The New Normal Sucks (part 1)

Ok, so we keep hearing about the ‘new normal’ and how this is the way things are gonna be for a while. I, for one, was hoping that we’d be back to the ‘old normal’ (that’s the normal normal lol) by now, but that clearly ain’t happening. If we ever get back to shaking hands, it’s going to have to wait until a we all get vaccinated against COVID-19…and, let’s be realistic, that’s gonna take until spring by the time they get the logistics worked out. So we might as well accept that things are gonna be fucked up until then.

I’m usually ok with most of the ‘new normal’ – but some things still piss me off.


Joyce for some reason gets very vain around me when it comes to wearing her reading glasses. It’s silly, since I know she wears them, and, back when we were going to restaurants, I liked it better when she used her glasses instead of asking me to read the menu to her. I mean, I get it, and she’s at the age when you need reading glasses. It’s not the end of the world, and, on the part of younger boyfriends everywhere, let me assure you ladies that we don’t care if you put on reading glasses while you’re out with us.

Joyce, as y’all know, is very into crafting and crafting means that you have to be able to see very small things like beads and stuff. Joyce really needs her reading glasses to do her crafting work…and the ones she has aren’t strong enough anymore. She needed to go to the optometrist and get a new prescription before the quarantine started…so y’all can guess what happened and how she’s been straining her eyes to read and work in the crafting room. (Yes, I asked her why she can’t get reading glasses at the CVS. Turns out she’s got a weird thing where one of her eyes is a lot more far-sighted than the other, and the reading glasses they sell at CVS only work if you need the same magnification in both eyes. She tried several pair of CVS glasses…and said all they did was make her nauseous.)

Finally I saw her struggling to read out of a complete Shakespeare (the print in those things is always dang small) and I told her that she had to go see the eye doctor, COVID or no COVID. After I prodded her to call the optometrist after breakfast, she did…and no luck: he’s still closed. Turns out a lot of optometrists are, because they have to work so close to your face. Joyce asked around, and finally her friend Muffy came up with the name of an optometrist who was open and Joyce called to make an appointment.

It’s been a while since she’s had an eye exam, and the woman who made the appointment told Joyce that the doctor was going to insist on dilating her pupils. Joyce kept saying she didn’t want that…she’s apparently never had it done and she’s scared of what it’s gonna be like. I told her I’ve had it done and it’s no big deal. It was way more important that she see this optometrist dude.

Of course, if you’re gonna have your pupils dilated, you need to have someone there to drive you home. And that’s where we unemployed boyfriends come in handy lol. So one morning last week after breakfast we got in the car and I drove her to this optometrist in Arcadia. He wasn’t even in Pasadena…we had to drive all the way to Arcadia on a fuckin hot August day in the San Gabriel Valley. I know the Tesla has good air conditioning, but, still, when you get to where you’re going you have to get out of the car and then you’re in the broiling heat.

So we get to the optometrist’s office. It looked like a house rather than an office, but, fine, it was an optometrist and Joyce needed one. We get out of the car…and there’s a ‘closed’ sign on the door.

“The fuck?,” I said, doing the guy thing and pounding on the door.

Nothing happened.

“Maybe I should call,” Joyce said, digging out her phone. I could hear her say who she was and we were outside and then “ok” just as the door with the ‘closed’ sign opened a crack. A woman stuck her head out, and me and Joyce went to walk into the house or whatever it was.

“Not so fast,” the woman said, holding up her hand. I’m not kidding, she actually said “not so fast.” “I need to take your temperatures first.”

So she gets out a temperature gun. First she took Joyce’s, and then mine after I took off my ball cap.

“Put out your hands. I have to put hand sanitizer on them,” she said next. Just as nicely.

So we did like we were told, and she sprayed something on my and Joyce’s hands.

Then we figured we could go in.

Nope. Not so fast, Blockhead.

“Which of you is the patient?,” the woman asked.

“I am,” Joyce said.

“Well…only you can come in. You’ll have to wait outside,” the woman said to me.

“I need him here to drive me home. You told me the doctor was going to dilate my pupils.”

“If you’re not a patient, I can’t have you inside,” the woman said to me. “We’re not equipped for social distancing.”

“You realize it’s like 100 degrees out here, right?, “ I asked.

“Only one person in the office at a time,” the woman repeated.

There was clearly no arguing with her, so I told Joyce I’d be ok. Joyce went in, the door closed, and I sat down on the stoop of the house. Oddly for Arcadia, there weren’t any trees, so the porch was the only shade.

About 3 minutes later, the woman opened the door and told me I couldn’t sit there: “Doctor doesn’t want people sitting on the stoop. He says it’s bad for business.”

People usually think I’m pretty ornamental…but I was in no mood to joke, and I could tell the chick had no sense of humor. I let her off with a “this is bullshit” and stormed off to the car, which was parked on the street a little ways away.

I reckon I could have turned on the car and driven around the block in the air conditioning, but I didn’t want to miss Joyce when she came out, since she wasn’t going to be able to see me after having her pupils dilated and I had a feeling that the optometrist wasn’t going to let her back inside if I wasn’t there right away.

So I had no choice but to sit in the car and sweat. Y’all know that I like getting sweaty…but that’s if I’m doing something athletic like playing ball. Just sitting in the 100 degree heat isn’t fun getting sweaty…and I was fuckin out there for almost an hour. I had my phone and something to read (I brought along the Complete Shakespeare Joyce couldn’t read – I was trying to remember something Falstaff says in Henry IV part 1), but it was too hot to concentrate on reading and I forgot to charge my phone before I left Joyce’s, so I couldn’t sit there and text people with my gayass complaints about the heat.

I was one pissed off shortstop by the time Joyce finally came out of the jerkoffass optometrist’s with her sunglasses on. She was able to see her way to the car, but I was outside anyway, since it got too hot in the car for me: my tshirt and ball cap were sweated through. Of course Joyce told me that I should have gone for a drive and that she could have called me when she was done, but I didn’t want her waiting in the bright sunlight with dilated pupils.

The point of the story is that this fuckin ‘new normal’ with the optometrist is totally bulshitass and that chick at the door who wouldn’t let me inside was a lameass bitch. Joyce said that there was a perfectly good waiting room inside with a dozen signs about social distancing and showing where you should sit…and that she was the only patient in the office the whole time she was there.

Look: y’all know that I’m super careful about COVID, but sometimes people go too far, like this jerkoff optometrist. I agree that every reasonable precaution should be taken, but that’s ‘reasonable precaution’. That doesn’t mean making people bake in the sun for no good reason.

I’ve got a couple more new normal things that I think suck, too…

2 thoughts on “The New Normal Sucks (part 1)

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