I have had a love-hate relationship with my glasses for a long time. The hate started early on; I started wearing them around the age of 9 or 10. As a sporty tomboy (can you believe it?), I thought glasses were uncool and cumbersome. Considering that we were talking about 80s style saucer-size frames, I may have had a point. [Quick aside: I briefly considered putting up the photographic proof, and then reconsidered. First, horrifying my audience is not generally my goal, and secondly, it would have gone against all my hard work during the past twenty years to ensure the evidence never sees the light of day in the highly unlikely event of my running for public office … or any other occasion.] Throughout my teen years, the size of my glasses decreased slowly (as my prescription increased, I might add), but my loathing remained. Because I have astigmatism in my left eye, contacts were not an option until I was in my early twenties … and I got them as soon as I could. Glasses were relegated to bedtime reading and lazy Sundays at home – so much so that many acquaintances didn’t even know that I wore glasses.
I got my last pair sometime in my mid-twenties. The fact that my prescription has changed at least 3 or 4 times since then, but I continued to use them, tells you something of the frequency of that use. By this point, the frames were serviceable; I was not yet at the height of my style consciousness when I picked them out, but they were not too bad – a decent shape for my face, and most importantly, a 21st century-appropriate size.
Here’s a refresher:
At this point, you’re probably wondering when the “love” part of the relationship comes in. Well, after the birth of my son last summer, many things changed. One of the most predictable changes was the drastic loss of time; I suddenly had no time for even the most basic of personal tasks, like taking a shower, or brushing my hair … or putting in my contacts. You might laugh, but that extra 10 seconds? Non-existent. Or, in the rare event they did materialize, better spent in a dark corner, rocking gently back and forth. [I kid. Parenthood is not that bad. After the first couple of months, anyway.] So, of necessity, I started wearing my glasses again. And if I didn’t exactly come to love them, we developed a pretty close relationship. Still, it was the kind of relationship you might have with a crotchety old uncle – my glasses were old, coming apart at the hinges (who had time to take them in for tightening? Not me!), and generally in pretty shabby condition. Because of the difference in prescriptions, after a few months, it became difficult to switch back and forth to my contacts; I got a ton of headaches. I knew then that it was time to have my eyes checked out again … and get a new pair of glasses.
With six months of my maternity leave left, I figured it would be worth a good investment in some nice frames. After all, my last pair had served me for the better part of a decade, so we’re talking about a reasonable cost-to-wear ratio, even if they end up relegated to weekends again once I return to work. How much could glasses cost – $300, $400 tops? Hah! My search for new frames quickly disabused me of such notions. I’d been hoping for a frame with a little bit of bling on the sides, just for a bit of fun. Tiffany now has an optical line, with lots of pretty frames that fit that bill … too bad the frames, alone, cost well over $500! And they were not the most expensive by a long shot. In a quick trip through the Lenscrafters at Southgate, I spied frames upwards of $800 – and I never even got to check out the ones in the locked boxes! Things were getting ridiculous, and I was getting nowhere.
Happily, I persevered. At a less fancy-schmancy Lenscrafters, I managed to find some frames I loved – style-wise and price-wise. Of course, they were nothing like the vision I’d had in mind originally, but I think they may be my most flattering pair yet.
So, can you guess what they look like?
In terms of style, they’re classic – almost retro, even. There is almost a masculine vibe to them, and I kind of like that the logo is simple and unadorned. The ombre effect is something I didn’t think I would like. I wanted a more stand-out colour, like red or black, but this one grew on me. And, through the process of trying on, oh, about a gazillion different frames, I learned one important style lesson from, of all people, my dear husband (who does not wear glasses): the most flattering frames are the ones that follow the shape of your eyebrows. Who knew?