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Sunday, 29 March 2015

An Optical Illusion

Picture the scene, we are at the family seat in the Shire.  All have recently arrived on a Saturday morning and are catching up on latest news while having a coffee and idly flicking through the papers around the kitchen table. 

We're all here apart from my dad, who as you may remember is the most stylish man. 

He appears by the back door and is clutching a red Cartier bag, the sort that looks like it cost more to manufacture than my jeans, and a bright grin on his face.

Instantly I assume he has won the lottery and in the bag is Cartier gold watches for all of us as his first splurge. 

But no - before he has even taken his coat off or greeted his offspring and their plus ones, he is gleefully opening up the bag to reveal not one, not two, not three but 5 pairs of glasses for him to try on.

For yes, it is the bi-annual moment when he changes his specs - a momentous occasion.  And he is such a  good customer of the local opticians that they let him take home pairs to try on in front of a committee.

Loudly and boisterously around the table we all start giving our differing opinions.  Annie loudly applauds the pair that make him look like he runs a cereal café in East London.  I quite like the pair that look like the ones he has got now.  We all fall about laughing when he tries on a pair with red arms. 

Quickly a decision is made to wolf down lunch and all go en masse to The Opticians.  So we go in convoy into the local town and head into the bustling opticians.  Mr Annie wisely finds himself a seat in the corner and quietly observes what is going on.  You know full well within ten minutes he's probably worked out the annual company profits based on likely rent and staff costs versus the vast amount going through the till as The Shire's gentlefolk all flock in. 

Dad finds his favourite salesman who he greets with the reverence one would usually expect to reserve for the judiciary, in court. 

I instantly start thinking that I need a new pair of glasses as well, so head into the ladies section and balance Chloe and Chanel glasses on my nose.  Tom Jones is helpfully nearby to tell me what looks good and make useful comments such as 'your tits still look great'. 

Annie and Izzy make my dad try on about 47 different pairs - light tortoiseshell and dark tortoiseshell.  Mega trendy and not quite so trendy.  Round and square.  At one point the Favourite Salesman throws a pair of glasses on the floor with a David Copperfield flourish to demonstrate their engineering and we all GASP when they don't break. 

At this point my memory becomes a haze of lenses, and I'm not actually totally sure which pair he chose.  But I do know they were lovely and he looked eminently handsome.  Obviously he then needed to buy new sunglasses as well.

Exhausted, we head off to our fave local café for a regroup and 7 skinny flat whites. 

Dad sighs and ponders aloud what on earth he will do when Favourite Salesman eventually retires.  But don't worry dad, the Optical Committee will always be here to help.


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