I’m at the optician with my new prescriptions. And this time I’m prepared. The last time I picked out new glasses, I couldn’t see what I looked like in them. At all. And most of them were rolling around on my face like an uncinched saddle on a pony. I brought a dozen pairs to the optician’s desk and he took one glance at me—no calipers were involved—and shook his head. “You need to stick with petites,” he said, repossessing most of them. That whacked it down to two candidates. I had him choose. The second optician agreed with his choice.
I never liked them. The other pair must have been awful. So this time I brought my phone, because I am almost modern. I started down the long Wall O’ Glasses and picked out a pair. Took my glasses off, put on a pair of frames, picked up my phone and took a selfie, put the phone down on the ledge, took the frames off and put the glasses back on, and moved down the line. It was a far clumsier project than I’d anticipated. I was dropping frames on the ledge every few inches like a wombat dropping dookies. Whenever I had frames on I couldn’t see where I’d left my phone and spun in place for a while. A few times I put my glasses on over a pair of empty frames because I assumed I didn’t have any glasses on. Before long I had left a crumb trail of frame possibilities on the little ledge and was at the end of the line.
And it was depressing. Looking at myself from three inches away is a flat horror show. I’m not sure I was aware just how much my own nearsightedness was photo-editing my face for me. Good heavens! Do I owe my pleasant disposition to a combination of forgetfulness and poor eyesight?
“Ms. Brewster?” The optician was looking around. I can’t hear when I can’t see, either. Dave intervened. “She’s the little one over there scratching her butt and picking her nose,” he said helpfully.
Finally I gave up and settled on five or six pairs and went over to the desk and we had at it. I kind of liked the tortoiseshell number, but no one else did. Dave didn’t weigh in. He makes a point of telling me I’m beautiful no matter what, so he’s useless in this situation. The opticians liked the bluer ones. Nothing was quite right. Were there others?
“You could try the children’s frames,” the optician said, knowledgeably. Are you fucking kidding me? She was not. Every one of them fit.
Almost everyone has something about their appearance they’d like to change, ideally. 98% of the things I’d like to change are right on top. Yes: my head is tiny. Holding it up is not really asking much of my neck, which is why it has gone into retirement as a bag of goo. My little head perches on it like the topknot on a brioche.
And what a prize that is. The selfies say it all. My skin is welling up out of my black lagoon of a face mask, baggy and lethargic, with the texture of overproofed bread dough imprinted with burlap. Ads for burqas are spontaneously popping up on my facebook page. I’m not sure I want to be seen in public anymore.
At least I can make everyone go away by taking my glasses off.
I have the opposite problem. I giant head, which I can see with or without my glasses.
Same here. I don’t know how women’s hats are sized, but my hat size is 7¾, which many hat sellers think doesn’t exist outside of productions of “The Elephant Man.” The website may say “XL” but I have to dig deeper to find out what sort of measuring tape they’re using. Glasses frames have been less of a problem for some reason. But I have to be sure never to try on my wife’s sunglasses, lest I render them forever floppy.
Helps keep your brain from getting too dense.
I can’t hear without my glasses, either.
That’s not altogether a bad thing.
Fortunately, I have my contacts in when choosing a frame for my glasses (which I only wear once I take my lenses out anyway) so I can see what it will look like. That wasn’t the case when I was younger. My first pair was toroiseshell when I was a kid, and I remember it was called “The Executive.” Yeah, it was as nerdy looking as it sounds.
Later I switched to round wire-rims. Big mistake. I wore them throughout high school, and several times a year, during gym class, I would get hit in the face with a ball of some sort, which would bend the frames. I’d go through the school day being unable to see, until my mom would take me to the optician afterwards to unbend them. (Gym class should be optional. Some of us just have NO athletic ability.) Afterwards, I went back to plastic. Until Skip Cohen. A guy I had an intense summer romance with when I was in my early 20s. It may have been a line, but he told me one evening, “You have great eyes. It should be a crime for you to hide them in glasses.” I made an appointment to get contacts forthwith. Because whether a line or no, I DID have beautiful eyes when I was young. And I’m glad I had the chance to bat them at guys when it still had an effect. Now, it would just earn me a “Got something in your eye?”
Yeah, probably. Nobody ever told me I have great eyes because I don’t. Although when I got my first contact lenses, at age 14–they were the thickness of hubcaps and required an immense amount of vanity to get used to them–they were tinted green and I did get some comments about my green eyes. I think they’re actually kind of on the gray side. I do not miss my contacts.
No more contacts?
I just went through this exercise with Peter who needed new sunglasses. I took his selfies for him. As for me, I kinda like Warby Parker’s virtual try-on option. Then you can take screen shots to review and compare. I also like their prices and donation policy. They have not paid me to report any of this.
I thought they actually sent you a half dozen pairs to try! I haven’t put in any contacts for about ten years anyway. I thought I was going to get glasses to wear in the evenings, but they were so good at correcting my vision that I never put the contacts in again. And now my eyes are so little and weird I have no interest in being seen without glasses.
Those frames you are wearing in the picture look nice.
Thanks, hon! Not the ones I got, though.
I like the sound of Dave!
He’s a nice man.
You may have stumbled onto something here. Could it be that we crones are not socially invisible because we’re impregnable, so to speak, but because we’ve frequently elected to disappear? Nobody over 60 wants to be examined closely except by their dermatologist. Unless they are Jane Fonda, and who is, really? So, many of us don our invisibility cloaks and count ourselves lucky to feel like 8 year olds again in many ways. Also, it cuts both ways: I’ve already seen enough humans to last me a lifetime.
Oh, and, I’m convinced if I put on a mask, eyeglasses AND hearing aids, I won’t be able to walk anymore.
I 100% endorse this comment.
I also do really well in the kids sections! I finally learned that there is a number which means the width (ie “very tiny”) (aka “pinhead”) so now I scan for that. Which is less time wasting.
Don’t even get me started on buying hats…
Shit, is there a pinhead section? Because the Kids ones are a little large too.
Petite glasses to go with your ‘lean’ figure. I would make him say ‘petite’ quite a few times more.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA