Posted on 02/10/2021 by Trivia – The Spice of Life
I was rather nonplussed to see my optician sending me a ‘good morning‘ message on WhatsApp the other day. You would not expect the optician to send you such messages. When I scrolled up, I saw details of the last online payment made to him, which he had enthusiastically acknowledged; it was more than three months since I had last visited him. The ‘good morning’ message then fell in place. Just like a bank takes special care of its high-value customers, my optician was indirectly trying to find out why I had not offered him any business for more than three months.
To understand why I enjoy his ‘most favoured customer’ status, I must tell you a little about how myopia is our faithful friend. I loved to wear spectacles as a child. The day the ophthalmologist told me that I needed spectacles for myopia, I was on top of the world. I would show off my spectacles to all and sundry. It was only as I grew up that it struck me that wearing spectacles was not very fashionable, after all. My husband has perfect eyesight. I had hoped that my children would not inherit my bad genes and would not need spectacles. Myopia, to a large extent, is attributed to the genes, though environmental factors also play a role. Even if one parent has perfect eyesight and the other has moderate myopia, it seems that the bad genes dominate – as in my case – and both my children have myopia. Thus, if three out of a family of four are myopic, the optician is bound to bestow the title of ‘most favoured customer’ on you.
When it comes to dealing with children who are myopic, one must be prepared to change umpteen pairs of spectacles, especially if they roll on the bed (like mine!!) with their spectacles on or remove them with one hand. Children tend to handle their spectacles pretty mercilessly. As a result, the frame gets loose or even breaks. Thus, having not just one extra pair but more than one is imperative. Further, their power also keeps changing. Till it stabilizes, the lenses have to be changed frequently. All this translates into multiple visits to the optician. You therefore befriend the lens maker in no time. So ashamed were my children on account of my frequent visits to the optician that they even made a new year resolution about handling their spectacles more gingerly. But as is the fate of all new year resolutions, this too was broken with great élan.
Adults too have their own set of problems. When age catches up, power becomes bifocal, necessitating a change in lenses, which often also implies changing the frame. COVID-19 has only compounded the problems of the bespectacled. When you wear spectacles with a mask on, it is the perfect experiment to demonstrate that exhaled air contains (more) water vapour than inhaled air. The lenses become extremely foggy and there is little you can see. Anti-fog lenses were launched to deal with this challenge. I bought them to better my vision. But my experience is that they do not work wonders. And they are quite expensive. All this again means that my optician is quite elated.
Having postponed the annual eye checkup for long, we, the trio, finally gathered courage and went to the ophthalmologist. As expected, with online classes, the power of my children had increased. The eye specialist recommended progressive lenses for me. Thus, it was time to change the lenses and frames for all the three. The optician would surely have good mornings in the days to come.