"Will it be ready soon?" I asked, my foot wanting desperately to tap out an impatient tune against the slightly scuffed desk behind which she sat, watching her printer single-mindedly as if, in doing so, it’d hurry up and print the authorisation.
I’d been there waiting since before eight. I watched them all arrive, unlock, turn on the lights, moving around inside the shop windows like a live TV show. I was there to see how age had affected my eyes in the past two years, and to get new glasses to replace the current pair that look… well… well-used.
Optometrist appointments make me nervous. I’m never sure if I’m getting the answers right for which option is clearer and I always think I’m going to give myself the wrong prescription because I don’t do it right. “Which is clearer, the green or the red?” in my head sounds like “Get this wrong and you’ll be the recipient of lifelong blurry vision and, possibly, headaches too.” It makes my blood pressure rise and my palms sweat. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little over-dramatic.
I’m pleased to say that my left eye is pulling the middle finger at age and hasn’t got worse. The right eye is slightly worse. The puff of air in the pupils, the oh-so-close-up-I-can-see-your-irises-optometrist-lady measurements, all done and dusted. Then the final hurdle – frame choosing. Again – palpitations, sweaty palms etc.
Well, I thought that was the final hurdle. Turned out the admin was the actual final hurdle. Filling in forms, sending off medical aid authorisation, waiting, waiting, waiting. I had another appointment, I needed to get going. Being of a normally patient disposition I did wait, marvelling at the industrial roof and listening to the conversation between the two secretaries who were discussing the pros and cons of flesh-coloured stockings. Important stuff. After fifteen minutes of being patient, though, fifteen minutes that would make me twenty minutes late for my next appointment (I hadn’t planned all that well to start with), I told them they’d have to fax it to me, I had to go.
I was, indeed, closer to half-an-hour late for my next appointment, at a shop located in a less-than-salubrious area of the city. Luckily. I arrived with the police, who had been called following a robbery that had occurred at the shop, some half hour before.
Somewhere, someone is looking out for me.