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Insufferable Product Reviews: Transition Lenses

I tap my girlfriend on the shoulder. “Hey,” I say meekly, “can I get in your purse again?” We just went from walking downtown to ducking into a bar after walking a mere block and a half from the place we just got brunch at. Annoyed, she slides one strap of her purse down her arm, and I rummage through. Of course, they’re always down to the bottom, so going for them too vigorously means I might pull her arm off trying to find them. I then shamefully make the switch, and place the case back into her purse while hoping that we stay here for long enough to make that ordeal worthwhile. I’m talking about the classic glasses to sunglasses switch. I’m sure when we started dating, she didn’t realize that she would eventually become my optical pack mule. But here we are. 

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about 16 or 17. My story of how that happened is pretty stupid. I was given a pair of reading glasses for class the year prior. Looking back on it, they were hideous. Clear, green, Oakley’s with rectangular frames that couldn’t have been more than ¾” tall, I thought they were the coolest things on the planet at that time. I’d compulsively play with the metal case that they came in that looked like a cross between Sputnik and a dildo from the middle ages, letting everyone know that I had my glasses on with every loud ‘clunk’ of the case. When class was over, I didn’t want to just stop looking like the coolest guy on campus, so I kept them on. I was specifically told not to do this; they’re reading glasses, so they’re strong, and if they’re on for too long, your eyes will adjust. So, after a year of ignoring those instructions, I was back in the optometrist’s office and getting a pair for everyday use. 

There are pros and cons to my glasses. I think I look cute as hell in them. They’re not that strong of a prescription, so I can get by without them for a few minutes, or while I’m playing hockey (you don’t have to read on the ice). But, they’re always smudged from a dog nose or a bowl of ramen eaten too hastily. And the biggest one, by far, is the sunglasses swap. Not only am I placing a burden on my poor girlfriend, but I also have to watch out for double the glasses. I can’t pull the move of getting a crap pair from a gas station so that if they go missing, I’m only out $12, mine are usually more expensive than my regular glasses. 

I’m coming up on my dreaded 26th birthday, which means that in less than a month I’ll be on the hook for my own medical expenses, including vision. I talked to my mom and she said that I could “ball out” (her words) on glasses. There is a solution to this that I have been hesitant to try until now. I’ve always equated these to an older demographic; I thought it was kind of a gimmick. But the inconvenience has been getting to me. Was I finally ready to acknowledge what was apparent to some of my friends: that I am becoming a childless father? First came the crocs (you’ll be hearing about those soon). Then, it was the swim shirt. I guess it was time to complete the triumvirate of dad-itude with a pair of transition lenses? I hopped onto Warby Parker’s site and did something I thought I’d never do: selected the option for transition lenses, and thought about what I had done. 

They arrived just in time for a big trip. I thought, what better place to test this theory than Las Vegas? Going in and out of hotels to walk across bridges to connect to the next casino would be a torture test for my new chameleon glasses. And torture it was, not just for the glasses but for me as well. When I was outside, they wouldn’t darken fast enough before we were in the next place. Once inside, I was rocking a sunglasses inside look that just couldn’t commit to being fully douchey. Another huge issue with them is that when I’m driving, they don’t get dark because the sunlight isn’t directly on them. So even if I’m being blinded by a gas tanker in front of me reflecting the sun’s harmful rays right into my eyeballs, the transition lenses are only two shades darker than clear. 

Needless to say, I think this experiment was a failure. I thought that I could do what I normally do: take some awful thing and commit to it and try to convince you all that its cool. I don’t think I can stay the course here, though. Now the move is probably to send the lenses back to Warby Parker and get regular lenses put into them. Maybe I’ll do blue light blocking ones so that they’re still a bit insufferable. 5/10 for the lenses, you guys tried your best. 

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6th grade me can confirm that they are indeed not cool