Thursday, July 11, 2013


I have two pairs of glasses. Both are retro looking. The pair I wear most have black on everything but the very bottom of the lenses. The other pair is plastic and clear all over. Both of them get me complements from strange places. I was wearing the black and clear ones at UConn, Waterbury and three students--one black, one Asian, one Hispanic--complemented me on them.

"Cool glasses," the black guy said.

"Like your frames," the Asian guy said.

"Yeah! Your glasses," the Hispanic guy said.

No women of any ethnicity and no white men ever commented. Take from that what you will.

The truth is, the mostly black glasses are the oldest of the two. When I got the clear ones, the opthamologist gave me too many "this better or that better?" and the distinctions were too severe and I ended up with glasses, though new, that I couldn't see as well through as my older ones. So, I wear the black (mostly) ones until I lose them and when I do I wear the clear ones until I find the others. And I loose my glasses a lot since I really only need them to really watch TV, to drive and that's about all.

If I never watched TV from 8 or more feet away and never drove, I wouldn't wear glasses at all.

It was not always so.

As a child my vision was 240/20. Which meant I couldn't see the blackboard in first grade and thought I was stupid. My mother, a first grade teacher herself, knew for a fact I wasn't stupid so we went and got glasses for me. (Bern, whose vision was not much less nearsighted than mine, and I knew our kids would need glasses and got them much before 1st Grade. Two of our three grandchildren have glasses at 6 and are not stupid. But then, both their parents are blind in a way so who's surprised?

Bern and I have both had cataracts removed from both our eyes. Mine were nearly 20 years ago and probably caused by the steroids I've taken for allergies over the years of my life though my allergist would never admit that. Never mind, I got 30/20 vision from that. Bern had her surgeries about 7 years ago and got vision that can be corrected to 20/20 by one soft contact. She wears glasses to watch TV when her contact is out.

Here's the thing: wearing glasses has been so much of 'who I am' that if I had perfect vision I'd probably get glasses with plate glass in them.

People I know who have never worn glasses and now need at least reading glasses are so awkward and embarrassed about them that it is painful to watch.

For me, glasses just come with the territory. I AM my glasses and my glasses ARE me....just like that.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.