By Diane Ako
My friend at work, Serah, just shelled out hundreds of dollars for her kid's first pair of glasses. The kid is FIVE!
She took her daughter Bailey in for an eye exam. The doctor discovered a pretty bad astigmatism and prescribed glasses. Serah felt guilty for not realizing her kid couldn't see that well for months.
When they left the doctor's office, Bailey still had dilated pupils, so the nurse gave her some big, senior-citizeny dark glasses to wear. She was feeling her way around with her arms outstretched calling for her mother. "Mom? I can't see you. Where are you?"
Which, of course, gave Serah more guilt because she isn't used to having to escort Bailey in this manner. It was a crowded office and people looked at Serah like, Way to help your blind kid?
As they continued on their way to the eyeglass shop, people gave Serah sympathetic looks. She said one person even touched her arm and said, "You'll get through this." They thought Bailey was blind.
So by the time they got to the eyeglass store, Serah, feeling totally guilty, said, "Hon, pick out any pair of glasses you like. Anything to make you feel better. Anything you want." Which really meant, anything to make Serah's conscience feel better.
The five year old picked out the only purple frames on the racks. It was Juicy Couture brand, nearly $400. Her husband blew a gasket.
"You couldn't have added, "Anything you want... from this $50 rack?" I teased Serah.
If Bailey is anything like my daughter, the glasses might last a month because they'll be tossed at the bottom of a school bag or flung off during a spirited game of chase at recess. Now she's locked into biannual replacements of $400 glasses that get stepped on, sat on, scratched, or torn apart in a fight.
Aah, guilt. Such a wonderful lubricant for the consumer spending sector of the economy. But Bailey will look marvelous!