I became a girl who wore glasses when I was just a little thing, about 7 years old, if my memory serves me correctly — and it’s possible that it doesn’t as that was a long time ago.
I always had to go to Charlotte to an eye specialist as my vision problem was not something that could be treated by the doctors in the small rural town where I lived. They were so bad that I even had surgery on my eyes at one point.
I always hated these doctor trips as they included a lot of waiting, which was pretty boring to a kid, and eye drops that made my vision so blurry that I couldn’t even see to walk, much less read an eye chart.
After the eye exam, I always got a new pair of glasses. Kids’ glasses in those days came with pink or blue plastic frames. For some reason, I always had to get the ugly pink ones and could never have blue ones like my friend Jean Landers had.
I went through childhood in pink plastic glasses, trying to be careful because glasses in those days were expensive and easy to break. If my glasses were broken, it meant wearing them fixed with tape until my parents could take me for another appointment in Charlotte.
Regardless of being careful, accidents seemed to happen. Once a kid threw a wallet at me (of all things) and hit my glasses. I cried and cried, not because I was hurt, but because of the trouble I knew I would be in for breaking my glasses.
As I became older, I eventually graduated to brown glasses that went with my hair and the dreaded pink plastic ones became a thing of the past. After that, my eyes changed every year or two and there were many styles of glasses, even cat-eyed glasses, which were all the rage at one point in time.
As a teen-ager, I hated glasses more than ever. I was called “four eyes, “”nerd,” and “cat-eyes.” As everyone knows, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
Ironically enough it was at about that time that the doctor decided I really didn’t need to wear glasses. It wasn’t that I could see any better; it was just that the problem with my vision was not correctable with glasses. Too bad they could not have figured that out sooner. It would have saved a lot of childhood trauma — not to mention a lot of trips to Charlotte.
I didn’t wear glasses at all until I became older and my eyes began to change. By then, this wonderful thing called “contact lenses” had been invented, and glasses sort of went the way of the dinosaur.
Things went along pretty well for a while with the contacts, until I needed bi-focals. I tried bi-focal contacts, and tried, and tried. Finally, I gave up. Regardless of how many adjustments were made, I just couldn’t see.
I wore both contacts and reading glasses for while. Finally, I gave up on contacts and went back to glasses. I was wearing glasses half the time anyhow, so why fool with contacts?
When laser eye technology came along, I thought about it, but my doctor said that it was not an option for me. So it seems I’m doomed to forever be a girl who wears glasses.
Everyone was a bit shocked when Sarah Palin came into the national spotlight wearing glasses and not apologizing for it. Sales of frameless glasses increased dramatically. I had already discovered frameless glasses, but what difference does it make whether glasses have frames or not? They are still glasses.
And so time marches on wearing glasses.
As far as boys, it doesn’t matter anymore. Most of the guys my age are also wearing glasses.