I always wanted to wear glasses. Pretty much my whole life. My favorite artists and thinkers wore glasses, and I wanted to be like them. As a teenager, I wore clear horn rims a lot, and everyone thought I was crazy to WANT glasses. I loved how they looked. They allowed me to hide my prominent nose a bit, and I liked being “different.”
Cut to first year of college. UCLA. Huge classes. Like 300 students in some lectures. I started getting headaches. The visit to the ophthalmologist revealed what I hoped: I needed glasses. At the time, I was dating my now ex-husband who looked like Elvis Costello (huge turn on for me)—he wore adorable glasses so then we got to be geeky twinsies!
Apparently, I had been walking around nearsighted and with an astigmatism, a testament to my endurance, resilience, and ability to tolerate discomfort. I reveled in my new glasses. I loved it. I was finally one of “them.”
In the years since, my eyesight has gotten worse but not tragically. I’m not that blind, but at night, everything is blurry for sure. I’ve been through many pairs of glasses and like my father z”l, I love having lots of pairs to switch off between.
Every time I have gotten new frames, I have been in a relationship. When I was married, my ex-husband helped me choose frames since I am notoriously indecisive and insecure about my appearance. It’s not that he would “make me” get something I didn’t like, but out of the ones I liked, he helped me choose which were “best.”
My ex-boyfriend who I was with for five years took over the glasses decision-making for the time we were together. He was an artist and a carpenter and had very strong opinions about everything Gd bless him, from how door trim was stained to how the dishwasher was loaded to what frames he preferred on me. He disliked round frames and I started to avoid wearing them when we were together. Probably not a good sign, but I had plenty of time to wear all of the frames I liked and I didn’t feel oppressed, I promise.
Since we broke up, my vision got worse—coincidentally!—and I needed new frames. I procrastinated about it. I admired Jim Parsons’ frames with a longing that bordered on obsession. Turns out, he went to the glasses place I have loved for years but have not returned to since I first discovered how expensive glasses can be when you add to it an astigmatism and the need for progressive lenses for reading. (Since I am on camera a lot, bifocals a la Benjamin Franklin are not really practical.)
On a day when I got off work early and my assistant wasn’t with me—because I was nervous for him to see how much my glasses would cost and I was too self-conscious to try them on with him watching me—I drove to Gogoshu in Silver Lake. The woman who owns the store, Julie, is ADORABLE and she wears cat eye glasses and I swooned a little bit when I saw her. I instantly felt stupid for wearing my typical schleppy clothes; maybe I should have worn nicer clothes so my confidence would be at its best? Ugh.
So I started trying on glasses. The owner tried to get me to get adventurous, but it’s really hard for me. I tried on maybe 30 pairs and Julie said she loved my descriptions of why I hated most of them.
Too old lady.
Too Amy Farrah Fowler.
Too on the nose.
Too on my nose.
I narrowed it down. Julie suggested I stand up and look in the full-length mirror, sweet lady. Looking at myself in a full length mirror rarely makes anything better. I stayed seated.
I finally chose three pairs. A honey colored roundish frame, ex-boyfriend be darned. A bold deep sapphire blue edgy choice. And I have seen Kaley Cuoco looking adorable in her hip wire frame glasses and I wanted something like that but not something that might not be “hip” in six months. So I chose a different wire frame that was more Gloria Steinem (YES)
You may hate them and I’m sure my ex-boyfriend will have a lot to say, but I think I am happy. It’s new. I did it myself. I have new glasses.
And I also got my two old favorite pairs redone with my new prescription just in case I chicken out.