I have had to wear glasses since the 5th grade. Somewhere is a dank shoebox with a school picture of me in a groovy turtleneck and octagonal glasses. And every other year I got a reminder from the Optometrist to update my perscription. I went from octagonal frames, to oblong frames, to aviator style frames, to huge plastic hula hoops that kept falling off my face. So, sick and tired of dealing with the inconvenience, I quit wearing glasses.
Until six years ago.
I started wearing glasses again, but only because I couldn’t tell when my house was dirty. Just for fun, I dug out an old pair of wire-frames I had gotten in Florida and put them on. My carpet came into focus. Aghast, I stared at the chunks of lint, food, and dried-out foliage that suddenly materialized. Was that a dead body behind the couch? I went to the mirror and looked at myself. Big mistake. When did I get those lines? And those pouches? And that glorious moustache?
I had to face the fact that I had been operating blind. I needed those glasses. How many times had I waved at the wrong people? How many times had I gone out of the house thinking that my hair was okay when it looked like a mushroom? How many people had I run over, thinking that I had hit a pile of leaves? There was no way out. I had to start wearing glasses again.
It wasn’t long after that – two years to be precise (just four years ago) – that I had to update my perscription to bi-focals. Thank goodness for no-line. By then, plastic frames were popular, but the young man selling me the frames nixed the idea. I knew that he was considering my age. I knew that he would rather fork his own eyeball than have a 40-something-year-old woman wear what HE was wearing. He forced me into old lady wire-frames.
Until two weeks ago when I had to get my perscription updated again.
It took all day to find just the right pair. I tried on every frame in town. More than once. This time, I chose the plastic frames that I wanted. I wanted frames that looked like something a writer would wear. A New Yorker. An artist. A strange person. Anything, ANYTHING that did not say ‘Old Lady that regularly shops at Wal-mart in the Ozarks’. I didn’t care that they were a shocking change from my old pair. I did not care that I had to get them super-sized to fit the bi-focal lens. I did not care that the earpieces almost met in the middle behind my head. I was no longer living in the 80’s, baby.
It was going to take two weeks to get them fitted out with my perscription. Relunctantly, I handed my choice over to be sent off and went home. The next morning I woke up bombarded with doubts. Were the frames really that much better looking than my old pair? Did I make the right choice? Did I? Did I? I decided to go back to Eye-Mart and visit them.
When I arrived, I found another pair like the ones I had selected, tried them on, and looked in the mirror. I was horrified. I looked like that old lady in the Old Navy commercials. And why didn’t anyone tell me I looked cross-eyed in them? That I looked like I had only one eyebrow?
When I went back home, wailing to my husband about it, he assured me that he thought they had looked fine when I chose them. That I hadn’t made a costly mistake. That I was imagining things because I was tired.
Finally, the big day came. My glasses were ready for pick up.
My husband was right. I would get used to them. They weren’t as bad as I had thought. By the end of the day, I was downright fond of them.
Then I wore them in public in front of people who knew me in my old glasses. They all, one by one, eyed me oddly, silently, no doubt thinking, ‘If you can’t say anything nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all.’
Then my mother saw me for the first time in my new glasses. She, too, stayed silent.
“Mom, did you see my new glasses?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said slowly, looking puzzled. “But you didn’t used to wear glasses, did you?”
“Yes, I did. I’ve been wearing glasses for the last six years.”
“But not all the time.”
Well, no matter. In the end I had two friends compliment me on my new glasses. Two out of 900+ people can’t all be wrong, now can they?
Anyone out there have any fashion choices gone wrong that they want to tell us about? That perm? That necktie? The tube top fiasco? Remember, to leave a comment, click on the ‘Comments’ tag at the end of this blog, and don’t forget to check out the latest Photoblog of fashion disasters on the right!
‘And now for something completely different’ – click on the links below for your laugh of the day and watch with the sound up: