Out of contacts

Contact lenses are a pain in the eyes, since they can be hard to insert when you're tired, which is always when you're inserting. However, they allegedly make me much sexier, so I put up with them.

You can also put them in upside down. The advice about looking at the lens and seeing if it's curved enough doesn't cut it for stupid o'clock in the morning. The advice that works, which I read somewhere on the Internet, is to put the contact on a wrinkle on your palm (your hands just washed, of course) and squeeze. If it's right side up, it will fold. If it's upside down, it will collapse toward the middle.

I picked 2 week disposables because daily wear seems excessively wasteful. The usability applied to life theory was that I would always have backups, so even if I lost or tore one I'd be fine.

This theory didn't work on a recent trip. I forgot to take my main contacts case [Link removed 03/24/2004], so I put my current pair in the backup case. (Mini-rant: why do so few contact cases have a different color for one eye?) This left me with the dilemma of where to put the backup pair. I settled on the coffee cups, since I don't drink coffee. Yes, I drank a contact. Doesn't seem to have hurt me.

At any rate, I ventured out on the Internet to buy contact lens for my right eye. I had lenses for the left eye, having bought them where I got the prescription. I had intended to buy both online, but put it off until my last left contact got weird. The left eye ones are only $20 for 6. My right eye has a different prescription which costs more.

I googled "contact lens" and clicked on the lens.com ad. They had a setup that made it relatively painless to find the lenses I wanted—Manufacturer, and then lens type, listed out by category. However, they insisted on selling me lenses for both eyes. Obviously I could use the other set for the same eye, but it still bothered me.

Then I made the mistake of going to Lens Express. The least bad search was Bausch & Lomb as Manufacturer. I tried searching for "Bausch toric" on their sitewide site search and got bupkiss. So I waded through ten pages of listings (no way to narrow the search) and lo and behold, they do have Bausch & Lomb 66 Toric lenses. (Update: 03/25/2003. The links showing this don't work, so they've been removed) Why didn't they hook their search into their catalog or provide a narrowing option?

Later, I googled "contact lenses" and saw the 1-800-contacts site as the number one hit. They did better, letting me pick just one eye. They also pre-filled the Base Curve (BC) and Diameter parameters, since they are always the same for this kind of lens:

picture of part of a contact lens ordering form

Pointless one item dropdown By way of contrst, I had to pick from a one-item drop-down on the lens.com site.

So the pre-filling won a brownie point they lost when they took out the blank item on the dropdown menus. I'd picked the wrong eye, and they popped up a window complaining. I went to change it, but they had removed the blank item from the menu. Being a web geek, I hit Control-Refresh to re-load and thus blank out the form, but a more casual web user would have felt stuck. The only other thing that went wrong was that occasionally some images wouldn't show up. I'm not sure why that didn't bother me more.

I saved about $10, including free shipping. But I have to special order the right eye from where I got my prescription, so it's worth it.

I'll end with a haiku:

Morning ritual:
The cool kiss of the contacts,
Their liquid embrace.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Tuesday, November 5, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Roslee Tuesday, November 5, 2002 at 07:02 PM

You DRANK a contact??!!? Honestly, Chad...you have better things to consume.

Nice poem, HaikuBoy! ;)