I had an eye test today at Specsavers opticians in Brighton. I'm pleased to report that not only are my eyes healthy but, conveniently, they are growing more alike in their optical performance - that is, both long-sighted to much the same extent, apart from individual astigmatisms.
I needed new lenses, and it was time to have to give the old frames the heave-ho. They were a legacy from my office days some while back (I retired suddenly and super-early in 2005) and, well, they may have been right for a sober civil servant of thirty-five continuous years' service but they weren't at all right for a trendy girl about town. Besides, one of the lenses kept on popping out, and the frames were clearly out of shape, though I don't remember sitting on them. Anyway, after the eye test I had a good long perusal of the frames on offer, making full use of the mirrors. I decided that I'd go for a semi-rimless, white-and-chrome look - not to match my nobile phone, though this will be true, but because dark frames really would be too heavy for my face. I want people to notice my eyes and eyebrows, not my glasses. The Specsavers deal was 'buy these, and choose another for free with the same prescription', and so I intended to have some sunglasses as well. The main frames are now in the pipeline, and once I'm used to the new lenses I'll go back and choose the sunglasses.
The staff at Specsavers couldn't have been more pleasant. They had me down as 'Lucy Melford' and first to last treated me the same as anyone else there, which was with courtesy, smiles, and helpful suggestions. Their staff training must be spot on, but maybe it was really down to the good nature of the staff themselves. My own appearance, Prada bag and all, didn't raise the slightest eyebrow, and there seemed to be nothing forced or hesitant about anyone's manner. So full marks, Specsavers, and if there's a Brighton Chamber of Commerce Award up for grabs, you have my endorsement.
But wait for the icing on the cake, the golden moment that made my day. As I paid at the till with my credit card, the magic phrase 'That'll be £335.00, Miss Melford' was uttered. Miss Melford! Never been called that by anyone before. Wheeee. I could hardly remember my PIN. It was all I could do to remain cool, with body language that tried to say, 'I'm called Miss Melford all the time, don't you know. No big deal at all. I hardly ever think of it'. Exit one exultant tranny, stage left.