I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 12. My first pair were nerdy, big, light blue plastic frames. It was the early 80s and everyone had the same kind, so don’t be too hard on me.
Both of my parents sported spectacles as long as I could remember. My Mom wore glasses according to the style at the time and in the early 1980s, the bigger the frame, the better.
My Dad, as you may recall, was a US Army solider. He always wore metal frames. It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I realized those ugly government issue plastic glasses they gave out at basic training were called BCGs. They were, and still are, the ugliest glasses, man has ever created. BCGs stands for birth control glasses.
I definitely felt like the nerdy girl growing up: I liked school. I did not excel at sports. I was in the band. I wore glasses. Classic case of damaging my superficial teen self-esteem.
I continued to wear glasses through college. Once, I had a hot guy at a bar tell me I had beautiful eyes and that I should wear contacts. I didn’t get the contacts until years later, but I always remembered what he said to me. Girls who wear glasses generally will have heard the old saying, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” I don’t know what dumb-ass boy or mean girl made that one up, but it certainly isn’t true. But when you’re growing up, you don’t know that.
You don’t understand that your self-esteem is not tied to your eyewear. You don’t realize that your brain, heart and emotional intelligence will carry you much further in life than whether you are wearing spectacles. You don’t realize that some great guy out there will fall in love with you while he is gazing in to your bespectacled eyes.
After I got married, I purchased my first pair of contact lenses. I wore them for a few years until I developed an ulcer on my cornea. I had let my lens replacement lapse. This was back in the day when we use to have to soak the lenses overnight and enzyme them weekly. Contact lenses have changed drastically since then.
I was told not to wear the contacts until the ulcer had healed. I did and it healed, but after three months of not wearing contact lenses, I no longer liked wearing them. They felt invasive. They annoyed me to the point that I went back to my glasses, which I have been wearing ever since. I had a one-year old at home and a mammoth commute. I didn’t have time for this.
I’ve worn all kinds of glass frames from plastic to metal to partial rimless pairs. I have continued to purchase my luxury prescription sunglasses — something my parents could neither afford nor thought I needed. After my first pair of prescription sunglasses, I thought I was a movie star. The only time that wearing glasses really bothers me is when I am changing from glasses to sunglasses. The bonus: My sunglasses protect my eyes from blowing sand at the beach.
I had a recent conversation with a coworker who was considering LASIK. She and I commiserated about wearing glasses at young ages. She was extremely excited and I hope the consult went well. I definitely understand the attraction to finally ditching the specs.
But, I read a Washington Post Magazine article years ago about the side effects of LASIK: constant headaches, double vision, inability to drive at night. For me, those risks were not worth the benefit of no longer wearing glasses. And, many people I know who have LASIX still have to wear reading glasses. Let me get this straight: you had someone cut on your eyes; it wasn’t an emergency surgery; you did it so you would no longer have to wear glasses, but you still have a pair. I fail to understand how this is successful.
This year I purchased two pairs of glasses and sunglasses. Since I am going to wear glasses for a long time, I might as well enjoy the options out there.
So this is my ode to girls who wear glasses. You are sexy and I know it.