Listening to: Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
Lately I've been looking into getting some glasses to have some backups with my contacts. My eyes need a rest anyways so even if it's not an emergency I still need something to wear when not wearing contacts. Typically I could only afford one or the other once a year. Contacts one year, glasses the next, hence me never getting glasses in college. So I've been shopping around looking at prices. With my recent perscription being -9.00 and like -5 I need the High Index lenses which make the lenses ....less thick, but they cost a lot. The prices I got were $300 or more just for the lenses, not new frames. My frames are like 5 years old, granted I didn't wear them much and they are still in good shape, but still risky to have them break with new lenses. I didn't even go to places that specialize in glasses, I went to generic-like stores like Wally World and ShopKo. All the special recommendations add up to like $400 total with frames, lenses, coatings, and taxes. I am NOT paying $400 for glasses that I'm not going to be wearing 24/7. I'll use them like once a month or at night or ....something. They are not my life line, just a backup.
Anywho, Mindy emailed me and said I should check out this Optical Wholesale place that she found on KSL. Funny I don't recall telling her I was going shopping for glasses.... So I checked out the website. Saw the prices. Ha. Too good to be true. I read the testimonials. Ha. Whatever. Called the guy to come check it out and set up an appt last night. (its from his home so he takes appointments) Figured it wouldn't hurt just to look. But I had a feeling this was it, I'd take whatever price he gave me cuz everyone else was way too expensive and had all those contracts and crap. My last hope.
So his place is all the way up in Sandy/Draper area near the mountains. It was a pritti drive. I've never taken the Draper exit before. It was easy to find his place. I got there early and talked on the phone. He came home a few minutes later and let me in. He had a niiice set up. Hard wood floors, display cases, expensive chairs and desk. He was set. Anyway he rushed me into picking out a pair of glasses. I ended up choosing the first one he picked up and chose for me. He said it was very popular lately. Popular means modern and I don't think I can really pull off the modern look. But hey, I don't have to live with them 24/7 so sure, try something new. He felt more comfortable using his frames instead of mine. I noticed I tended to go back to the same shape/color as my previous glasses. Man, I need to branch out a bit! He told me the shape and kind of glasses that my prescription would hold, which isn't a whole lot, but okay. But I was brave and picked out something completely new to me. They are black squares, my older ones were more oval, or cat eyes look, and then it had huge sides to cover the temples (which I guess is the modern part) and it was decorated with stars and bling bling. It was cute.
Then we went over and he priced it all out for me. The frames were $39.95 at a $180 value. The lenses themselves were $14.95, in HDX (High def) 1.67 (thin lenses) was $60.00 (verses the $300+ for HDX 1.74 or whatever they recommended). Because my eye is more than -6 apparently there is a $18.00 fee for that lense. Maybe he has to order it in and anything under -6 he has in his office I think. The Anti-Reflective coating (which is what I desparately need, reduces glare in night driving) was $19.00. Scratch Resistant was $8, and the Roll and Edge Polish (also desparately need with how thick my glasses are) another $8. The total with taxes was about $180. WOW. So once you realize that you went from $400 price range to $180, you have to wonder about the quality. I mean I was scared to go Wally cuz they said they'd do it for like $80, kinda scary. But ShopKo was the $400 range, I wanted something in between and see what the quality was like. So I asked him how he could do this so cheap for his customers.
So he told me. His life story really. He started with pictures. He showed a store in Beverly Hills, LA he had with lamborghini and many other expensive cars in front. He said this is my store in LA and these are the types of customers I get. He showed me pictures of glasses with his last name as the designer printed on it and said he makes glasses in prices ranges from $1,000 to $28,000. A pair of glasses he'd put in karate gold or yellow gold and diamonds and stuff. He is Armanian. He came to Amercia with no money. He was a concert violinist. Couldn't make money at that. He did some construction and saved up $3,000 and bought his first business. From then he grew to the expensive hills of LA. I guess he retired and ended up in Utah. He started doing it in his home as a hobby. He realized that from CA to UT there is a HUGE difference and never thought about the fact that some people can't afford glasses. So he decided to try a mission of helping the poor receive vision, talking about Utahns. This man has everything he's ever wanted. All the toys, the money, retirement, wife, skills, etc and he decides to use his skills for service of others for FAR more less than he would get in LA.
Now this man was VERY cocky. He used the pronoun "I" so many times I cannot fathom. He expressed his great dislike of working for other people. He has to have his own business and be the big boss. But I realize he has every right to be so cocky, because he was the one that did it. He made something of himself and he got what he wanted, and if people ask, I guess he has the right to brag about his glamous life he had before he came to Utah. Maybe even more glamous now that he is out of CA, b/c cost of living went down and he has more for toys. It was very hard to listen to him talk so pompously, like he was better than everyone else, at least in this state.
I don't know how to respond to things as egotistical and pompous as that. I mean, what do you say to that? Knowing how much money he makes verses the price he just gave you? He is a man that needs that reaction, that 'oh my gosh you are such a great man'. I don't think I gave him that recation the way he wanted it. I didn't know what to say. All I did was say wow and I implied that he was kind enough to help even college students out. I didn't tell him he was God's gift to man. I didn't tell him he was extremely kind and generous. I didn't say he was selfless and sacrificing. I didn't tel him that I could afford the $400 glasses if I had to buy them. I didn't tell him I wasn't a poor college student. I didn't tell him, for Utah, I was doing pritti good in my career. I didn't tell him I live in Rose Park the so called ghetto of this city. I almost felt I'd ruin his vision of this state being so poor and him being so great to help out. Kind of awkward. I just...kinda of stared and listened to his life story. I can't ....really make him out. I can't read him as well as I read other ppl. Interesting.
Then he started talking about this goal he's had this year to give a certain amount of glasses out to the children of this community for free. The state and county had issues with that with liability or something and said he'd have to find another way to make that goal happen. Something...more private, not a public thing kind of. So he went and bought two parcels of land right next to each other. And he's going to build a building there and he will give out glasses from there, on his own land, on his own dime. No sponsors, no donations, nothing. His dime. Volunteers to help write childrens prescriptions so he can make every one of them for free. I think he kind of had an eye opener in his move. We aren't the customers with expensive cars and can afford karate gold $25,000 glasses or sunglasses. We are the ones that drive with one lens/eye cuz the other popped off and we can only afford one lens at time.
Anyways, he is a generous man for helping, not just me, with a great price with his obviously great and world wide known quality, but for helping the whole community. He showed me his lab and machines. He expressed how much he really enjoys his work, and he must, if he's even doing it as a hobby. I have a feeling he's done the whole tour and telling his life story before, but he only does so if he's asked. I'm not sure what that says about the man.
Moving on, paid for glasses, expect them in like 3-5 days, and grateful for his time and labor.
On the way out the door we walked past his sunglasses case. I noticed it was nearly empty compared to all the other display cases. He asked if I wore sunglasses. Yeah, sure, the cheap ones that don't do much. He had me try on a couple of sunglasses and HE found the one HE likes on me. He's pritti good at picking out frames for people. I liked it too. And then he said I could keep them. Just walk out the door with them. Again, frames and quality of $180 or more, just for free. Flabbergasted. I'd to think it was more than just me 'being cute' as everyone says. I like to think that he gave me the sunglasses b/c I listened to his story, and why he doesn't have to prove himself, and merely helps those that will take a chance at finding out who he is. Still don't quite understand the kind of man he is, but he's certainly not evil of any sort.
Needless to say, I was at a loss for words most of the night after I left his place. I wanted to tell someone the whole thing. Grandma wasn't home, she ran away to Idaho for the night, and Mom and Min wouldn't answer their phones. Because I didn't write it and/or talk about it outloud it was cemented in my head all night. I was...even dreaming about it.....Weird. What that man did and said was like way beyond my comprehension apparently. I can't swallow it. I feel like I witnessed a miracle of some kind and don't know what to make of it. It won't come out of my head. So I'm hoping with writing it all down that it'll help me move on.
I still look at myself in the mirror with the sunglasses on. They actually work. They have a like many coatings of the shade to make everything darker without losing sight. Its awesome. I've never had sunglasses that actually.....block out the sunlight. I look at my $5 or less pile of sunglasses I have in my console. Man oh man. That was awesome. Definitely giving a testimonial on his website.