Confession time: I can’t adjust my own glasses. That’s not to impugn my own abilities at fixing other people’s—I did just fine during many years of tinkering with temples and noodling nosepads. In all fairness, though, I never lived up to the Montgomery Scott-like abilities of my old colleague Dawn Gibbs at Texas State Optical in Magnolia, who could seemingly adjust a pair of frames that’d been run over by a semi and have them feeling even more comfortable than before the accident. When it comes to my own glasses, however, I’m rather like the master barber who can’t cut his own hair. They’re just too close, too personal, and I’m too finicky.
Ever hear the joke about the girl who walks into a bar? She orders a martini, notices a rather dapper gentleman wearing a pair of incredible glasses, and decides to ask him where he purchased them. I ordered them online.
Girl then proceeds to call her cousin: Can you measure my face? I’d like to order some glasses online.
Here’s the punchline: I’m the cousin. Funny,right? NOT!
I was dispensing a pair of glasses to a patient I hadn’t seen for the initial fit. As I leaned in to place the glasses on his face he said, “Now, don’t get scared.” In the split second between that statement and his next, I hesitated and wondered what was going to happen. It’s amazing what you can think of in a very short period of time! Would he bite? Have a seizure? Faint? It was a combination of relief and compassion when the patient told me he had a prosthetic nose. His nose had been removed due to cancer and replaced by a latex form. I had to look closely at his bridge to see the very fine line of the prosthesis.
Last year, I briefly profiled the glasses of US President Dwight Eisenhower, comparing and contrasting his frames, fashion, and sensibilities towards eyewear to LBJ, whose unexpectedly extensive frame collection I took a look at in the November issue of 20/20. I’m happy to say that, to my surprise, just a few days after the first article went to print, I received a phone call from Michael R. Florer, the curator at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg, PA.
Technology-driven change has been impacting the optical field for years. From smartphone auto refractors to Optos imaging, it's "out with the old and in with the new!" But despite the onward march of new tech, the ins and outs of choosing and fitting frames has hardly been impacted at all. Sure, virtual try on (VTO) frame technology popped up...but it also popped back. It seemed safe to say that the gold standard of in-person try on, consultation and frame fitting would never be surpassed.
The kids are back in school now, and they’re learning new things every day. In that spirit, I’d like to ask the question - When was the last time you learned something new? Or better yet, when was the last time you taught someone something new?