I recently got new glasses. Sort of.
I’ve been wearing glasses for over 40 years (yes, I was in elementary school when I got the first pair) and for something happened when I got these glasses which has never happened before. The doctor erred in figuring out my prescription.
This took me a while to figure out, because I thought the fault must be in my eyes, and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t seem to want to adjust. Finally my husband told me to stop whining and call the eye doctor.
So today I went back and got new glasses again, and the eye doctor fixed the mistakes that were made the first time (by a different doctor who isn’t in the practice anymore, but I digress). The actual physical new glasses will arrive in about 7-10 business days, as the saying is. (Why is it always 7-10 business days? Why don’t things ever arrive in 2-3 business days? Or 28-36 business days? Again, I digress.)
In the meantime I am squinting at the computer screen a lot.
I brought this up to a colleague, and the colleague commented that the making of glasses was work – the work of the doctors to study the eye and know how to write the correct prescription, the work of the opticians to follow the prescription correctly and make the glasses, not to mention the work of those who obtain the raw material to make them in the first place. (My glasses frames are titanium, which until I Googled it right now I had forgotten was an actual element that gets mined.)
The need for this complex interchange of vocation and economics in order to produce useful things in modern society is a common truism in the faith and work movement, and as a fairly convinced Distributist I have often argued about it with my colleagues. (Me: “All tomatoes should be local!” Them: “Then how would you get your asthma drugs?”) But today I was, I hate to admit, thankful for it.
Maybe if it wasn’t late capitalism I wouldn’t need eyeglasses because I wouldn’t have to squint at the computer screen all the time. But maybe if it wasn’t late capitalism I would be squinting at everything, because I have 20/400 vision, and I’d be equally useless at hoeing fields or embroidery or whatever feudal thing I might be doing.
At any rate, I’ll be doing a lot more human flourishing in 7-10 business days.