An Ode to Girls Who Wear Glasses

Written By: Kim - Feb• 09•12

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.

 

 

What My Pink Toolbox Taught Me

Written By: Kim - Jun• 19•11

I was a lucky kid. I grew up in a family with loving parents. Sometimes our traditional family meant a single-parent family. Dad was in the US Army and deployed to Vietnam twice, Germany, Korea and Thailand once each. During those long stretches of time, Mom would hold down the fort. She was excellent at doing this despite the challenges. But this is not a post about Mom.

My Dad could fix anything. His childhood fascination with car motors translated in to helicopter maintenance for the Army that lead to his ability to fix many things around the house. He took his interest in cars a step further: Dad restored old trucks and cars during his free time.

Emory C. Wickline & me, 1970

Dad taught me how to drive on a clutch. He would take me to a hill and we stayed there until I could successfully move the car from neutral without stalling it. I can still hear him calmly say: “Ease up on the clutch and press on the gas.” I only hope I can be as calm as he was if my kids ask me to teach them to drive. Too bad he wasn’t as calm when I broke my left wrist riding my skateboard. He was so nervous, Mom had to drive me to the hospital.

My Dad also taught me how to check the oil in my car and the tire pressure; how to change a tire; use a hammer, what the difference was between a Philips screwdriver and a flat tip; what monkey wrenches were for; and where the fuse box is located.  But most all, he taught me to be independent and strong.

My first toolkit, courtesy of my Dad.

I am sure he must have looked kind of silly buying me my first tool kit — in pink. But, over 20 years after I moved out, it’s still in my laundry room with quick tools we might need. I think of him every time I access it and my husband chuckles every time he sees it. Pink indeed.

More than the logistics of basic car knowledge and tool use, my Dad became my benchmark for men. I compared all of them to him. Did they love their Moms? How did they treat their sisters? Were the handy? Smart? Caring? Loving? Dependable? Supportive? Did he have moxie? Was he patriotic? Does he give back to his community? What kind of animal lover was he? Did he cry when his family dog died? Did he want children? How loyal and faithful would he be? My future husband’s shoes were big to fill and I am lucky to have found the man to fill them.

So to all the Dads out there, I say thank you and Happy Father’s Day. Anyone can father a child, but it takes a special man to be a Dad. We love you.