From Red Words to Red Glasses

Posted: June 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
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So people keep complimenting me on my new glasses. That’s kind of nice. I’m glad other people like them as much as I do. Especially with the work I went through trying to find them.

Yes, there is a story. There is always a story.

A while back I could see that my glasses were starting to wear down and that they would need to be replaced sometime in the relatively near future. (There were also increasing indications that I might need to get bifocals. Shudder.)

I made the decision right then that I would start saving some money so that I could buy the frames I wanted and not make do with whatever I could find at the mall… or whatever.

While I was saving, I went on-line to decide what glasses I would like. I found a couple of pairs on the Laurier Optical website… along the lines of black plastic with silver. One was a pretty classic looking pair of Ray-Ban’s. The other was a variation on that theme but with different styling. I mentally filed those away and moved on.

Later, when I had put together enough money (or close to it), I went back to the site to show Ruthanne. We both liked the pairs I was looking at but while we were looking, I clicked through on a few links, taking me away from the site I was on, but following a ‘path of glasses’, until a page opened that might as well have been accompanied by that biblical music that includes monk tenors saying “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

On the screen was a pair of red and black Ray-Bay Wayfarers – sunglasses. I sat there looking at them for a moment – stunned may be an overstatement, but not too far off – when Ruthanne said, “Those are sharp.”

Then I said, “I want those.”

Then the fun really began.

We went to every store we could reach. Nothing was even close. The best one store could come up with were a pair of Wayfarer’s that had this kind of red and white pattern on the INSIDE of the arms. No thanks. (Plus, everybody carried only 15s or something. I need an 18.)

We went home and started calling places. Nobody had them and nobody could order them.

That seemed odd to me. They exist. Ray-Ban makes them. You sell Ray-Ban’s. Why in the world could you not order them?

I started further a field and went to the source. I called Ray-Ban… and ran into the most cocked up system I could ever imagine.

ME: I am looking for a specific pair of glasses. I have the model number.

RB: Do you need them fixed?

ME: No. I would like to buy them.

RB: I can recommend a local Ray-Ban outlet.

ME: I have tried them. They don’t have them. I would like to buy them directly from you.

RB: Okay…

ME: I want to buy sunglasses and turn them into prescription glasses.

RB: You need to talk to our service people.

ME: No need. Just let me buy them. I will get them made into prescription glasses here.

RB: I can’t do that.

ME: …

More circles… more hoops.

Eventually I found someone who was able to tell me that the reason I was having so much trouble is that it was no longer a current model. They sold them last year, but not this year. AFTER I bought them I found out that it was even worse than that. They weren’t even available in Canada when they WERE a current model.

In the end I found a pair on eBay. Realizing that it was possible I was running into one of those faux-Ban scams, I did some research, found only positive reviews for this seller, and bought his one and only pair of this model of Ray-Ban Wayfarers in a size 18. They arrived in about a week and they took them in to get the sunglass lenses popped out and my prescription lenses put in.

Both of the people I talked to at the glasses store looked at me like I was crazy. “Sure, we CAN do that… but are you sure?” They pointed out that my mental picture of them glasses might not be right because they will look a lot lighter without the tinted lenses. (They were right. I thought of the frames as darker than they are.)
Once I convinced them to do it, though, and it was done, I convinced the guy. “These look great! Really dramatic!” I won him over.

Since then I have received a pretty constant stream of compliments. Certainly more than I expected. At the CapSlam Finals I had one guy NEED to come tell me how awesome they were. He works in the industry and knew what they were, and that they weren’t available in Canada and what I must have gone through to get them. That was pretty cool.

Anyway… there is the HISTORY OF MY GLASSES.

Now, back to more important topics… like poetry. 🙂

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