What is it with optometrists? I don't ordinarily make unflattering generalizations, but ever since I was a teenager, I've had issues with eye doctors. We all know that looking deeply into someone's eyes creates a bond of intimacy. I suppose if you take that one step further, peering through a high-powered magnifying lens straight into the depths of a woman's retina can cause all sorts of trouble.
When I was in high school, my optometrist's name was Dr. Gross. I'm not making that one up. His real name was Dr. Gross, and he was always too happy to see me. He always greeted me with a full-bellied hug. It was like being smothered by a king-sized mattress.
I left Dr. Gross for the optometrist I still see. Let's call him Dr. C. 20-ish years ago he was young, handsome, and he impressed me with the thoroughness of his practice. Initially he was 100% professional. Over the years, however, his standards slipped a little.
The first thing that gave me pause was a moment when I was in the examining chair and he was adjusting a setting on a mechanical thing full of sample lenses. "Shall I take my glasses off?" I asked.
"Yeah baby," he said. "Take it all off."
Then he apologized. Said he'd had a long day. Sure, whatever. No harm done. It was just a joke.
However, as the years passed, he became gradually more sleazy. He knows exactly how much he can get away with, and he never crosses the line. He's careful. But he's made sure that I know I am his type. There is always a complimentary remark about my appearance. There is always a hand on my back or an arm around my shoulders as he leads me to or from his room. Well, I need assistance, you know, so blind am I without my glasses on. It's the perfect excuse.
Then there's the gazing. You know what I'm talking about. I call it "googly eyes". It's not lecherous leering. I wouldn't put up with that. It's more of a smitten, wistful stare. He quits as soon as I look over at him, but I know what he's up to.
The second thing out of his mouth each time I see him, after "How are you doing?" is always "So how's married life?" I can tell he's always hoping to hear that my marriage fell apart.
Why haven't I switched to a new optometrist? Well, he does take very good care of my eyes. Every once in a while he waives the fee on a follow-up visit. Hope springs eternal and I think he wants to stay on my good side. The location of the office is convenient. And I really can't be bothered to go shopping for a new optometrist. I have enough other things to do with my time.
So, for now, Dr. C gets to look into my eyes to his heart's content. How he finds this attractive, as I tear and squint through the horrible dilating eye drops, is beyond me, but I guess it takes all types. Maybe that's why he became an optometrist: a fetish for nasty, veiny eyeballs. Blech. He's not a bad guy, but he shouldn't hold his breath for me.