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[ED. NOTE.: This is part one in a 5-part series culminating in the receipt of the glasses.]

"If you don't help him order his glasses soon, I'm going to leave you."
My wife is patient. She needs to be with me. Round-about Christmas, we visited her uncle who lives in the little town in the middle of Minnesota. This uncle (let's call him Dean, as that is his name) had a pair of broken glasses. He's one of our favorite people. Living on a fixed-income, the idea that he could get a pair of glasses for less than the $400+ he's been paying seemed quite attractive -- especially with the success I've had with my purchases and the successful purchases in the forums.

I've been particularly busy professionally and personally, and frankly with his glasses "fixed" (with a section of thick clear tubing to help fuse the break in the temple), it slipped on my priority list. I mean, if he's not an anchor on the evening news each night, who's going to notice? Oh, and I kept forgetting.

So today, I sat down to write in an unusually quiet house and there staring me in the face was "the prescription."

Project Dean Prescription

I'd also jotted down the details on his existing frame to aid in the search -- again, over 3 months ago. His "broken" pair are a Van Heusen "Benjamin" frame in Gunmetal Grey.
  • Frame width is 150mm
  • Lens height is about 41mm
  • Lens width is about 58mm
  • Bridge width 19mm
  • Temple length 145mm
His distance PD came in at 66mm.

Dean is very interested in Transitions, or photochromic lenses. He's a voracious reader who's prone to falling asleep with his glasses on, so sturdiness and utility are weighed more heavily than trendiness, which refreshingly carries little weight in small town Minnesota.

The Qwest Begins
Right off the bat, or rather after twelve minutes on hold, Zenni was no longer in the running. A polite "no, we don't" to my query regarding a slight prism and we were down to four options.

A few moments later at a much better laid-out site with an actual F.A.Q., EyeBuyDirect, I was able to pare down the contenders to three.

EyeBuyDirect Prism FAQI knew Optical4Less could accommodate a prism prescription as they're the only online retailer in the group that allows you to enter a prism in the online prescription form.

Checking with Goggles4U was going to take some time. There is no mention of being able to deliver prescriptions with a prism on their site and the "Live Chat" feature was in "Leave a Message" mode. I left a message on Wednesday morning at about 10:30AM CDT. I'm curious how long it will be until I get a response.

My last stop was 39DollarGlasses and their F.A.Q. mentioned nothing about prism. Popping into their "Live Chat" brought up a window and Melanie was able to answer my question almost immediately to the affirmative, if not requiring me to jump through an extra hoop:

I wish I hadn't highlighted the thing before taking the screen shot

So we're down to two (and possibly three) of the retailers to fill this prescription. I'm not surprised at the choices as they seem to be two of the more "hands-on" or "in-house" places in the "Big5".

Next step will be to look for frames of a type I haven't had to consider for myself. It's a daunting prospect, but the next couple of installments will narrow down the options in "Project Dean."

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At April 23, 2008 at 8:50 PM Anonymous said...

Frame width is 150mm
Lens height is about 41mm
Lens width is about 58mm
Bridge width 19mm
Temple length 145mm

Wow. These are some big honkin' glasses!

At April 27, 2008 at 9:42 AM Anonymous said...

lbw eyewear doesn't advertise it, but has been fairly reliable at providing prism correction. email them for info on submitting the request.


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