Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Spoilt for choice

I am so envious of people who don't need spectacles, because they don't have to go through the nightmare experience of choosing new frames every few years, when they absloutely hate wearing them, like I do. My specs have been the cause of most of my insecurities, my shyness, and at times my total lack of confidence and self esteem.

It all started when I was eight years old, I couldn't understand why I didn't know the words of the hymms we had to sing in assembly at school. I thought we had to learn them and I couldn't remember them all because there were so many. I told my mum so she took me for an eye test, it was then that I found out that the others were not learning the words, they were reading them from a big chart on the wall, and I couldn't see them.

Of course when I got my new national health specs I became a target for name calling, which I had to endure untill I left school. We couldn't afford the newer nicer frames that were becoming available. It was one of the first things I saved up for when I started my first job, I was determined to ditch those horrible monstrosities that had given me so much grief.

All through my teenage years I hated my specs, I would immediately whip them off when someone came near me with a camera. The taunts then were 'Boys don't make passes at girls in glasses', which was certainly true in my case. I tried to manage without them and put them in my handbag when I went out. Of course I had to give up and put them on when I couldn't see who I was talking to. Anyway, I finally had some respite when I reached my mid twenties, it was my brother I had to thank, because he came out with the statement, 'You look bloody awfull, why don't you get some contact lenses?' Although the remark was very hurtfull, I looked in the mirror and thought, he's right, I do look bloody awful.

My confidence soared when I got my lenses, it was like a miracle, at last I was like most other people. I didn't have to look through a window to see the world, people didn't know my eyesight was so bad, I now looked normal. I had a lot of years of happiness with my contact lenses.

Now they have have gone because I need reading glasses, and it seems silly to wear lenses and put reading specs on top, so I have changed to varifocals. Technology has moved on a lot now, and I no longer need to suffer with my bottle bottoms, I can have ultra thin lenses giving me a much wider choice of frames.

So, today I have been to Specsavers to have an eye test and order my new specs. At this point I have to say a big thankyou to the super young lady assistant, Jo, who helped me chose the frames, she has the patience of a saint. It wasn't easy, I was in the shop for three and a half hours, and this is what I have chosen. Thank goodness I won't have to do that again for a few more years.
Daily spend - £11.50 cat food. £4.10 Sainsburys
£135.30 Specsavers


  1. Very nice frames, but the price of specs now is scary isn't it? All those fivers you've saved by not going into the local shop came in very handy yesterday. Must seem worth it though when you have a major expenditure like this to fork out for.

    I can identify with the teenage torture of being a spec wearer.....remember it well.

  2. O dear I remember NHS specs... I was 13, a red head, had terrible acne and then was presented with my first pair of nhs spectacles. My life was totally misery! Thank goodness those days are gone!! Ouch! specs are expensive though!!

  3. Yes, they are expensive. I searched the lower price ranges first, but was not prepared to compromise. To get something that I am comfortable about wearing on my face, overrides the price factor. Well worth not having those chocolate bars, and late scavenging, sorry shopping, in Tesco.

  4. You can understand lenses being expensive - they are supposed to be made to your individual prescription - but frames? the best Foster Grant off-the-shelf glasses with sprung frames cost a tenner at most. Smells la bit like a rip-off. Anyway, Meanqueen, glasses look rather becoming on some people.

  5. I well remember pink plastic covered wire specs at school. I started wearing them long before I was old enough to go to school and that was ok. It was when I started school that the problems started. I had to wear a pink plastic patch over one eye as well and the other kids really made my life a misery then.

    I too started wearing contact lenses when we could afford them and I loved them. However, when I needed varifocals, they were so expensive and I had so many problems with them that I went back to specs. I know I am going to need new specs soon and I hate the thought of trying to find new frames. The current frames have lived through 2 lots of lenses - or it might be 3 - and won't take a new pair of lenses. Besides there is the little broken bit of plastic on the leg which is sharp where the parrot let loose in the local pet shop landed on my shoulder and whipped my glasses off my nose and proceeded to crunch the leg ... The shop owner didn't want to know and didn't even apologise and they've lost a customer.

  6. Oh dear Jo, I know just what you mean. There should be a support group to help people through the trauma of choosing new frames. I have come away from the opticians in tears before now, got myself worked up into such a state, hated my face, and never wanted to look in the mirror again. People who don't wear specs don't understand this. Good luck in your choosing.


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