I’ve worn contact lens for a very long time, and invariably find that whatever brand/style I’m in and like, gets discontinued. It’s happened several times. The trend for years has been to move people into disposables; rather than taking excellent care of a single set of lens, a patient can just chuck a mildly used pair in the trash and pop in fresh ones, saving themselves untold seconds in cleaning & care time. Doctors say this practice cuts down on the incidence of problems, such as eye infections, and manufacturers tout the convenience. I see a scam to make money behind the whole business. Not to mention a point I’ve never heard, namely isn’t this all very wasteful? From the manufacturing to the disposing of what must be millions of lens? I can’t imagine they’re biodegradable…
So anyway, I go to a new optometrist a couple years ago (my old one had moved) and am finally forced into considering disposables. When the costs are first mentioned, I think they are prohibitive and say words to the effect that I can’t justify the expense and I’ll wear my glasses full-time instead. The optometrist, a woman perhaps a bit older than me, if that, actually offers “reassurance” that glasses-wearing by women does not have the stigma it once did. She stops short of hauling out the worn chestnut about boys not “making passes at girls who wear glasses” but this is totally her reference point. I am dumbfounded (did she really say that?) and have nothing to offer in response, not out loud anyway. What I am thinking is: “You believe I’m worried men won’t want to have sex with me anymore if I wear glasses all the time?!” (Aside #1: Yes, my eyes are one of my better features, but I’d LIKE to think I’ve still got a few others – features not eyes – in the bag and am not so out of the game that should I don a pair of eyeglasses, my appeal would evaporate before I could so much as toss off a myopic come-hither look. Yeesh-o-flip.)
There’s one other thing she says that throws me and it is in the same peculiar vein. I had mentioned a concern with my eyelid I want her to check (I no longer remember exactly what that was. The older you get the more you need to keep flow charts or something of various problems.). So she says that she can’t really tell anything since I’m wearing make-up (which I find odd), but I can get an appointment to come in again sans makeup and schedule it for first thing in the morning so no one will SEE me. Now, okay, after I allow that she thinks she’s being considerate & thoughtful, I have to again tell you what I actually thought and did not say: “Why stop there? Maybe you have a back door I could surreptitiously slink through, or I could wear a paper bag over my head on the way to the office so as not to frighten school children and people with heart conditions.” ( Aside #2: I think of myself as a woman who wears makeup – I like my foundation, coverstick and eyeshadow and/or eyeliner – but MEN generally think I don’t wear [much?] makeup as they’ll say – as plenty of men do – that they don’t like makeup, ergo they approve of me. Funny that. I guess it must be what they’re really saying is they don’t like a heavy hand with makeup. True enough, I lack the interest, the finesse and the patience to devote much time or trouble to the endeavor. I despise removing it, especially products like mascara with which a good fourth of your eyelashes are ALSO removed.)
As I said, the optometrist was not much older than me but she seemed as if she was both from these comments and the vibe she emitted. I got the idea she wasn’t comfortable with aging or her appearance, and projected some of her stuff onto me. But I couldn’t relate and I sure didn’t WANT to.