I got my first pair of glasses when I was in the third grade. They were wire frames, black with little red roses on them, and huge lenses that skimmed the tops of my cheeks. I didn’t have to wear them all the time, but chose to because it was cool. I was the only kid in my class with glasses. Sadly though, those frames were no match for the fact that I also played indoor soccer (which is an all around bad idea) at the time and my frames snapped in half at the bridge when I took a ball to the nose during practice.
I wanted glasses for a while before I got them. My sister had a pair and I was jealous of those Coke bottle lenses and baby blue plastic frames. I used to pretend I couldn’t see things when I was out driving around with my parents just so they would take me to get my eyes checked.
I don’t have to pretend I can’t see things anymore. Since third grade, my prescription has gotten stronger and stronger every year. We’re talking a -11.00 over here people and astigmatism in both eyes. I upgraded to contacts in 10th grade and also got my current pair of glasses that year. I don’t think about my glasses a lot because I don’t use them a lot. I wear them for an hour or two in the morning and an hour or two at night when my contacts are fried for the day. So over the course of 10 years, I always declined to upgrade my glasses. My strong prescription means that glasses are not cheap. To put it in perspective, for the amount of money my glasses cost to make, I could buy the new iPad Air and have some money left over. Why spend so much money on something I wear for a few hours a day?
But then this happened. The right stem fell off my glasses in early September (ironically only a few days after I got my prescription adjusted and declined, again, to get new glasses). Let me tell you, I may only wear them for an hour or two each day, but having to physically hold my glasses on and having to avoid tilting my head or bending over makes those hours creep by. So I had to break down and buy new glasses.
Glasses are apparently trendy now and there are lots of sites like Warby Parker and Eyefly that offer trendy glasses for not a lot of money. I briefly had cheap eye wear dreams and went as far as order a home try-on box from Warby Parker and falling in love with the Crane frame in Mallard.
I would love to live in a world where I could get glasses for under $100, but that darn -11.00 in my left eye has quashed any hipster eyewear dreams I may have had. I had to go to Lenscrafters and spend more than half my rent money on what are potentially men’s frames (but I swear they were in the women’s section) and ultra fancy lenses. And I don’t even have them yet because they take 10-14 days to come in. Harumph.
I’d love to go back and know what 7-year-old Martha was hoping to gain by faking near sightedness. Without my contacts or glasses, I see blurry, undefined blobs of color. Yes, my eyes are so bad that even shapes elude me. I got over my fear of sticking my finger in my eye so I could wear contacts and I occasionally gross my boyfriend out my manually moving my contacts when they shift in my eye (thanks, astigmatism). I resigned myself to being bespectacled years ago, I just wish that having comically bad eyesight didn’t resign me to a life of overpriced, under styled eye glasses.