Today, I went to buy a new pair of glasses.
I started looking through the racks at Specsavers at 10.30 a.m. I finally left the shop, without having selected any frames, at 2 pm. I was exhausted from doing so many laps around the shop, from standing for so long with a bad knee, from trying on hundreds of pairs of glasses. Besides, the shop assistants had started to whimper pitifully when I insisted they line up with placards numbered 1 to 10 and rate each choice of frames as I paraded past them (I'm joking. Maybe).
Every time I found passable frames, an assistant would tut-tut: "It's not quite you, is it?
"It isn't? I thought it was me. Me likes them."
"No, no. The frame sticks out too far at the sides of your face. Read that number on the arm of the specs: 52? Your face only needs a 49 or 50."
My face warranted a low number? I didn't know whether to be mortified or deleriously happy.
"I want something unusual," I said as I pouted and posed in front of a mirror. "Something colourful and lightweight. Perhaps with a pattern at the sides? I don't want to look like Clark Kent, or an owl. Or someone from 1965 - been there, done that, wore these exact same frames then... "
I caught the bus to another Specsavers branch and, for an hour, tried on more frames. I came home glasses-less. The hunt continues next week. How many Specsavers shops are there in New Zealand.....?