Well, this week’s aggravation for me was when I went to the eye doctor for my appointment. I would never go except for the fact that I cannot get “new” contacts without having an up-to-date prescription. Obviously a rule they put in place just to irritate me.

The office was packed when I got there, and after checking in at the desk, I sat down. I looked around at the other patients. I must’ve booked my appointment on “geriatric” day because I was at least a hundred years younger than the others. One man looked like he passed away in  his chair when I first looked at him… chin resting on his chest, hands hanging loosley on either side of the chair, and at one point he was starting to list to one side. He was resurrected when his wife elbowed him in the ribs to look at something she saw in the paper.

The receptionist asks for my glasses so she can read their prescription. Before disappearing with my glasses she says to me, “If you are wearing your contacts, you’ll have to take them out.” Oh great, I thought. So I retrieve my little lens case and remove my contacts right there on the spot. Now I’m sitting there, pretty much blind. The people sitting next to me who were in perfect view seconds ago, are now replaced by completely hazy images. The old guy who looked dead is now just a blurry lump of red and white plaid. His wife is a pink blob with a fuzzy face. The man across from me in the yellow jacket now just looks like Pac Man.Unless someone addresses me by name or comes within two inches of the end of my nose – I’m not seeing them.

Tony the Tiger, not the Fed Ex guy

I waited and waited… watching fuzzy person come and go into the office. One fuzzy image comes in, kinda looks like Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flake fame at first, and after squinting like Mr. Magoo I realize he was just the red headed FedEx guy. He waved at me, I wave back and then when I squinted again I saw he wasn’t waving, he was merely shaking the arms of  his sunglasses open and putting them on. Great. I need my freakin’ glasses. If I don’t get called in to be seen in the next minute, the contacts are going back in my eyes.

Finally, a lady comes over… according to my vision either she had super big hair, or she was wearing a wide-brimmed sun hat. I couldn’t tell. She tells me the doctor is running late and so she’ll do a few tests with me in the meantime. She leads me to the little area and I take a seat in the stool she pulls out for me. Well, I assumed it was a stool, it looked like a cardboard box to me at this point, or it could have been a stack of old records for all I knew. I immediately recognized the machine that was sitting in front of me. It’s the one that blows that awful puff of air in your eye. I hate this thing. I hate it. She cleans off the chin rest and gets me to look straight ahead. At this point, I realize that the person who sat at this machine before me must’ve been Frankenstein because he must’ve had about 11 inches of space between his chin and where his eyes were because when I rested my chin in the spot, the eye holes were near the top of my head. Well either that, or I’m a human version of a Pug dog.

My face and this pug's face must have the same dimensions.

Anyway, she starts adjusting the machine, it groans and grinds it’s way down … pulling the end of my nose with it. I back my head up a touch.

“Don’t move your head!” She snaps at me. Strike ONE, I think.

“Well the machine is pulling the skin on my face down with it. I’ll wait until you have it at MY eye level if that’s okay.” She doesn’t say anything at that point. She adjusts it.

“You should be good now.” She says. She’s trying to be friendly and frankly, I’m not buying it.

I put my chin back on the rest, realize one eye is blocked off, and I see nothing but a fuzzy dot at the end of the tunnel with my other eye.

“Do you see the little farmhouse?” she asks nicely.

“No. I see a dot. If you say it’s a farmhouse, it’s a farmhouse I guess.” I say, not impressed.

“It’ll come and go into focus a few times. Just relax.”

“Uh-huh.” I say. Just relax… no such thing. I think the machine scraped some skin off my nose whilst getting into position a few minutes ago and I know it’s going to blow a gust of wind into my eye in a second. No, I can’t relax. YOU relax.

“The red light will flash three times and then you’ll feel a little puff of air.” she advises, and says it so perkily that you’d think she was giving away kittens instead of doing eye exams. It flashes once, twice, three times and PUFF. It startles me. I put my head back on the rest, waiting to do the other eye but see it’s still the same eye. The light flashes once, and PUFF. The witch tricked me. Strike TWO. Now I’m really mad. Picture a fat kid who just had his cake taken away, and you get an idea of how mad I am at this point. She opens up the other eye tunnel and closes the other one which pinched my eyelashes in the process. Strike THREE in my books. I see the dot, it comes and goes, one two three and PUFF, followed by one and PUFF. I’m super mad now. Having a puff of air in your eye is equivalent to having someone press their thumbs on your eyeballs.

She decides to give me my glasses back at this point. Yah, that’s right…let me have a good look at you. She pulls out a pair of funny glasses and asks me to put them on. This is eerily familiar to the dentist visit I had a few months ago. She pulls out a big card with several images and asks me to identify which dot in each set are 3D. I apparently get all of them right because when I finished she says, “Good job!” like a kindergarten teacher tells a kid who just finished a project without eating any of the glue. She pulls out a book with cardboard pages and asks me to idenify the numbers hidden in each circle. I rhyme them off without hesitation and only pause each time when I have to wait for her to fumble with the thick pages… “Seven”, “Fourteen”, “Twenty-nine”, “Thirty-six”, “Forty-three”, “Seventy”. She closes the book and says again “Good job!”. Yeah, yeah.. give my balloon and let me outta here.

She then tells me I can either go sit in the waiting area or I can browse their selection of eyeglasses. Yah. I’ll take a seat thank you very much… like I”m gonna buy my glasses here and have my wallet gang-raped by you schysters. Pfft. As if.

Finally, I get to see the eye doctor. “Doctor”… I’ll use that term loosely. He was very nice however. The next five minutes I was with him I spent calling out numbers as he switched the lenses on that stupid viewfinder…

“Which one is better, one or two?”

“Two”

“Which one is better, three or four?”

“Four”

“Which one is better, five or six?”

“Six”

This was only interrupted by the odd comment from me… “They look the same.” or “Can I see the first one again?” or “I don’t know.” Gosh this was boring. I wondered what a date with an eye doctor would be like… “Which value meal would you like honey, number one or two?” “What movie would you like to see sweetheart, the one in theatre four or five?”

He glides the viewfinder away from my head and gets me to rest my chin on the other contraption so he can shine a light in my eyes. Another pleasant aspect of this visit. He moves the light from side to side… and then says he’s gonna use the brighter light…. “brighter” was an understatement. It was like staring directly into the sun. He does the same for the other eye and moves the machine away. He flicks on the light and I sat there blinking constantly… trying to regain my vision. He speaks to me and when I look at him his face is transformed into numerous blinking spots. “Geez, all I see are spots” I said to him. “Oh yes. The light is bright isn’t it?” “Like a solar flare.” I tell him.

Stare at this for a while...

He tells me what my prescription is and I tell him it’s exactly the same as the one I got before from another doctor. Nice to know I went through all of this for the exact same prescription.

Oh well… small victories I guess. I was happy in the fact that I got my free contact samples and was on my way… good for another two years…. thank god!

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