… or, less melodramatically, I finally got the new glasses I needed. I’ve read far less than usual these past few years because reading has been a tedious process: read 20 minutes, holding the book and my head at uncomfortable angles so the print is within the narrow zone of close focus, until my vision blurs; wait 20 minutes, until I can focus on nearby things again; read 15 minutes, until my vision blurs again; throw the book against wall and listen to a CD instead. My health insurance covers eye exams but not the glasses themselves, and even at the cheap mall outlets a new pair of glasses is still beyond my budget, so I tried ordering a pair from 39 Dollar Glasses.com. I need varifocal lenses with hefty corrections for nearsightedness and astigmatism, so my glasses cost about twice $39, but they still were only about a third the price quoted by the salesman at the mall.
Am I satisfied with them? Not entirely. The frames need a bit of adjustment, which I’m hesitant to do myself, and while I do have good distance and close-up vision now, intermediate vision, such as is necessary when working at a computer, is confined to an annoyingly small region. I may need to get a second pair specifically for work.
However, I’ve never been completely satisfied with any of the glasses I’ve purchased in the last 20 years. My new pair, even with its problems, is a better fit than the second-last pair, which was expensively mis-manufactured and ill-fitted by the optician at his shop. And my new pair does pass the crucial test: I can read all evening long.