I am an advocate of buying local, buying American, supporting Main Street. I am also very cheap. (Or as the daughters would probably say: very, very, very, very, very cheap.) These two positions are often juxta-positions. Fortunately, my economic situation easily allows me to spend a little more when I choose to support some small local business instead of always looking for the best deal. Also fortunately, my economic situation easily allows me the free time to spend looking for a better deal if I choose to. Normally my easily malleable conscience leaves me feeling pretty happy no matter what I choose. This past week, however, brought a decision that created some angst in my own brain as well as in the household.
I wear glasses. All the time. I’ve been thru various forms of contacts lenses, briefly debated corrective surgery, and have decided that I am happy with my life in glasses. All the time. I am also extremely picky about my glasses. How they look on me is important, but not nearly as important as how I see thru them. I haven’t been thrilled with my “eyecare professional” of the last few years, so last week I took a friend’s recommendation and went to a new ophthalmologist. It was such a positive experience that I decided to try their associated optical store for my new pair of glasses. This is a small, local, independent shop.
Choosing eyeglass frames here was a whole different experience. The optician talked with me about my lifestyle and what I was looking for. She took measure of my facial features and chose a variety of frames that would fit my face and provide the lens size for the vision correction I needed. She knew what frames could be ordered in different colors that might better compliment my complexion. Because I wear progressive lenses, she paid attention and took measurements of how I hold my head and how I would be looking thru the lenses most naturally for distance viewing. No one has EVER paid this much attention to helping me get new glasses.
Then she priced them out for me. I assumed I would be paying more for glasses from this shop, but the price was at least double what I would pay at a chain store. The cost was so surprising that I decided to share the decision-making with the husband and sleep on it.
The husband balked.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to give them my business, at least this one time. I want to know if they can make the best pair of glasses that I’ve ever had. I want it to be worth it.
But I don’t want to hear about how much money I spent on these glasses. I want to be able to honestly admit, in retrospect, whether or not this was a wise decision. I hope I can say that they are worth every penny; if not, I won’t buy there again but I don’t want this incident thrown in my face (“remember when you wasted all that money on those glasses?”).
So we made a deal. I have agreed to knit a gift for one of the husband’s coworkers. I have promised to move this project to the top of my knitting todo pile (sorry daughter #1) and will happily complete this baby afghan in a timely fashion. He will not mention the cost of my glasses. Ever. We shook on it.
Fighting about money issues is known to be one of the biggest source of marital discord. The rules of Drottonomics have kept this marriage rolling along happily for 28 years. I CLEARLY SEE a harmonious future, too.