Went to get my eyes tested at Vision Express yesterday and it reminded me of a story that happened to me a few years ago. I’ve actually told it online before – but if something’s worth saying once – it’s worth saying a million times. And it saves me from thinking up something new. And recycling is good.
Now firstly I want to point out how much I hate having my eyes tested. I really can’t emphasize this enough. I’m very squeamish about my eyes – everything makes me blink (this is why I often look like a div kid in photographs). I was crap at that “don’t blink” game at school. I have to have my eye pressure measured once a year at the hospital and I’ve never really got used to it. I have borderline high eye pressure apparently. At first the doctor thought it was caused because I wear my pants so tight. The doctor told me to wear looser pants and stop being so damn sexy. Since then I always go commando, and the chicks love me even more.
(That bit’s a lie; the doctor thinks I have naturally high-pressured eyeballs or something)
Anyway, back to Vision Express. I don’t like going inside Vision Express; it reminds of the lapdancing club, Spearmint Rhino’s. I haven’t got a loyalty card or anything, but I had to go there once a few years back for a friend’s stag-do. The thing about the place is – they’ve made everything white and shiny – it’s all open-plan and spacious. The vibe they are trying to create is this: “don’t be scared, this is not an embarrassing place to enter – please come inside and have a look around“. Then once you’re in they pounce on you. Everyone there has a big plastic grin and the mantra is “Do you need any help there?“. And then you find it costs a fortune to leave. And so it is with Vision Express.
Right then, last time I was at Vision Express I decided to try contact lenses. These they don’t just hand over – they have to teach you how to put them in. Some people – most people in fact – have no problem doing this. To me it’s like poking yourself in the eye with a fork. And to be honest, I don’t really trust anyone who has no problem sticking their finger in their eye. “Look – I’m touching my eyeball“! That’s just not natural. Donald Sutherland does this in Invasion of the Body-Snatchers just before you find out he’s an alien.
The task of teaching me was given to the Saturday girl in the shop (presumably no one else there had 6 hours to spare till I managed it). The process involved her standing very close in front of me and watching while I attempted to prod the lense into my eye, and then failed. Again and again. The thing is after each attempt I was instructed to “look down, then back up” – so that she could then inspect my handiwork… But she was quite short, very attractive and had a large cleavage hoisted up – and there was only one place my eyes could go when I looked down. Then I had to look back up into her eyes, and she knew where I had just looked. And she knew that I knew she knew. And she was not happy about it. I tried hard not to look there, but it was just impossible. I tried to convey the message “look, I’m really sorry, I’m not doing this on purpose you know…” with my eyebrows and face, but this just made it look like I was leering at her like some vile sex-pest. And she had to be nice to me because I was a customer. We both felt totally humiliated, but for totally different reasons.
She probably handed in her notice that day. She wasn’t there when I picked up my prescription the following week (unless she was hiding in the backroom, sobbing).
I’m actually thinking trying contact lenses again this time…