Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Picking Out New Eyeglass Frames

Picking out eye wear in the age of Covid-19 was complicated in a shop full of signs that all read, "Do not touch the frames." There is something about signs like that that makes some of us want to do the opposite of what they're warning against, but for the sake of preventing mass extinction of the human race I kept my hands to myself. Hundreds of off-limit frames in that place and they all looked the same anyway. If you read my last post you'll know I went into the place lusting for either gaudy rainbow colored glasses or big, horn-rimmed librarian style frames that I could hide behind. Be still my heart, while looking for a picture of my dream glasses online I found a pair on James Bond that he wore in A View to Kill.

Over the past twenty years I’ve often fantasized about being an international spy. (Family caregivers gotta have a fantasy in place for when the medical community swallows you up while endlessly making you waiting for tests, appointments and therapies.) Being in the spy business, James Bond’s horn-rimmed glasses were tricked out so he could see through tinted windows which could be quite useful if you’re trying to shoot someone in a moving car. I won’t need that upgrade but I do like spy gadgets. Have I mentioned that I still have my Captain Midnight secret decoder ring that I got by sending cereal box tops into the Great Giver of Tiny Toys? I also have a ring with a signal mirror. Spy gear has come a long way since my youth and I’d be hard pressed to find a use for one of Bond’s classic cigarette and toothpaste bombs but you’ve got to admit a Lotus Esprit that turns into a submarine would be pretty cool.

Back on topic: At my appointment to pick out new frames masks were required, my temperature was taken and I had to stay in my car until they came to escort me into the place. (Same procedure for the blood lab, eye doctors' office and the hair salon.) "But how on earth do you pick out eyeglass frames while wearing a mask?" you ask. I was wondering the same thing. Turns out I'd point to ones I liked and they put them in a box. Then I took the box into a room all by myself where I was allowed to take the mask off. Supposedly they sanitized the room in between appointments.

I didn’t mind being in the room alone because the last time I tried to pick out frames the salesperson was pushy, trying to talk me into a particular pair with gold frames. I never shop well with a Helpful Hannah on my heels and even telling her I never, ever wear gold jewelry didn’t penetrate her sales pitch. I hated her guts by the time I left. Remember the Color me Beautiful fad that was going around where you got 'colorized' at a party or department store by a person who draped you with a bunch of fabrics, then told you what season your skin tone is based on the four seasons? I still have my book of winter color swatches and I still use it as a guideline. No gold accessories for winter women! Thank you very much.

I don’t like the frames I got this time as well as the frames I came into the shop wearing. At first glance they look like they should have a piece of masking tape holding them together while some kid finishes playing the basketball game where the bridge got broken. On second glance you notice they’re a dark plum, not black, and they flash plum, lavender and turquoise as the light catches them. When they come in I’m getting new prescriptions put in my old glasses so I’ll have a choice of eye wear. Can you believe it will take between two to five weeks for them to make the glasses. Covid-19 supply chain issues. Or so I was told.

The day I got a haircut I was belly aching about all the junk my ears had to hold up---glasses, hearing aids, earrings, mask and headband. No, I didn’t forget I wrote about that in last blog post but I didn’t tell you that the stylist asked me if I had contact lens that I could wear. Do you ever have the perfect answer to questions two hours later---or is it just me? Either way, I should have told her I can barely find my glasses when I’m not wearing them, how would I ever find my eyes to plop contacts in? But I gave her a one word, boring “No.” 

Sometimes I wish I could hook a tape recorder up to my brain so all my best thoughts didn’t get lost in the inertia of going through my daily routines. If I had that recorder back in my caregiver days I probably would have had spy thriller novel listed on Amazon by now. I wish a lot and I also wish I still had the quick wit and easy come backs of my carefree youth. But in the past five years I can’t always trust what comes out of my mouth. I’ll be planning to say one thing and something else pop out. Full disclosure: it big-time ticks me off because I’ve worked so hard to overcome dyslexic when I read and write only to develop another tick in my communications skills? And if you’re thinking somewhere along the line I probably had a TIA in the speech and language hemisphere of my brain, that’s my theory too.

One time when I was talking to my husband’s neurologist about the stroke damage in his brain and I asked the doctor what happens to a person who is dyslexic and has a stroke since our wiring is half-assed backward to begin with. His eyes lit up and he said, “That’s an interesting question!” Don’t you just hate non-answering answers like that? Actually, he did add a few more blab, blab, blab sentences that scared the crap out of me so I promptly erased them from my memory bank because he might as well have said, “Your brain is going to be a pile of runny scrambled eggs.” Fortunately, I like scrambled eggs so maybe I can work it, rock it and own it. ©


New frames -colors hard to photograph
Old frames - stainless steel also hard to photograph

38 comments:

  1. I like your new frames:) I hope you like them too when you get them.

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    1. Me too. It's such a hard decision! I have really white hair and skin and I wanted something that draw attention.

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  2. I've been wondering how your frame buying excursion went. Now I know. I like your selection and I get your annoyance with Helpful Hannahs, always trying to push the latest style on you. I had my colors done and I'm a Summer, so I'm right there with you about no yellow gold-tone frames or jewelry. I am, of course, a rebel so I do, on occasion, where yellow gold-tone earrings. Wild child, that's me.

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    1. When I was writing this I was trying to remember which other season shouldn't wear gold, Now I know. I find the season approach to shopping makes shopping so much easier.

      When someone tries to talk me into something it really bugs me. I want to know the purchase was my choice---good or bad. The sales lady at the frame place did bring these to me to try on but she didn't say a word about them until after I narrowed my choice down to them, then she said the shape was good on my face.

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  3. Your new and old frames will make a nice pair of choices.

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    1. I think so. I wear a lot of black but sometimes I think black glasses would overpower with certain outfits.

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  4. What I hate about picking out frames is that with out my lenses, I really can't see my face that well. Think it is safe to say that I have never been happy with my glasses frames--especially those butt ugly ones:)

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    1. They had a brilliant solution for that problem because I have it too. They had me take a selfie with the new frames on, then put on my old glasses and look at my selfie.

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  5. Fellow Winter here: it helps, though, that I simply don't care for the other colour palettes, and they don't flatter me. And I'm allergic to yellow gold, the real stuff.

    I like your new frames. I'd wear them, too. I have a lot of glasses, having done what you did, getting updated lenses in old frames that I still like. It's good to have a choice if you have to wear specs. I really, really miss my contact lenses, but dry eye makes them an impossibility.

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    1. I've developed dry eye this year and it's annoying. Thought I was developing an eye disease but I guess it's common in people who use their computers and e-readers a lot. We don't blink enough.

      I do think there is a science behind the Color Me Beautiful concept and even before we get 'colorized' we naturally drift toward the colors that flatter us.

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  6. I like your new glasses a lot. Last time I got new glasses, I just asked where the cheapest frames are (I was amazed at how costly most of them were). Luckily, I found a pair I just love (and they were the least expensive!) Hope you love yours too! You do have a wild imagination - all the spy stuff?!! No wonder you are such a good writer! Thanks again for a great post!

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    1. I cannot believe how expensive eyeglass frames are! Compare them to sun glasses and it makes me mad. They had a rack of cheap ones but they were all vanilla pudding and I was looking for chocolate.

      I often wonder if other people think the kinds of thoughts I do and the only way to find out is to have a blog and have others like you leave comments. Thank you for that!

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  7. My "season" is Autumn, so gold works for me but I don't wear much jewelry except for a pair of stud earrings that are turquoise stones in a silver setting. Go figure. Also, orange is one of my better colors, believe it or not. About a year ago it was one of the "it" colors in clothing and I had my pick of all the items still left on the racks because nobody else could (or would) wear them. Sometimes you win some. :)

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    1. I love it when my season is the 'it' color. Orange is hard to wear if you won't have the right complexion.

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  8. Glad I got new glasses a year ago. The frames I picked out I just loved.
    When the glasses arrived, the frames with the plastic nose piece, wouldn't stay on my nose correctly and that threw off my Progressive lenses. Thankfully I could get new frames, metal frames, adjustable nose pieces. The only thing I don't like about them? They look just like my old frames I had worn for 4 years. ARRGH!

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    1. I forgot to specify that I don't want progressive lenses! I hope they don't do them automatically. I can't stand them. The glasses I have now have the plastic nose pieces and they won't stay up either. But I'm used to them.

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  9. I'm stealing the idea of taking a selfie the next time I pick out frames! Great idea. I get my glasses at Costco, and they won't do new lenses in old frames unless you bought them there, and even then they don't like to...not even sunglasses! But they're only $135-150 a pair and that's hard to beat. I like new frames every 2-4 years because I get tired of looking at myself and hope new glasses will turn me into a raving beauty. ;>}
    I like the new frames too, and I'm guessing the color changing in different light part will grow on you.

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    1. My insurance doesn't cover Costco and it's way too far from where I live if they did to go there. You're getting a good deal. With my new glasses I can get new lens in my old frames at half off, so they not only allow it, they encourage it.

      The color changes happen when you turn your head. I won't see it unless I'm looking in a mirror. That selfie idea is great, isn't it.

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  10. I think doing most things in these times is so difficult, I feel that many have to pay too much for things like eyeglass frames.

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    1. I think the longer we have to stay in retail pandemic mode, the more prices will go up. Social distancing and all the protocols take up a lot of time and costs them extra money.

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  11. interesting how one selects the frames - with the do not touch signs - and then into a space where you've in charge, no sales person! At least you will hopefully know that when you pick them up they will be "well sanitized"

    I wonder if this happens in shoe shops or any other place where "trying something on" can't really be in "do not touch" department...

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    1. I got an email from the shoe store where I go and they are booking appointments. Not sure what else they do but masks are required too.

      I watched sanitize a box frames from a customer before me and they sprayed them with a commercial product of some sort.

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  12. One more thing I just remembered about the cost of glasses frames. I worked for an optometrist briefly back in the '80s when I was covering for a friend who was on vacation. The optometrist also sold frames in his office. There was a sticker on the temple piece of each frame that had a number on it. The little secret was, if you read the number backward, it was the cost to him of the frame. And, yes, there was a rather large mark-up.

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    1. Interesting! I've always found the optometrist's frames to be very pricey.

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  13. Here the optometrist is still closed, and even when it was open they charged you a mint if you wanted your new prescription in your old frames. You were still responsible for the bill if the old frames broke. Sigh...

    I hope you love the new frames.

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    1. If I don't love them, I'll have 30 days to exchange them with no charge or questions asked. They tell you the same thing here about putting new prescriptions in old frames, that you have to pay if they break, but I've done it at least six times and haven't had a pair break yet. Knock on wood!

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  14. Love your choice, Jean! We have similar tastes, it seems. I have a deep love of cool colours - purple especially šŸ˜

    Deb

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    1. If I had a lot of money I'd get a half dozen pair of glasses including solid purple and solid red. I wear a lot of purple clothing alone with black.

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  15. I need new glasses desperately and I hope the place I go is as judicious as you are in their covid protocol. That's well done indeed. All I want is glass glasses -- like Elizabeth Warrens. Whenever I've tried on ones like that, I look like I've had a face lift. I love the way yours will change color. That's a fun feature. Well done. I don't even have the nerve to go to the eye doc.

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    1. The eye doctor was more careful than the eye frame place. They required all their patients to wear hair coverings and gloves as well as masks which everyone working there was doing plus they all had hair coverings. They had taken all the chairs out of their waiting room and you couldn't go in until the exact minute of your appointment.

      The frames place I went was the RX Optical chain and I'll bet they are in your town. If not, call around and ask how they handle things.

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  16. My Brain has always worked Weird and I'm Peculiar as Hell, so I suspect I won't even know when I tip into Dementia and probably nobody else will know either?! *LOL* I used to wear Glasses for Years and by the time the Lenses got as thick as Mister Magoo, The Man paid for me to have Lasik on both Eyes since I was Legally Blind, it worked so well I'm fine Years later. I don't like anything touching my Eyeball so I could never have done Contact Lenses.

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    1. That would be the best way to have dementia, wouldn't it, if we have to have it at all.

      Lasik treatments were like a miracle to you! I was never tempted to get contacts, just seemed like too much work and it glasses never bothered me.

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  17. I was interested in how they handled choosing glasses. H and I both need new glasses.
    I like your purple. Cool beans.

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    1. Anything these kinds of places do to keep the virus from spreading is great. Not sure I would have gone in if they didn't have procedures in place, many of which are mandated by our state governor.

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  18. This post made me really glad that I got my new eyeglass frames in the winter, before the pandemic arrived here. Shopping for frames is always an adventure for me because I have such a pin head that I have to choose my frames from the children's section. For years, I favored "barely there" frames -- clear or thin wire, but since my hair turned completely gray (now well on its way to white), I've discovered that I need strong colors in my frames to keep me from looking washed out. I like the purply color of your new frames.

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    1. Picking out frames in never fun but who knows how long I would have had to wait, if I tried to wait out the pandemic. My hair is so white now that plain frames wash me out too.

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  19. I don't know how you were able to make a choice with the rigamarol you had to go through. I can hardly pick a pair in the old days. Besides, I can't imagine going into a frame shop and not trying on half the frames. Hahaha. The child in me.

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    1. I could easily eliminate all the wire and frame-less glasses which narrowed the field REALLY down. I just hope I like them because I've been known to pick out a frame, then go home and come back the next day to see if I still liked them before ordering.

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