I used to hate wearing glasses. The feel of this extraneous contraption on my face, the way my lenses were always thicker than the frame, the fact that I have zero peripheral vision (going down stairs is extra precarious…like stepping off into a big ol’ blurry abyss).
The need for corrective lenses was never an optional choice, not since I started having trouble seeing the chalkboard in sixth grade. By college, reading the massive glowing digital alarm clock six inches from my face was a lost cause.
I’d like to think that if I were dropped into a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, I’d be the badass heroine fashioning arrows from shattered skyscraper windows and protecting my children with the tenacity of a mother bear. But the truth is, if Post-Apocalypic World doesn’t have prescription eyewear? I’m hosed.
Anyway, where was I? In my earlier years of abundant free time and youthful vanity, I always wore contacts. Always, always, always. Then I had children. And apparently now I’m blaming my dear kiddos for my tendency to lazy out and just slap on a pair of glasses, instead of taking the twenty extra seconds to put in a pair of contacts. I still wear contacts many days—the daily-wear kind make that awesomely convenient—but I’ve learned to rely more on my glasses, to the point that my last pair was beginning to look like it had been sandblasted and used to sharpen baby panther claws.
Sigh. Time to shop for new frames. Time to shell out an obscene amount of money for my uber-potent lenses, the ones that could focus the sun’s rays and burn down entire buildings with their magnifying might. (Okay, they don’t technically magnify things—and I’ve never tried to use them for incineration purposes—but you get the point. It takes some seriously amped-up lenses for me to be able to read the “E” on the eye chart. I’m doing well just to know that the blobby-rectangle-thingy over there is supposed to be an eye chart.)
Between dreading the hassle of trying on countless frames and harboring a fondness for the dollars in my checking account, I dragged my feet. What was so wrong with sandblasted, clawed-up lenses anyway? Then I happened upon the glory that is Warby Parker. I don’t even recall how I stumbled upon their website. It must have been fate. The forces of the universe conspiring to banish my ratty old frames, shining a light on the path to a gleaming new age of totally awesome eyewear. (Cue the choir of angels.)
I was instantly hooked on their simple-yet-awesome, vintagey styles. I checked for store locations, and bummer…The nearest Warby Parker showroom would have been too far a drive. But that’s where the Supreme Awesomeness comes in…They have online ordering!
Ordering prescription glasses online?, you say, Inconceivable!
I know, I know…I was skeptical too. But it’s BRILLIANT. You browse their selection, pick five frames to try on for free, and poof! They magically appear like a gift from the Sight Fairy on your doorstep. Once you decide which pair to order, you just stick the provided label on the box and send the trial frames back to Warby Parker-land by owl or Fairy Post—or with your friendly mail carrier, if you’re like me and still trying to figure out why the world doesn’t have more trained owls.
Next, you snap a pic of your prescription, and use Warby Parker’s online tool to measure your pupillary distance. (You do need a webcam for that part, unless your doctor already specified your pupillary distance on your script. You’ll feel like a goofball opening your eyes super-wide for the camera, but trust me…Your picture won’t come out half as goofballish as mine.)
I followed all the steps, waiting for the bomb to drop when I reached the checkout screen. The listed price for the frames I selected was $95, but I’d been down this road too many times to be fooled by that. I’d bought one-too-many pairs of $39 frames over the years, finding out at the finish line that What? You actually want lenses in those frames that will allow you to SEE and function in your daily life? AND you don’t want them to weigh more than a case of Coke bottles? That will be three hundred and ninety-seven dollars and thirty-two cents.
Not so with Warby Parker. Yes, I did pay $30 for the lenses. (Thirty dollars? Not three hundred dollars?? Surely they inadvertently left off a zero and will be emailing me the corrected invoice whilst I sleep…) When no surprise charges came, I became convinced that these would be the thickest, heaviest, Coke-bottliest, crookedly-cut warped plastic lenses that ever sat cockeyed in a pair of dollar-store frames, and I’d be the sucker who just blew a hundred and twenty-five bucks on a useless hunk of tortoise-shell-rimmed disaster.
I waited, biting nails, for the mail fairy to come smack me upside the head for my gullible stupidity. When my glasses arrived—surprisingly speedily, I might add—I cautiously slid them on, expecting to see double, or have an instant headache, or suffer some irrevocable damage to my feeble eyeballs (okay, perhaps I wasn’t that dramatic about it). But guess what? They were awesome. Better than awesome. They look great, feel great, and strong-arm the blurry mess that is my vision into submission without breaking a sweat.
I love these glasses. I love how easy it was for my hermit self to get them, without ever venturing beyond my mailbox. I love that Warby Parker has stellar customer service, and kept me posted on my order progress throughout the experience. I love that those surprise charges never came, and these are by far the least expensive glasses I’ve ever owned, yet also my favorites. And I love that Warby Parker has now donated a pair of glasses to someone in need as a result of my purchase.
Warby Parker. Check ‘em out.
Product image featured here for the purposes of review/comment under fair use.