Rest in Pieces: The cost of vision
I’ve been going without glasses for about two weeks now, and I’m still in one piece. But my glasses aren’t; they’re in two.
Deciding that I was not a fan for living a life of impressionist vision, I got a rather splendid Groupon thing where I pay $35 for an eye exam and that includes a $200 value that goes towards the lens and frames. I was quite thrilled at the prospects of having to pay only $35 for new glasses.
What I did not know was how expensive glasses are in the United States.
Back home, the glasses that I got (and the one that is currently broken) cost me about US$70 for both the lens and frames. They were not fancy glasses, just plain, black plastic ones that were suitable for use in the military during my time in National Service. The lens were high-index lenses and had UV protection.
At the optician’s in Park Slope, where the voucher was for, I was looking for a similar pair to the ones I broke; black, plastic, durable, unassuming. I was handed a pair that I was assured are very durable since they are made by a company that makes sports glasses. I was rather pleases with it and was almost about to make a decision when I suddenly remembered,
“Oh, how much are these?” I asked.
“$349,” he replied.
I balked. $349? And that was not inclusive of the lenses.
“Have you got anything else? Cheaper ones, perhaps?”
And the optician helpfully pulled out a couple more from the back of the shop.
“These are $249, and $199,” he said.
I looked around undecidedly. I had not planned to be spending any amount of money that exceeded double digits.
“And this one is $149,” he said, taking one more from inside a drawer.
It was black, light, unassuming and looks durable.
“I think I’ll take this one,” I said. That left me $50 for lenses.
And then we had to look at the lenses.
“We use Nikon lenses because we believe they are one of the best in the market for value and durability.”
The high-index lenses were $225, but it was not like he could pull out any other kinds from more drawers.
“That will be all,” I said, a little shaken from the day’s events. And I had only been in there for about 20 minutes. 20 minutes was all it took to wipe out everything I’ve earned from street-performing in the past few weeks and more.
But at least I will be able to see now.
Rest in pieces, old (cheap) pair of glasses