Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Optical Life History

All other things I should be writing notwithstanding, I'm taking a break from my papers and projects and writing something else. I came across these old pictures and couldn't resist the diversion...

It began in 4th grade, when my older sister left her glasses sitting on my dad's desk. I picked them up and put them on. (Who could resist the purple-tinted, big-as-saucers, late-80's frames? Not I.) I looked around and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! I can see the stereo buttons from here! And the lights aren't blobs!" It wasn't but a few days later, and this was me:

As beautiful and wonderful as my peach-colored frames were, (chosen because I had rationalized to myself that they were the same color as my skin and could thereby go undetected...) I eventually abandoned the deception in middle school and talked my parents into dark blue, I-am-wearing-windowpanes frames. Ah, yeah.

In my family, it was extremely hard to get a new pair of glasses. With five others in spectacles, insurance wasn't exactly accommodating to changing fads. So, it wasn't until mid-high school and a highly unfortunate event where my lens popped from my broken (yet black, electrical-taped-together) frame, and rolled the length of the auditorium and I, embarrassed to the point of tears, had to announce the problem, and then retrieve it. In teenage fashion, I sobbed to my mom that it was time for a change, and she finally agreed.

Here we are, my brother and I, in the height of mid-90's eyewear fashion. Mine are Guess brand, and his- are awesome too. Who didn't have a pair of wire frames? The sad news is that I continued to wear these through college. Although by then, I had contacts, and (wisely) chose to wear those most of the time.

Those huge-o's lasted a long time. It wasn't until I had been married for a number of years that I convinced Jeff I needed new frames. It wasn't that he wasn't convinced of their hideousness, it was that we were barely scraping by and these suckers aren't cheap! But, we went to one of those hour-eyewear places, and soon I was sportin' yet another new look. If my last pair had been Huge-o-spectacle-ism, these were post-huge-o-spectacle-ism; or, the answer to the prior movement. I went as small as possible!

Those frames, while cheap, turned out to be (shock!) pieces of crap. They were lopsided and flimsy, falling apart quickly. My next ones were these green Hush Puppies. This picture is terrible, BTW. Most all the pics I have are of me in contacts- perhaps I wasn't eager to document my glasses crises?

The next frames were these. I really liked them pretty well. They served their purpose with diligence and consistency. And here, I'm holding my cousin Will's baby last year. She is sooo cute!

As much as I liked the other frames, I eventually needed "English Major Glasses." These made me look like a serious student--and they also successfully covered up the enormous bags I'd developed under my eyes from consecutive late nights spent reading and writing.

So finally, here I am, going under the knife/laser for vision correction surgery. No more stumbling around looking for glasses; no more stinging, itchy contact lenses; no more losing contacts while boating or skiing; no more steamed glasses upon entering rooms or eating soup; no more lenses rolling down auditorium isles. Hallelujah, it's a modern miracle! (But being totally honest, I do miss my cute, English major glasses sometimes...)