Sometimes you make a decision based on all of your previously compiled Dad knowledge and think it’ll eventually pay off. Granted, this means you are actually compiling the knowledge you gain. Which isn’t a given. I mean TV execs keep giving George Lopez jobs. Unfortunately though, sometimes you don’t pay attention close enough to notice when all that knowledge pays off. Like while you’re watching the Cyclones win the Big 12 tournament and your kids successfully negotiate and settle a major skirmish involving territorial rights to the basement couch and claim jumping allegations regarding Doritos. All without your intervention. It’s really what should have happened instead of the Munich Agreement in 1938. If Chamberlain just lets the Czechs defend themselves, maybe things unfold differently for not only the Czechs but also the Poles. Then again there are other times when you not only notice that knowledge paying off but you nail it. Really, really nail it. Like how the Steelers nailed it when they took Rod Woodson with the 10th overall pick in the ’87 draft.
Case in point, Bails wears glasses now. Took her into the eye doctor last July and it turned out the squinting she was doing wasn’t just for fun. So in the last 8 months or so she sees things better but the glasses have taken a beating. But nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a focused application of needle nose pliers. Worst thing was when she took a ball in the melon during softball camp in February. Despite not being engineered to absorb the impact of an unguided softball, the glasses actually protected her eye. Ball hit the left arm of the glasses right between the hinge and the angle where the arm turns into the front part of the frame. Thankfully the hinge was fine but what was once a right angle was now nearly a straight line. Yeah, she got hit pretty hard. Nice bruise and scab for a few days. But the only thing she was worried about was her glasses. I honestly thought they were toast and was dreading the purchase of new frames. But I managed to MacGyver them back into shape with the aforementioned needle nose pliers. Naturally I assumed we’d dodged a bullet as far as glasses replacement goes.
But then a few weekends ago we’re on our way to the mall for some stuff. Bails, as she’s apt to do, was being obstinate. Or as my Mom used to say, she was being a nudge. She was doing everything in her power to move as slow as possible and infuriate everybody. She’s good at this. She may have inherited it from me. However, right next to that inherited gene sequence is the one that makes her act like a squirrel after consuming a Red Bull spiked with Jolt cola. So as she’s finally leaving the house she realizes she doesn’t have the sweatshirt on that she wanted to wear. And she’s very particular about which sweatshirt is worn for certain activities. So she whips around to get the correct sweatshirt and her glasses literally fly off her head onto the oak floor in the kitchen. Bails being Bails, she is unable to disengage from her now irreversible commitment to the Red Bull gene. So instead of hitting the brakes and doing what the rest of us would do which is of course stopping and picking up the glasses, she just kept going. Right onto the glasses resulting in not only newly bent frames but a totally stratched up right lens. It looked Egyptian hieroglyphics were etched onto the lens.
If Mom had harnessed the ability to control weather like Storm in the X-Men, Bails would have the felt the full weight and fury of a well-aimed lightning bolt. Then she would have went all Tom & Jerry and dropped an anvil on Bails. Both of which would have been fully justifiable.
So I’m looking at her glasses and thinking, “Crap, I’m about to pay for new frames and lenses.” Mostly because my first reaction to just about everything in regards to parenthood is “how much is this going to cost me?” The whole thing was even more infuriating because I was thinking about getting her some of those sweet new sports goggles so her regular glasses didn’t get damaged. I had rec-specs back in the day and its was pretty tough to look cool wearing those. But the models they have now are sweet. Not that it matters because she’s not getting them.
So the following Monday I get home from work, grab Bails and her glasses and head to Lenscrafters. We arrive and walk up to the counter.
“Hey, we definitely need a new lens and depending on the damage to the frames, we might need something new there too.”
“Did you remember if you bought the one year replacement warranty?”
It’s funny how your brain works. Up until this exact moment in time I had not thought of the one year replacement warranty at all. Not once. Not even when her glasses were smashed at softball camp. But now, I’m thinking, “oh man, please God let me not be a giant stupid moron who, despite knowing that my youngest daughter excels at breaking stuff she shouldn’t, failed to buy the one year replacement warranty.”
But this is what came out:
“One year replacement warranty. Replaces lenses and/or frames within a year of purchase for just a $25 co-pay.”
Again, I’m rolling this around in my head, “Is it possible that I’m so stupid, and also cheap, that I declined to buy this warranty even though Bails is more likely to trash her glasses than Bigfoot is to avoid detection.”
But this is what came out:
“I’m going to need you to go ahead and check that for me.”
“Sure, just tell me her first name and when you purchased them?”
“Bailey. Last July.”
He saunters away to a computer to check. It took about 45 seconds. 45 long seconds.
“Looks like you did purchase the warranty.”
Just a reminder here that this is Lenscrafters on Monday evening in March. It’s a relatively placid atmosphere. Only about 4 or 5 other customers in the store. But they all heard this:
“Who was smart enough to buy the one year replacement warranty? THIS GUY! Yes! WOO!”
After having to replace Riley’s glasses about a month and a-half ago because 1) her prescription changed, and 2) she trashed her frames so much that taking the old lenses out would have resulted in the destruction of the original frames, I was keenly aware of the kick to the balls my wallet was about to take to replace Bailey’s glasses. Mostly because, I wasn’t smart enough to buy the warranty for Rye’s glasses…
But it turns out I was paying attention this time. I don’t really remember buying the warranty other having this hazy recollection of thinking to myself, “Dude it’s Bails, buy the damn warranty, it’s like $30.”
So now I’m just hoping she doesn’t bust her glasses after the warranty expires…