Sunday, May 3, 2009

Four Eyes

Does anyone else out there think they look better in glasses?
I have been wearing my specs now since I was 15, so that's 20 years of four-eyed nerdery. And honestly, I think I look more agreeable in them than not.

Case in point: back when I taught third grade, I was sitting at the carpet with my students at the end of a long day and one of them asked me to take off my glasses so they could see what I looked like without them. I did, and there was dead silence for a full minute. Then, as only a child can, one little girl piped up with a pure and honest response.

"You look plain."

I appreciated this genuine reaction because, really, I knew it all along. My glasses have somehow, after all these years, become a part of my face. Granted, I see myself in the mirror every day for at least a few minutes without them and I can still recognize myself, but they're almost like makeup now. I wouldn't go out of the house without them.

A few years back, I tried contacts. Sister #1 has been wearing them for years and doesn't even notice them anymore. I could never get past the point where they made my eyes feel itchy. But every now and again, I think perhaps I'll look better, or hotter, or younger without glasses, so I try them again. And every time, I remember why I hated them.

My face isn't interesting enough on its own to make much of an impression. But when I wear my glasses, people always remember who I am. Plus, when I decided to wear my contacts to the Captain's last mess dinner, the lack of specs, combined with the humidity that caused my hair to fall flat and limp, but still nicely frizzy, made me look like I was going home to my 14 cats and aluminum foil helmet. A pair of glasses would have at least sent people the message that I was just kooky, not completely crazy.

The Captain's eyesight was always much worse than mine, until he decided to join the army. It turns out that when your eyesight is THAT bad, organizations that rely on you shooting at things really feel safer without you. So, he got LASIK.

It worked out great for him and he looks rather handsome without the big, round coke-bottles he wore in our wedding picture (Firstborn compares his look in that photo to Harry Potter). But having gotten a first-hand account from him on what is involved in that surgery, it gives me one more great reason to embrace my glasses. I'd need a lot more than a little valium to have my eyeballs held steady in a suction cup while someone slices and dices their way in there to laser whatever it is that makes me near-sighted in the first place. YUK!

So, I maintain that my glasses improve my overall look. They hide those unsightly wrinkles under my eyes, and give people something to focus on while listening to me blabber on about something no one could ever possibly find interesting. They're the perfect fashion accessory, they keep me from being arrested for reckless driving AND they give off the completely false illusion that I'm smart! Plus, whenever I feel like it, I can pull off my glasses with one hand, pull down my conservative up-do with the other, shake out my hair glamourously and dazzle people with my sudden transformation from mousy housewife to movie star.

Okay, I've never done that last one. But I could. And that alone makes my glasses worth their weight in gold.

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