I went for my annual eyeball checkup last week. Actually, if the truth be told, it had been way longer than a year since my last visit. I’m certain I received several of those cute little reminder postcards with Garfield the Cat on one side before choking on the bait and making the appointment. Thank goodness Dr. G didn’t yell at me. He sure should have. One of Dr. G’s nice helper chicks called me a couple of weeks before my appointed arrival to let me know mine would be a LONG appointment. “He wants to dilate your eyes, so be prepared to stay for a couple of hours,” the helper chick said. Geez, I thought, that is what I get for waiting so long to drop by his office … torture … with sunlight. Obviously, Dr. G. had a good reason. Yet I wondered if there was anything in the fine print of the Geneva Convention regarding agony with eye drops. The upside is Dr. G’s office has great magazines. Too bad all I would be able to read with extra jumbo pupils were the pictures. I am a sucker for a good story … even if it is just a monthly magazine article. “I see that you have had the same eyeglass prescription for the last nine years. That is pretty impressive. Are you having any problems?” Dr. G prodded on appointment day, thumbing through the pages of shorthand markings on my voluminous chart. I have been hopelessly nearsighted since high school. Did I mention that I should probably have gotten glasses in junior high? I’ll never forget the day I put my first pair on. It was in a Sears Optical in Colorado. Yep, I remember looking out the window thinking that trees sure looked different … not like large lollipops … and wow … each tree had so many leaves. “Well actually, now that you mention it … my greatest challenge is at the grocery store. I am constantly lifting my glasses up and down on my face to read what is on the shelf. It’s very annoying. If I take them off, I can’t read the sign indicating what aisle stuff is on,” I said, casually responding to Dr. G’s question. Of course, it doesn’t help that grocery stores move things around and redecorate all the time. I recall one recent issue trying to locate the blasted peanut butter. After going down all the aisles, I cornered a manager near one of the checkout stands. I vowed there was no way I’d be heading for the exit without my Peter Pan creamy-style peanut butter and could she please help. Turns out the manager, she was new, didn’t know where the peanut butter was either, and called someone on her little radio gizmo … I don’t know … probably the official guy at the store in charge of peanut butter. “It’s on aisle eight, but come with me. I’ll show you right where it is,” the dude in charge of peanut butter said. It was a good thing he led me to it … because the peanut butter wasn’t on aisle eight. It was on aisle nine. But I digress. “So do you have a plan for me?” I inquired to Dr. G. “We don’t like to use the dreaded ‘B’ word. If you will remember, I suggested progressive lenses during your last visit. These glasses don’t have lines. Most people are in them by their 40s. I really think they would certainly benefit you,” said Dr. G. His mouth continued to move … although I wasn’t hearing what was coming out of it. My mind whirled. Was I mistaken, or was he was talkin’ about bifocals? Yuck. But I’m too young for bifocals. Who cares if I’m only slightly past forty? OK, so I’ll go to confession on Saturday for that whopper of a fib. “Geez, I guess I’ve put this off long enough. I’ll give the progressive lens a whirl,” I finally said. After picking out new frames, I dragged myself home kinda dejected. Hubby was there to greet me. “Hey, your eyes look just like Dora the Explorer,” hubby laughed. Mimi, our special needs daughter, watches the brown-eyed Dora on the Nickelodeon Channel at the breakfast table during the week. It rounds out her favorite breakfast of blueberry pancakes and syrup. Obviously, my eyeballs weren’t back to normal. I get my new progressive lens glasses next week. Hopefully, “progressive” will not become one of those words we whisper … like the dreaded “B” word. Dixie Frantz is a longtime Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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