I’ve had glasses for a bajillion years. I got my first pair in kindergarten, and because my eyesight was so poor, I couldn’t get contacts until my sophomore year in high school. In second grade, they prescribed bifocals for me because my eyes weren’t focusing properly. I used those until my mid-twenties, when my doctor decided I would be fine without them. I can’t see a thing without my glasses.
I have gas-permeable contact lenses, but those are a pain. Literally. It feels like there’s something hard in my eye (because there is). I can’t wear soft contacts because I’m so stinking blind. Even though I wore contacts through most of high school, all of college, and into my young adult life, I reverted to glasses after child #1 was born. I did this mainly because I am lazy. I had a kid; I didn’t need any other hassles like poking hard things into my eyes. Plus, I had gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy and I felt like I could hide behind my glasses (I know – doesn’t make much sense, but there you have it).
I hate those ads on TV – “get two pairs of glasses for only $99!” That never works for me because I’m Blind Girl. They always tell me that, because my prescription is so strong, they have to break out the Coke bottle bottoms for my lenses. My vision insurance pays for much of the lens cost and $130-ish of the frames, but we’re still left with a chunk of change to pay.
Because of that, I started ordering glasses online from Zenni Optical. Granted, I’m taking a chance when I order because I can’t try on the frames in person until I get the completed pair. Plus, the frames are not high-quality, but I’m not doing anything that requires heavy-duty frames. I managed to get my last pair from Zenni for $90.90. Not bad, even for a prescription in the “hardly blind” range.
This year, I decided to go with a mortar-and-bricks glasses shop. I wanted to try on my frames, get a professionally measured pupillary distance, and all the customer service that comes with it. So this morning, I went to my local optical shop and perused the not-so-impressive array of frames. I finally settled on a pair I like and that look good on my large head.
When I walked out, I had a pair of glasses on order and a receipt for $584.31. FIVE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR dollars. And that was with a 10% discount because my local shop is out of network for my vision insurance. Without the discount, it would have been $650. Are you freaking kidding me? Granted, I got transition lenses (because it’s cheaper than getting a set of prescription sunglasses), the super-thin lens option, and the anti-scratch/reflection coating, but still. That much?
The frames were $185. I guess that’s not too bad, right? Well, as I was searching online just now for a photo to show you nice people, I saw that my frames were on sale from framelot.com for $140.14.
Hmmm. If the frames are $45 less, I wonder how much cheaper everything else is?
I punched in my old prescription for testing purposes. Guess how much cheaper this place is than my local place?
$499 vs. $650
Guess who I just called to cancel my glasses order?