Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Am Not My Glasses



“I love my glasses ,” I said, almost with defiance, to the salesperson at LensCrafters. “So I want a pair basically just like these.”

Up until that very moment, I didn't know such heartfelt feelings existed for my rectangular, semi-rimless, coppery brown-framed, no-name spectacles. In fact, the strength of the proclamation caught me off guard with its undertone of Mama Grizzly protectiveness.

I've needed assistance seeing distance since I was a teenager. During those days, I mainly wore contacts, all the way through college. I didn't hate my glasses at the time—brown oval-shaped frames with light brown tint--but I rarely wore them out on the town or out of town. When I wanted to look my prettiest or sexiest, eyewear just wasn’t part of the package. So I delegated them to early classes, Wal-mart, hanging out at the house, and job interviews.

But in recent years, I've worn glasses 90 percent of the time. I got a pair that I really liked (the pair whose honor I defended to the LensCrafters salesperson) and I even wore them when painting the town. On any given night, you can count the number of glasses-donning women at the party or the club on one hand, which I dig for the sheer non-conformist aspect of it. I also have a theory that guys find a woman more approachable in her glasses. Maybe showcasing a “visual” flaw adds an air of humility.

The current eyewear upgrade is thanks to a snapped temple (the actual name for the piece that goes behind your ear) that I MacGyver’ed with clear tape. I've scoured three different shops, peering at my reflection in various modes of lighting, in search of the perfect optical complement to my persona. While I dig some of the funky pairs—green temples, sparkly rim—the ideal pair needs to give me enough flexibility to dictate the mood. And since these will be my primary specs, cat-eyed librarian will not do on a daily basis.

I finally decide on a pair that fit the bill—a slick, yet conservative Versace frame with amber temples that will house anti-reflection coating and Transitions lenses. In other words...the most souped-up accoutrement to ever grace my face.

This process has revealed a couple things to me. For one, I apparently like wearing glasses. Not sure when this happened. And it's something I've rarely heard anyone admit. After all, people wear glasses to fix a problem. You wear them because you have to, not because you want to. However in the last decade or so, glasses, particularly thick-framed ones, have become fashionable.

On the other hand, as much as I apparently like glasses, I don't consider them a part of my identity, even though glasses morph into the identities of others. See, there are some people I describe by their specs: Oh you're looking for Bill? Gates? Hang a left, he'll be the short guy in the break room eating Fig Newtons. Wears glasses.

But if I overheard, “Oh you're looking for Faith? Hang a left, she'll be the chick in the break room asking Bill Gates for $20. Wears glasses.” I'd be surprised to hear myself described as someone that wears glasses.

I suppose years of Saturday morning programming, after school specials, and feature films have done a number on my subconscious. Characters that are shy, reserved, overtly nerdy, or astute wear glasses. So in real life, I'm discovering, I only describe a person as a glasses wearer if he or she embodies those characteristics. Otherwise, they may wear glasses, but they don't “wear glasses.” Like me.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have yet to embrace my glasses. And its 3 years and counting. I find them.......restricting. Maybe one day.....we shall see. Love you girl.

Rose

Me said...

Hey Ms. Rose!

Thanks for the comment and the love! It's interesting that you find your glasses restricting. I feel restricted without mine because I can't see, lol! And you don't even where contacts, so apparently your natural vision is superior to mine.

I used to think I looked better without my glasses because I felt like they hid my face. But I think a good pair can sort of enhance it...like earrings or make-up.

Kass E said...

I just got glasses and needed to see this! Thx it was very inspirational I dont feel so nerdy any more lol

Me said...

@Kass E: Glad I could help! Rock your specs with confidence, girl!

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