Soon My Ugliness Will Be Assessed

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my optometrist. Pro: I’m leaving work early. Con: I’m doing this to willingly have an unctious person jab erratically at my eyes while asphyxiating me with aggressively minty breath.

Nothing good ever happens at the eye doctor, and I’m an authority on this, because I’ve been blind as a turnip since fourth grade. I’ve been to a lot of optometrists, and I think I know the problem. Let’s admit it: they are not real doctors. They are a rung up from podiatrists, who are the Mortimer Snerds of doctordom. Okay, urologists and proctologists get their share of guff, but they also get points for sheer determination and bravery. You gonna get into a bar fight with a bunch of pissed off proctologists? I don’t think so. They know exactly how to hurt you.

Optometrists don’t really dispense useful advice: I know I can’t see. I even know I’m nearsighted. I see stuff up close okay, far away stuff is blurry. I can look this up! So he’s not telling me anything fresh. Every now and then I want to pointedly say, “Listen, doctor, what about this lump in my groin?” I imagine he’d look thoughtful for a moment and then say, “That’s your penis.”

But optometrists do try and sell you stuff. Doctors–real doctors–do this too, but they’re selling drugs, and hey, sure, I’ll buy some. But optometrists try and sell you expensive bullshit based on the “you’re ugly” factor. Sure. You could go for the 2-for-$29 frames sitting in a fish bucket in the bathroom. But you won’t, and to be fair, who wants to? They all look like they were made by the Mafia. No, you’ll let the blandly pretty woman make you try on all the designer frames and squintily assess your face with each one. “Hmmm. Your eyes are so unique. I want to find just the right thing for them.” Of course my eyes are unique; I’m fucking blinder than Oedipus. What she’s implying is, “Those frames make you look kind of ugly.” And it works, because I’m kind of a funny-looking neurotic guy.

I’m embarrassed to say how much I spent on my last set of glasses: around $600 (insurance picked some of this up). Okay, that’s fucking stupid. I’m wearing a used car on my face, and the glasses won’t last as long as a used car. The truth is, they don’t even look like six hundred bucks. They look like fucking glasses. Now of course I know that they’re made out of honey-glazed molybdenum steel and were polished by the hot breath of a Scandinavian bra model–or whatever the blandly pretty woman said–but nobody else does. Maybe if they played Supertramp mp3s or something, that would be tangible, I could demonstrate that. “I love your glasses!” someone would say meaninglessly, and then I could excitedly reply, “Want to hear ‘The Logical Song?’ ” And then the other person would look puzzled and say, “Nobody wants to hear ‘The Logical Song.’ “

So that’s a bad example. But you see what I mean.