I continue to be surprised at the small town hospitality that I enjoy in my adopted home of 8,000 inhabitants. It has been quite sunny this week, and every day I take my daughter out for a walk in the morning, she complains about the sun. Her blue eyes, like my green ones, don't like bright lights, and we lost her sunglasses a few months ago. So we set off for the local optometrist. This optometrist and I have a history. Every few years, I go in there either dissatisfied with my general non-aided vision or with my 20-year-old glasses that I now use only for driving. Each time, she asks for my old glasses, puts them in a magic machine that reads their prescription, and then sits me down in the stereotypical optometrist's chair. She quizzes me on the numbers and letters off in the distance, and each of the three times I've gone in there to get tested, she tells me that my 20-year-old glasses really are still almost my exact prescription, my myopia is so mild that she wouldn't even recommend any glasses for normal life, and that spending more money on other glasses or contacts or anything would be a waste of money. Each time, this has impressed the hell out of me, that a small business owner would encourage a potential customer not to make a purchase.
Practically searching for ways to give her my business, I did break down and get some prescription sunglasses a few months ago, and I am exceedingly pleased with them. They make driving and golf and just regular walking about town much more pleasurable.
Nora was very excited to be going to buy sunglasses, and she had an absolute ball trying on about 25 different pairs, even letting the optometrist put them on her. We narrowed it down to four pairs, and I asked the optometrist if she could set those four pairs aside so that my wife could come in later in the afternoon to make her judgement. (I've learned never to act unilaterally when it comes to fashion, particularly that of my child.) The optometrist told me to just take all four pairs (totaling around 150€) home with me to try on in the comfort of our home, and then return them any time over the next few days. What?? Can you imagine any other business doing that? Wow!
So we did. We have more or less decided, but I thought I'd put up some photos and get the opinions of my readers.
Big red. Nora immediately recognized the logo on the sticker as Chupa-Chups, Spain's leading manufacturer of lollipops.
Which do you prefer?
After collecting all four pairs, we stopped by another store, and Nora insisted on trying them all on for the entertainment of the store clerk.
What a wonderful amount of trust and freedom given to a small business' clients. I'll be more than happy to do all my optical consumerism there in the future.
UPDATE (2012-03-04): We ended up choosing the last ones, the more modern, adult-looking glasses. Thanks to all who voted.