Ever since Meelyn got her part-time job last summer, she's been thinking about getting some contact lenses. I thought that was a smashing idea since she doesn't like wearing glasses; she needs to wear glasses for long-view activities like driving, and she didn't want to buy prescription sunglasses, which she said were "for moms." I tried not to take umbrage at that, remembering that I thought my mother was ancient when I was sixteen -- and she was ten years younger than I am. So, moms? Moms are, like, reeeaaaally old. Pffft.
My husband and I got Meelyn's new spectacle frames and lenses as we do every two years, but we told her that contact lenses are a luxury, not a necessity, and that if she wanted contacts, she'd have to get them with her own money. And you know what? She did!
She saved up her money for the appointment at the optometrist's where he'd measure her eyes and have one of his trained technicians initiate her into the ways of sticking a foreign object into the eye. She found out how much it would cost for six months' worth of lenses (which is how the optometrist sells them to wearers) and also how much it would be for the upkeep, what with buying lens solution and all that.
After she'd done all that, Meelyn called the office, made and appointment, wrote it in my planner and reminded me early this week that yesterday was the big day. The two of us drove to the appointment together since the optometrist's office isn't in our city, and she went on in while I sat in the car and spent a delicious hour reading my book with no interruptions. Meelyn came out, beaming and slightly pink around the eye, and slid into the driver's seat of the van while I bookmarked my page and said, "Well, how'd it go?"
"I'm wearing them now," she said airily, giving me a mischievous sidelong look.
"No kidding!" I said in delight. "So it went very well, yes?"
"Yep. I have to get used to wearing these and make sure they work for me and then make an appointment to go back in for Dr. Carey to make any adjustments to the prescription if I need it and then I can get my lenses!"
I looked at her fondly, my lovely girl, such a reliable, dependable, admirable girl, and said, "I am really proud of you, the way you've dealt with this whole thing with such efficiency. I can't really see how an adult could have done any better."
"Thank you, Mama," she said, glowing. "Look! I can finally wear my sunglasses!" She perched them on her pert nose and checked the van's mirrors in preparation for backing out of the parking space, but also, like any woman, sneaking a peek at her ineffable cuteness at the same time.
"You know," I said seriously, "it's not too late to get a nice pair of prescription sunglasses. Or, you know, some of those big, dark shades that elderly ladies slip between their faces and their specs."
"Uhhh, no thanks."
"Sure? 'Cause that would be cheaper than contacts. I saw a commercial on TV the other day that said you can get those granny shades for only $19.99 plus processing and handling."
She stuck out the tip of her tongue at me. "I am totally and completely positive that I do not want granny shades, thank you for asking. But I'll be happy to get you some for Christmas, if you'd like."
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