I was talking with my boss's boss when I noticed there was a chip in her lens that, thanks to an ill-timed fall (she was traveling that week) she would have to live with it until further notice. It got us on the topic of glasses and the importance of spares and backups. What we didn't say, and what I now share with you, is the importance of a spare or backup that you like.
See, back in October my eye doctor pronounced that my left lens needed more tweaking. This is not a new thing. My eyes aren't so bad that were it not for modern technology I'da been eaten by the saber toothed tiger as I'd have mistaken it for a kitty. (Okay, 'member Adventures in Babysitting? Did the movie also have the girl who lost her glasses petting a rat and thinking it was a kitty? Cuz the book was especially good at mentioning that bit...and I can't remember the movie all that well...) But my eyes require the use of my glasses to keep me from say, walking off with complete strangers in low lit crowded rooms thinking they're the folks I went to the party with...
Anywho, the wonders of insurance stated that they'd pay for the lenses, but not the frames...given my knack for eating through metal...I don't have many old frames just lying about, and given the state of the economy, I didn't exactly have the cash to spend on a new frame (new frames?) So I grabbed the only pair of glasses that did have serviceable frames and turned them in for lenses. I know I could have tried wearing the super old prescription as I waited for my more favored pair of glasses to be updated...but there was that whole "can't see to drive" hurdle that I just could not jump. All you Seattle drivers are welcomed :).
So, for the last three months I've been wearing a pair of glasses that..I'm not sure how to describe it...except to say they just weren't me anymore.
I mean, back when I got them, I liked them. A lot. They were, um, well, just like all the other glasses I've had since I got away from the BIG PLASTIC FRAMES of the 80s. Nothing fancy, just wire rims that let me see. Wire rims that faded into the background and could be taken off at a moment's notice to take a picture (back when I could still see the camera clear enough to not squint...). I know this stems a whole bunch from the fact that my mom did not want me wearing glasses, at all, ever! And was actually shocked by how bad my eyes were when I did get them (I was thirteen...glasses and braces and bad hair, oh my!)
Somewhere along the way though, I totally came to accept my glasses as a part of me. So much so that frame choosing became a fun part of the doctor's office visit, and I'd force friends to come with me as you would on any shopping excursion. Sometimes I laughed right out loud when after hours of searching I'd choose something that looked just like the one I had before...no really.
But...going back to this pair of frames that I chosen so long ago? It felt like I was putting on an outfit I hadn't worn for years...and maybe didn't quite fit right anymore...or look right...or feel like I should still be wearing...like that embroidered jean jacket I still have at my mom's house...I love it to death, but wear it? Out in public? Like I said before, they are serviceable, they let me see, but...they're just not me anymore.
So I did it. A few weeks back I took my mom's xmas present (cash) and my first month of no car payment (did I mention I paid off my car? Go me!) and brought my favorite frames (that had no corroded metal damage whatsoever thankyouverymuch) and asked the nice ladies at my doctor's office to make them work again...which they did.
It's like I sent my one rain jacket to get dry cleaned or something. Making due with whatever I could until it was time to pick it up (but not the faded, embroidered jean jacket, mind). I picked them up today and when I put them I could not help smiling...wrinkles be damned! Hello me! Where have you been?!?
Lesson learned...I will budget for frames every year. Like a pair of shoes, I need to both like and be comfortable with what's on my face helping me not walk away with complete strangers or crash my fully paid for car.