In an effort to squeeze every last cent out of my company-provided COBRA plan, I decided to get my eyesight checked. I have a minor case of near-sightedness that renders street signs unreadable at night and foreign movies unwatchable from the back row.
One quick call to my Santa Barbara optometrist left me totally discouraged. What do you mean he’s booked through February?? (My plan expired in a week and a half. Nothing like waiting ‘til the last minute!)
Luckily, chlamydiacanbeironic was there to offer up a solid doc recommendation. Dr. Hoff, to be specific. Three days later, I was trekking out to his office in Venice.
Hoff Optometry is located on Abbot Kinney, and is probably the ‘hippest’ eye office I’ve ever been to. After a minor incident of address confusion, I managed to find the right door. It’s on your right side instead of right in front of you, which can make it fairly invisible if it’s also half-covered by a ladder/painter. Just don’t go up any stairs. That’s wrong.
Once I stumbled inside, I stared with wide, suburban eyes. So bright. So shiny. So cool. Is this place secretly an Apple product?
It’s not. But Dr. Hoff is awesome/not creepy slash weird/or awkward. (My bar is set pretty low.) He will make you feel better about your unemployment status (he opened up his own stellar shop after getting laid off/hasn’t looked back) and tell you adorable stories about thewoman who designed your specs (she randomly happens to live next door, because this is Venice where everyone randomly happens to live next door.)
He will even listen to your favorite anisocoria-related anecdotes (see: I Don’t Have Gumby Eyeballs) and patiently explain that the "clump of pigment" he found in your left eye is nothing more than a freckle and is certainly not worth any alleged heart palpitations. (I get nervous.)
At the end of the appointment, he asked, “Are we dilating your pupils today?” We. Yugh. Doctor-speak. I decided to let that slide, and settle for a nod of trepidus affirmation.
I forgot two things: 1. I didn’t bring any sunglasses 2. I would be unable to drive back to my side of town for hours
Number one was an easy fix - he set me up with those roll-up Star Trekky toss-away shades. Lookin’ good. Number two was a bit trickier. Everything I normally do to kill massive amounts of time requires eyesight. Shopping? Reading? Writing? Talking to strangers who don’t look like rapists? 0 for 4. As I galavanted about in cheerful blindness, I squinted out a large sign in front of Trim, advertising $20 first time cuts. Amazing. Happening. 30 minutes later, Sarah C. was chopping 4 inches off my hair. Apparently, my trust increases as my senses dissipate. (She was fantastic, by the way. Highly recommended. And she’s not actually a newbie, she’s just new to Venice after 16 years at a salon in Manhattan Beach. You get it.)
Post-Trim, I was welcomed into my friend’s nearby apartment for food, shelter, bird burials (don’t ask) and entertainment until my sight returned.
All in all, a rollicking daytime adventure.
Moral of the story: For a good time, call Dr. Hoff. And if he leaves you feeling a little vulnerable, Sarah C. is just three short blocks away with the tools to get you back on your game.