccies than the very expensive ones from VE, and would use the again and I'm an expert on opticians with all the ops I've had on my eyes.

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  14. Ilona, you have a great sense of humour, a kind heart and bags of get up and go which are all far more important. I hope I have the same amount of energy when I get to your age. You really are great! xxx

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    1. Thank you Caroline, your comment is uplifting, after the nasty one I got from my cruel, brain dead troll.

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  15. I need reading glasses.I get the cheapo ones from the stand in the drugstore.My optician said that they were not doing me any harm...so cheapo it is.
    Jane x

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  16. I also absolutely hate wearing glasses. I finally gave in to having to wear them continuously about 6 years ago as it was such a pain in the bum to keep putting them on whenever I went into a shop and had to read labels. Once I needed 2 pairs, one for everyday and another for reading, that was it, I went for bifocals and then the last couple of times I've also had those varifocal things...but don't just the lenses cost an arm and a leg? But I do such a lot of stitching that I need the best quality I can afford so I have to come up with the readies. Sorry to hear you dislike your looks so much because you are such a lovely person. However, like you, I'm not particular over what I wear and avoid mirrors if I can, and consequently when it comes to choosing frames I have no idea what suits me. Its a real ordeal, especially when everything in me is balking at the expense and I can't find any frames I like in the cheapest section. I generally prefer the men's frames anyway. If my current frames hold up well until my next test is due in January I might just have the new lenses put in the old frames. Anyway, hope you managed to find some that will do the job. Hugs, Helen x

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    1. Hi Helen. I did ask about putting new lenses in my existing frames, but because they are half frames it is not so straight forward as popping the lenses in and out in full frames. Also, after the discount I got, there wouldn't have been much difference in price.

      You sound much like me, I prefer the simplicity of men's frames, don't want fancy girly frames. Mine cost a lot because I pay extra for thinned down lenses, if I didn't they would look like bottle bottoms because my eyesight is so bad.

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  17. Hi, I read regularly but this is the first time I have commented. I too wear contact lenses, and have one lens for short sight and one for long sight - even though both eyes are short sighted. This means I don't need to put reading glasses on at all. It was my optician's idea and works brilliantly. They are also slightly different colours so that I never put them in the wrong way round. It's well worth a try.

    Rose

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    1. Hello Rose, Thank you for your first comment. I'm glad you found a solution. I'm not sure I could afford the ongoing costs of contact lenses. My specs are not cheap, but spread over 3 or 4 years it's not so bad.

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  18. Amazing how many of us are the same. I hate wearing glasses and dread the opticians as I really don't suit frames but cannot wear contacts. As for hairdressers I have found a really good female barber who has me in and out of the chair quicker than I can say 'jack Robinson' haha. And it only costs me £8 as I have straight thick hair which I keep short so no amount of titivating makes me look any different. I cant believe the £50 + that most of my workmates pay every 4 weeks.
    I think we should all stand in front of a mirror and tell ourselves we are unique individuals who have an important role in the world. Have you read the 'Desiderata' it certainly makes you think

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  19. Hi Ilona, I know someone who has ordered her frames from an online website. They were $40(US) and that's so cheap! I myself have never ordered from them because I haven't been to get an eye exam for several years. I wear reading glasses but can't wear the ones they sell in the pharmacies because I have an astigmatism and those glasses make me so dizzy, but next time I get an eye exam, I think I will try the online frame store. Since I only wear them for reading, I will take a chance on not trying them on in person (I also hate doing that). Just a thought. One of the websites is called Zenni. They seem to have some nice styles. The frames where I go for an eye exam are so expensive. They costs me $400 (US) last time! That's why I haven't changed them yet.

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  20. Ilona - I used to be the exact same way, but when it came to trying on clothes in general. I'd get so upset, I'd nearly start crying in the change rooms. I was a bit heavier then, but I still have days when I know it's not a good idea to go to the secondhand store (charity shop) and try anything on. I feel for you- but when we come and 'see' you here on your blog we just see someone with a real zest for life, and inner AND outer beauty. Please believe that to be true.
    Hugs,
    Christina

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  21. The problem with new glasses is that I can't see well enough anymore to determine how the frames actually look on me! I had a pair a couple of years ago that were real dogs.

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  22. I solved my problem with short-sightedness about 6 years ago when I had my eyes lasered, now I just wear the cheapo off the shelf reading glasses £2 for two pairs in Asda. Like Jane my optician said they were fine for my eyes.

    When I did wear glasses I hated trying to see what I looked like in the new frames when I didn't have my glasses on to see properly, it used to get me really stressed out, as bad as being at the hairdressers, I'm beginning to think we have a lot in common, although I haven't been brave enough to cut my own hair yet :-)

    The only thing my glasses were good for were hiding the dark circles under my eyes and the wrinkles!!

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  23. I haven't been able to stop thinking about this post. We must all feel the same way. Why? It is so hard for me to see myself. I too am getting new glasses in a couple of weeks. How am I supposed to know what frames look good on me if I can't see myself?
    Martha from Kansas

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  24. I'd love that journey travelling from Lincolnshire to the west country. I like tto take the A roads when i can so i'd follow the Fosse way through the Cotswolds. Its part of the holiday for me.
    Hope you have a nice time.
    Dave

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