Well, it happened. Finally, after almost 30 years of marriage, I had done the unthinkable. I missed Valentines Day. Oh, it was not because I didn't feel I loved my wife, it was just that things sort of slid by the wayside. And, a happy Valentines Day greeting was just not considered enough. So, when late in the afternoon I finally found time to sit down in front of the computer to compose a card, I was met by the not so unexpected reaction of " If you couldn't find time to do it before this" and many other digs. I swear, a woman keeps every little past incident of unthoughtfulness, or imagined slight filed in a special place in her mind to bring back out at times like this. I snapped back, and, to make a long story short enough to be bearable to the reader, as a conclusion I am now living by myself in a cheap room. I have had a lot of time to think this over, and I am really wondering if I should buy some flowers, and throw myself at her feet to try to resolve this separation.
It is a hard decision to make, particularly after an incident last night. I was on my own on a Saturday night for the first time in over 30 years. An older gray haired guy - with thick glasses, cause that night I could go out wearing my combination plus minus, on his way to a bar, trembling a bit inside, and totally unsure of himself. I sat by myself at a table in the corner, and after I got over the shock of what a bar drink cost now, I nursed my drink and waited for the entertainment. Gosh - just what I always wanted to see - an Elvis impersonator. I think that they used a really poor quality sound system so the patrons wouldn't realize how bad the guy really was. He was actually doing great job acting, even if the voice quality was rotten. I let my eyes stray around the room, and my gaze fell on a couple of ladies a few tables away. They were both in their early to mid forties, one was quite slim, and was wearing a fairly strong pair of plus lensed glasses. I thought to myself that I could do a lot worse. I strained to catch a good look at her friend, but her hair hid her glasses. Not wanting to look too obvious, I got up and made my way to the washroom, passing their table on the way. Bingo! As I got a better look at her glasses, I thought, " This is fantastic." They were a few years out of fashion. The eye size, for the period, was quite small. I thought I could detect a bit of inward curvature in the front of the lens and as I tried not to appear to be staring. I could see a bit of an edge to the rear, but it seemed to be beveled, the lenses were set forward in the frame a bit, and they were definitely a high minus. I estimated about a -14 or so, and made my way to the washroom.
On my way back to the table I got a better look at my new interest. She was attractive, although a bit heavier than I liked, but I decided that somehow I would find the courage to ask her to dance. This was going to be a bit of a challenge, since, like most people, I dance with my feet - but mine are both left ones, and it had been ages since I danced with anyone but my wife. I had this strange feeling that she had given me the eye as well, and I wondered just how receptive she would be. The singer started into Blue Suede Shoes, and I figured it was now or never, so I asked her to dance. Much to my surprise she accepted, and soon we were up on the dance floor, swinging away. After the dance ended, SHE asked me to join them at their table. I was trembling inside as I did so, but somehow by the end of the evening I had gotten a date for dinner the next evening. I picked her up, and we had a great time. It was fantastic to be able to wear my glasses, and I wanted to ask her about her glasses, and vision, and all the important stuff. I could hardly believe my good fortune, as she seemed to be witty, and extremely nice. I did notice that she didn't seem to have really good vision, and I remarked that she should consider a new pair of glasses, as hers seemed to be a bit dated.
"I just don't have the time or money right now" she replied
So, I dropped the subject.
Last night we had dinner again, and went to a show. I was just elated. I could hardly contain myself when we returned to her apartment, and she invited me inside. At the end of the evening, which to me had seemed to be going to far too fast, she invited me to share her bed. I explained that right at this point in time I wasn't ready for sex with another partner. I am a bit strange that way, and I wanted to remain faithful to my wife until all efforts of reconciliation had failed. She seemed to accept this, and in the end we shared the bed, with just a bit of hugging and holding. The next morning when I awoke and put my glasses on, I was very pleased that I had spent the extra money on extended wear contacts. She had risen before I did, and when I walked into the kitchen I noticed that she wasn't wearing glasses, although we had both worn glasses until after the lights went out. I remarked that she must have put in her contacts, and with the following words, she gave me a taste of my own medicine.
"No, I actually took them out. I have this fetish over guys with strong glasses, and I like to wear them myself"
When Jan told me that she wore contacts to be able to wear thick glasses, this was a real shocker. In a world of so many people, what do you think the chance of 2 people having the same fetish could be - maybe a million to one? No matter - it happened, and I am sure that the look on my face was priceless. I couldn't see it, but I sure could see her face when I took my contact lens case from my pocket took off my glasses and popped the right lens out.
"I do the same thing." was my reply.
I am sure that her chin dropped a couple of feet, and her eyes were open wide in amazement. I removed the left lens, and we were now both without glasses.
Jan was absolutely captivated by the fact that we both had the same fetish. I found out in conversation that she had bought her glasses in a thrift store. Her contact lenses had been her first husbands, and fortunately they were the right curvature for her. She had the original vials, and I noticed that they were plus 9.50 lenses. I thought that the glasses were pretty strong for these contacts, and as I examined the glasses I noticed that they had a bit of an astigmatism correction. I advised her that if she wanted to wear that correction, she should probably be wearing about a + 11 contact lens. She went on to amaze me by telling me that she really wanted even thicker glasses, so she should have even stronger contacts, but she had no idea how to get them.
By late that afternoon, most of my eyewear collection, as well as my old phoropter were at Jan's. With her contacts in, she had very good vision through a pair of -13, -12.50 glasses. I had a few other ladies glasses, but nothing that worked as well. She was most interested in how I could switch lenses from frame to frame, making the glasses into ladies, or men's as I pleased. A lot of people do not realize that there are many frames, especially plastic, that are the same, or similar lens sizes, and I have worked with my collection to promote the ease of switching. But, I couldn't convince Jan to wear the glasses that she could see best through, as her other glasses were thicker, and that was what she wanted. So, I convinced her to get Internet access for her computer. I also talked her into making a doctors appointment as soon as possible, as I wanted her to make sure that the contacts that we were about to order from the Internet were as good a fit as she could get.
Jan just loved my collection of glasses, and she kept making me change contacts, and putting on different glasses. Her favorites were a pair of glass myodiscs in a late 60's style frame. I didn't like wearing them, as they had a bit of correction for astigmatism, and I needed a +17.50 contact in my left eye to see through the probably -28 diopter lens. The right eye only needed a +15.50 contact, and I estimated it to be about a -25diopter lens. I much prefer sharp vision to strong lenses, and as I mentioned, I didn't feel that my vision was good enough, but she wanted me to keep wearing them, so I did. I ended up staying the night again, only this time it was in her spare bedroom.
I was back home first the next afternoon, and when Jan came in she was just elated. She had gotten an appointment that afternoon with an eye doctor, and she had new colored contacts in. I had told her to get a spare pair, still in the vials, which she had done. I looked at the numbers, and the bottle read B.C. 8.4, 14.2 diameter. So, now all we needed was Internet access, and as I mentioned that, she told me she had signed up for it, and they had given her a bunch of numbers. I am not the greatest computer genius in the world, but after a few tries, we had the computer programmed, and lo and behold we were on the Internet. I searched contact lenses by mail, and we had a whole pile of options. But, I wanted a particular provider, so I went to a chat group about glasses where I found a listing for a supply house in British Columbia that did not need a doctor's prescription. I wanted to pin Jan down as to the final prescription that she wanted for her glasses, but she just kept saying that she wanted them as strong as she could get them. I tried to explain to her that it would look funny if she showed up at work with humungeously thick glasses, and in the end she agreed to let me order her 2 pairs. So, I ordered the contact lenses as if she needed a +15 for one eye, and a +12 for the other. I then suggested that she would need about -18 glasses for the +12 lenses, and probably about -21 or -22 for the other glasses. She still insisted that she wanted thicker than that, but I convinced her to wait a while.
The order was in using her real name, and credit card, so all we had to do now was wait. A phone call was on the answering machine the next day, so I had her call them back as soon as she got home from work. All they wanted was confirmation, and to tell her that these were special order lenses, and it would be a few days. I knew this, and had told her about that, so we were not too surprised. but Jan was totally impatient. Luckily I was at the house when the contacts arrived, as the parcel express people needed a signature, so I signed for them, and was waiting with them when Jan got home. I had suggested that she wear her colored contacts to work until she could get glasses that she could see through properly, so she had been doing that. All the while she kept complaining to her co-workers about how sore her eyes were with contacts, so that when she finally got proper glasses, she could wear them full time, and no one would suspect a thing. That night she put in the +12's, and with her old glasses she could see well enough to function. She definitely needed a stronger prescription, and I set up the old phoropter and the eye chart. I had wanted her to wear the contacts for a while so that when we did the eye test her eyes would have adjusted to wearing the contacts. Sure enough, as I had thought, she needed -17.50 in her left eye. I was a bit surprised that her right eye only took -17.25, as her eyes, and the contacts were all the same, but that is what gave her the best vision on the snellen chart. She wanted to check the other lenses right away, and it was a chore to explain to her that it was best to only put the contacts in once a day, and that her vision would be better if we did the other lenses some morning, after she had gotten a pair of glasses that she could wear while her eyes adjusted.
I had an old prescription blank from an out of state doctor that was no longer around, so I filled it out. The next day, I met Jan after work, and we were off to the opticians. This was old hat to me, but to Jan it was a new experience. As we went from store to store, asking questions, and trying on all sorts of frames, Jan was amazed at the lack of knowledge that most of the opticians had about strong prescriptions. I had been trying to keep my mouth shut, but when one student optician commented on the fact that Jan's vision must be terrible, I must admit that I told her off, and let her know how totally insensitive that comment was. We got a lot of comments on the strength of the prescription, and how thick the lenses would be, and finally we picked an optician. This young lady said the right things, and when I commented, she told us that her sister wore glasses almost that strong, so she did know what a problem it was. We ordered 2 pairs. One pair was going to be regular plastic in a fairly small frame with the anti reflective coating. The other pair, also a fairly small eye size, was in high index plastic, with the minimum center thickness. Jan was like a kid with a new puppy. She was totally excited, and couldn't wait to get the glasses. We had told the optician that this was a bit of an emergency, as Jan's old glasses had broken, and she agreed to put a rush on at least one pair, and call us the minute they came in.
Three days later there was a message on the machine. When I came in the door, Jan wouldn't let me take my coat off. She had her old glasses on, and had put black tape around the nose to make it look realistic.
If I hadn't been driving, I guarantee that a couple of speeding tickets would have been issued that night, as she was so excited. Always, when you are in a hurry the only parking space in a mall is a long walk, and Jan was dragging me to the door in almost a jog. I told her to settle down, or she would make the optician suspicious. No one gets excited about really getting thicker glasses. She listened to me, and when the optician brought out the new glasses, and Jan looked at them, she managed to make the right comment about how thick they looked, and how she must look terrible wearing them. Yes, they were the regular plastic lensed glasses that came in first. The optician was extremely nice, and told Jan that while they did look quite thick, that they looked good on her, and that the main thing was that she could see. And the glasses did look good. They had had to bevel the edge a bit, and the lenses were set well forward in the frame. We had picked a frame that would take about 3/4 of an inch of edge thickness, and they had needed all that and more.
We walked around the mall for a bit. Jan couldn't pass a mirror without glancing at herself, and she kept telling me how great they looked. If they had been for real glasses, I would have gotten excited too, but my enthusiasm was a bit dampened. Before we left, it was back to the optician for some fine-tuning, and when we finally went home, Jan was in heaven. I figured that we should probably cancel the high index glasses, as they would be like mine - around 1/2 inch thick, but Jan wanted to get them too. The next morning it was off to work wearing the new glasses.
A few days later, it was back to the optician for the glasses with the high index lenses. As I had suspected, they were nice and thin. They still looked to be a strong prescription from the front, but the edge thickness was less than that of a regular plastic in about an -11 or -12. Jan liked them, and they looked good on her. Her visual acuity was quite good in both pairs. I knew which pair she would wear most though, and sure enough, over the next few weeks I was proven correct. The thick lenses were getting almost all the wear. But she was totally happy, so I was pleased for her, but I couldn't help wondering how far she wanted to take this.
I was soon to find out.
Why did it have to happen this way I wondered? To find a girl that met my requirements so closely, only to find that we both had the same fetish, was an unfair blow from the higher powers. I couldn't help but wonder if this was payback for me. And, not only did she have the same fetish, but she wanted thicker and thicker glasses. She only had her new glasses a bit over a week when she started bugging me about getting glasses to wear over her other contacts. Since it was her money, finally I said that we would go for it. But, I had a problem. My old antique phoropter only had lenses that went as high as -10D. I could combine up to -29 in the strongest power eye, or up to -27 in each eye. I could not do any quarter or half diopter steps over -24.50. But, I managed to do a pretty good refraction, and I came up with -22D in each eye. Since the other glasses had been a quarter less in her right eye, I decided that we would follow the same line of thinking with these. I had no more blanks, so I went to another major city to have my own eyes checked. Once I had the prescription, a bit of white out, and a good quality copier got us a fine looking blank. So, armed with a new prescription we headed off to another optical store. I would have loved to go back to the first optician, but we couldn't explain such an increase in so short a period of time.
So, another pair of glasses was ordered. This time I convinced Jan to only order one pair in regular plastic. I had her suggest to the optician that she would rather have thicker lenses than to have a myodisc lens, as that is what the optician was, and quite correctly so, recommending. So, the lenses were specified as biconcave, with as large a visual field as possible. We had carefully selected another frame with a small eye size, and a good setback for the hinge, so the earpieces would fold. I wasn't sure if antireflective coating was a worthwhile investment for the biconcave lenses, but I was outvoted. Jan could hardly wait for them to come in. After a week she wanted to phone every day, and after the second week had gone by with no phone call, I couldn't stop her from phoning. Sure enough, the optician wasn't satisfied with the finished job, and had returned the glasses to the lab, so it was going to be a few more days. Finally the call came that they had come in. I took the call, and was able to get myself ready at my pace before I told Jan that she should put her stronger contacts in. I have never seen a woman move so fast. In a flash she was ready, and we were on our way. This time I was lucky enough to find a closer parking spot, and we were standing in the optical shop, with Jan almost pacing the floor while the optician finished waiting on her previous customer.
"I don't know if you will like these" said the optician, as she removed the new glasses from the case.
And I could see why she had made this remark. The lenses were close to an inch thick. The front dish was quite deep - probably a -7, and the lenses were placed almost a quarter inch to the front of the frame. Jan remarked that she had no choice, as this is what she needed to see, and she put the new glasses on. I could tell that she was even more exited than she was with the other glasses, but she was smart enough to make it seem that she was disappointed, but resigned, to having to wear the new thicker glasses. We left the shop, and she was again staring at herself in every mirror.
During the next few weeks I didn't see her without her glasses. It almost broke my heart to see such a fantastic pair of glasses, and to know that it wasn't for real. One night I glanced into her bedroom, and saw her sleeping with her glasses on. So, the next morning I asked her if she was taking her contacts out at night. She looked a bit sheepish, and said that she hated to take her glasses off so much that she had, once in a while, slept with her contacts in. I knew that in reality this meant that she was wearing her extended wear contacts for 3 or 4 days in a row. I explained to her that unless she wanted to be unable to wear her contacts, and glasses in the future, she had better start taking care of them, and resting her eyes whenever she could, so she promised me she would. But then she wanted to order a couple more pairs of even more powerful contacts. She had the thickest pair of glasses I had ever seen, and she still wasn't satisfied, so I told her that there was no chance of getting thicker lenses. But she replied that she wanted stronger glasses, and she realized that they wouldn't be any thicker at the edges. So, another order was placed for +17.50, and +20 contacts.
When the contacts arrived she wanted me to get her a prescription right away for the strongest contacts. I couldn't. I tried and tried to explain that the strongest that I could do was a -27D. We checked with the +17.50 contacts, and -26 was pretty close. I suggested trying -27 for her left eye, and -26.75 for her right, and if it was a bit too strong, she could slide the glasses down her nose just a tiny bit. So, again it was off to find another optical shop to order new glasses. This time a blended myodisc was her only choice in regular plastic. It is strange, but as eyeglass prescriptions become higher, the choice of lens material is very limited. I had thought that they would use a high index blank for something this strong, but the high index is not available in powers much over -20. When the new glasses came in, even I was a bit excited. They looked great. They were in small, darkened silver wire frames, again with a fairly well set back hinge for the earpieces. The front curve was less than in her other glasses, but they were still biconcave. The rear circle was about an inch in diameter, and they were on a plus carrier, with the edges of the myodisc blended into the carrier. When she put them on, from a front view, the concentric circles appeared to almost come right to the center of the lens. I knew the minute that she put them on that she wouldn't go back to the other glasses, and I felt a little funny. Here in life was someone that wanted to wear the thickest possible glasses, and out there somewhere was a person that really wore this prescription that would love to get rid of their glasses.
In a matter of a bit under 4 months she had spent almost two thousand dollars on glasses and contacts. I myself had found this to be an expensive hobby, but I had usually limited myself to no more than a thousand a year. I just couldn't believe it when she started to bug me about getting glasses to go with the most powerful contacts. I was unsure as to what to do, so I had her put her strongest contacts in. I then taped a -6 lens from my phoropter over her myodisc lenses. Much to my surprise, I had to increase this to a -7 lens for her to properly see the eye chart. So, again it was off to find an unsuspecting optician. As usual she had in her plano contacts for the fitting. I had a hard time explaining to her that she would really make the optician suspicious if she was wearing horribly thick glasses over contacts, but she did realize that what I was saying was quite true. I found it almost impossible to accept that she really didn't want to take her glasses off for any reason. So for what I felt had to be the last time, we again went searching for another optician. I had, for the last pair, convinced her to use a dummy name, and a phony address, and to pay cash for the glasses. Again I insisted on that little safety factor. I had no desire to get caught, and she really had gone too far too fast for my liking. But, when the newest glasses, another pair of blended myodiscs, came in we picked them up without a hitch. Again they went on her face, and again she resisted taking them off for any reason. I asked her the next day after work if she had had anyone comment on how thick her glasses had gotten, and she told me that no one had even seemed to notice. I guess it is just me, and my glasses fetish that makes me notice people with new glasses almost immediately, but I found it strange that no one had remarked on how blind she had become. And, as much as I love strong glasses, I had to say that when she was wearing these glasses, she really did look blind.
I suppose that since there was no way that I could get her even stronger glasses now that soon we were drifting apart. I was still staying in her spare bedroom, but I had been talking to my wife about moving back home. And, this was a real chore, since I was living in the same house as another lady. But, I convinced my wife that I was nothing but a boarder, and eventually I did move back home. I didn't see any more of Jan, until one day I was walking in a mall, and spotted a lady with a really strong prescription. Sure enough, it was Jan. I took a closer look at her glasses. They were new, and they were even stronger than the -34's that I had last helped her get. I remarked that she looked great, and asked her how she had possibly gotten even stronger glasses. She took them off, and told me to look into her eyes. I did, and much to my shock, there were no contact lenses in her eyes. "I found a doctor that would do lens implants for me." she said. " I can even get him to do them for you."
Tempting, but I turned and walked away.
Specs4ever, with thanks to A.J. for her editing, and proofreading. (Originally written as a 3 part story in Feb. 99, and published on Eyescene and Smudge Report)