Monday, February 6, 2012

New Vision

I have made the greatest discovery. It is called Zenni Optical. Until recently I didn't know you could order glasses online and pay a fraction of what you would at your local optician's shop. This is very good news if you are like me and need reading glasses. I have one proper pair of reading glasses I got at a "real" store, but one pair just isn't enough. I have tried the generic kind you can pick up at the pharmacy or Costco, but I have astigmatism, and they don't correct for that so my eyes end up hurting when I wear them.

This year I have also had to move into glasses that correct for near-sightedness. It is a mild correction, and I mostly use them for driving since I consider being able to read road signs a high priority. With my lousy sense of direction it just doesn't work for me to not be able to make out what they say until the last minute.

My dilemma was needing two different kinds of glasses for two different tasks. (Please don't mention bifocals. I am not emotionally ready to think about such a thing.) Our eyeglass plan allows for a modest pair of glasses once every two years. I decided to use the plan to get one good pair of reading glasses since that is what I use the most. Being thrifty, I was dragging my heels about spending money on a second pair. Enter Zenni.

You upload a picture of yourself and "try on" the frames. Prices start as low as $6.95 a pair, and yes that includes the lenses. I ended up ordering two pairs of driving glasses, one regular and one tinted. I also ordered a two pairs of spare reading glasses. They were all $9.95 each with the exception of the sunglasses (they charge a bit extra for the tinting).

distance sunglasses

regular distance glasses

I decided to be daring when I ordered the spare reading glasses. I went with whimsical and impractical, which is odd since I am not the kind of person who does whimsical, and I am about as practical as they come. But for $9.95 a pair I decided to live dangerously. After all, who was going to see these spare glasses anyway.


Chinese 2012 year of the Dragon reading glasses

winter reading glasses

Last week Jay and I had a meeting with a financial advisor. My enthusiasm for this event ranked slightly higher than a trip to the dentist. As we sat in the office listening to a disorganized presentation highlighted by meaningless charts and graphs I felt myself slipping into the danger zone - the one where I think I might slap somebody. (Not that I would ever really do that, I just feel like I want to.) The problem was I didn't take my knitting. I had decided beforehand that I didn't want this guy thinking I was some kind of weirdo. I don't usually care, but since this meeting involved talking about money I figured it was important to be taken seriously.

As it turns out I needn't have worried about the knitting making me look like an outcast. As he turned the computer screen towards us so we could see one of the pointless illustrations I suddenly realized I had my new reading glasses in my purse. I reached in, opened the case and stared. Not only was I looking down at my new green glasses with the trees on the stems, I was also looking down at my handknit sweater vest. The green one with the trees on it.


 It just doesn't get any nerdier than that. I'm surprised his financial advice wasn't to purchase lottery tickets.

14 comments:

  1. The winter wonderland glasses go perfectly with that vest! I LOVE the idea of glasses as accessories. I think it's fun to have a couple options to change things up!

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    1. I think the problem was the glasses went a little bit too perfectly with the vest! :-)

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  2. Too cool! There is a Canadian company in Vancouver that does the same - Clearly Canadian. Trevor Linden is one of their spokespeople!

    My dearest friend is an optician, so I generally buy my rather expensive glasses from her, but even she understands why people would buy online. Except that you can't get all the free servicing done at a store - which for someone like me who wears glasses all day every day is important as they need adjusting quite regularly.

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    1. The servicing part is definitely a drawback. That is the main reason I would only recommend these for back-up glasses.

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  3. This is very timely information. I'll definitely check them out. I need to have MANY pairs of reading glasses :)

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    1. These are the perfect solution to spare reading glasses. Because they use your actual prescription they work better than the kind you buy off the rack where you have to settle for the closest thing available.

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  4. You made good selection--and what great prices! I found several frames in the $12.95 range that I like. This is good timing as I'm overdue to have have my eyes checked. My current glasses (for distance) are still doing the job, so I don't think my prescription will have changed much. The only downside is now I'll have to decide between getting an actual pair of prescription sunglasses versus a set of very cool clip-on flip-ups. =)

    I have an aversion to financial planners. Two years ago a co-worker scammed me into attending a "free lunch" to hear a pitch from one. That fellow hounded me until, like you, I wanted to slap someone (him). The last time he called, he had the nerve to get annoyed that I wasn't turning over my finances over to him (even though I had been vert clear). I asked for his address so I could send him the $6 (for the plate of fried rice) and never have to hear from him again. He hung up--and I didn't hear from him again.

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    1. You could try the cheap glasses first and see if they work. If they don't you won't be out very much money, and if they do you will have saved tons!

      I love your solution to the financial planner. Did he take you up on the offer of repaying him for the plate of fried rice?

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    2. I honestly would have been happy to give him the money, but after he hung up on me we had no further contact. I changed jobs not long after that and had the option of keeping the smae phone number. I decided not to, so he may have called again and pestered my replacement.

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  5. Did you find that the virtual you with glasses looked pretty much the same as the real you with the same glasses on?

    I'm always paranoid when online shopping for things like that since you never know for sure that it will be what it says it will. And it's just that much more hassle to return things through the post.

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    1. I think it was fairly accurate. The key is being sure you take the picture of yourself sitting the right distance from the computer camera.

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  6. I am rather taken with those winter reading glasses. Having just had to give in to middle age and get my first pair I too threw caution to the winds too and bought purply pink with bling (so not normally me), although in my case it was 2 pairs for £99 (C$150?).

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    1. Reading glasses do seem to be the unfortunate marker of middle age! :-) I hope you are adjusting to the annoyance of having to wear them. Purply pink with bling...maybe I should try some like that for the spring! I am sure they have some that fit that description on their website. Are you going to model them on your blog?

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  7. Wonderful glasses, especially the last pair, so lovely!!!
    Besides, thanks for your post. I have ordered 3 pair of glasses from them yesterday. As a lucky dog, I met their “buy 2 get 1 free”promotion and my 3 pairs of glasses were less than $100. I even added their new oleophobic coating on the lenses. Can’t wait to get them…

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