My dad has glasses, and growing up I never really understood the stigma of glasses. I never encountered it truly, except for one episode of Arthur when Arthur the Aardvark got glasses and everyone called him “four eyes.” But I do remember when I started to need glasses. When I figured it out, I kept quiet – I didn’t want to be a dork.
My entire fourth grade year I squinted at the board – from the back of the room, too – and whispered to my friends for what was on the board. I knew I needed glasses, considering I had heard the story a million times of how my grandmother came to realize my dad needed glasses, I knew what my problem was. However, I remained determined not to admit it. Maybe I thought the whole issue would go away?
A year later, right at the beginning of fifth grade, my dad and I were eating breakfast before school. We were running slightly late – well, he was. But he was nonplussed about the whole situation, reading his book and eating his oatmeal. Aware that he was lagging, he asked me to go check the time. We had a digital clock in our living room that couldn’t be seen from the angle I was sitting at, so I did have to get up. But I should have been able to see it from the far side of the room, and I couldn’t, not even with squinting. So, eyeing my dad as he read, I kept creeping forward, hoping I would be able to see until I was pressed up against the desk the clock stood on. Just as I was able to read the time, my dad noticed how long it was taking me to tell him the time, looked up and saw me. Immediately, “Is that how close you have to be to read the clock?”
That weekend, my dad took me to the eye doctor and the same day I got to pick out my first pairs of glasses. Very quickly, I was over whatever reasons I had for not getting glasses and instead was delighted at being able to see clearly again. I also fell in love for the first time with the idea of accessorizing.
The best part about glasses is that you get to change the way your face looks periodically. It’s fun. There are so many designs to choose from. Glasses are customizable, and they’re cheap enough, thankfully. Basically, once I put on my first pair of glasses, blue-purple frames with lenses tinted blue, I was hooked. Glasses and making them my own has actually sort of become tied to my self-esteem. I can tell now that I’m much more comfortable with myself now than I was in the middle of puberty. And most recently, I bought what may be my most favorite pair of glasses in history, which may also be my last pair, too.
Because as much as I love glasses and think they’re awesome, when I finally have the chance to get LASIK eye surgery, I will jump for it because glasses can be a pain with certain things. Lying down reading, leaning against a wall, everything blurry at the pool – all are things that make normal vision rival with all the awesomeness of glasses. So, I guess, this is a letter of love to glasses and how they’ve served to make me a more confident person with myself – people have told me I look better without glasses, and I learned to realize that I looked great both ways. Also, glasses made me able to see, and if I could go back and tell my fourth grade self to stop hiding that she needed glasses, I would, because I think she would have been a lot happier that year if she had gotten glasses.
Any other glasses lovers out there?