I was one of the unlucky kids that ended up having to get glasses in elementary school. To make things worse, it was the 80’s, and optical fashion was, well, rather unfashionable. Glasses then were big and bulky, with eyepieces roughly the size of television screens. Being the 80’s, bright colors were popular, even in eyeglasses, so it wasn’t uncommon to see people sporting enormous brightly-colored plastic frames.

I got my first pair of glasses in 1987. The plastic frames were a light lavendar color, the eyepieces so large they covered my face from my eyebrows to the bottom of my nose. My eyesight was obviously deteriorating because I picked them out myself and thought they were very cool. I wore them proudly until my sister, Lindy, accidentally sat on them while we were on vacation in Texas visiting my Uncle Harry and Aunt Jean. I remember being so mad at her, partially because she didn’t even seem sorry that she broke them, and partially because I had to walk around the whole rest of the trip in a pair of lopsided eyeglasses with only one temple piece.
I was even madder when we got home and I found out I wasn’t even going to get to pick out a new pair of glasses. I was doomed to wear and ugly old pair of Lindy’s glasses that never would quite sit right on my face. They were round as an owl’s eyes and a light powder blue color. I hated them.

When I finally got to choose my own frames again, I decided to make a bold statement, and chose a pair of dark red frames. They were slightly smaller, though not much, and I wore them every day, until I finally convinced my parents to let me get contact lenses.

In middle school, I had a brief affair with wire frames, which I only really wore in the evenings at home, or on days when my eyes were bothering me and I couldn’t put in my contacts. With nearsightedness like mine, wire frames are almost never a good idea since the lenses always protrude from the frames, making you look as blind as Mr. Magoo.
Finally, when I went to college, I decided it was time to find a pair of glasses that I really liked. I chose a small, charcoal gray plastic frame, and began wearing them almost as often as I wore my contacts. They lasted me through college, through my first working years, through my wedding, and through the birth of my first child.

Only after Cadence was born, when I started getting frequent headaches, I decided it was probably time to visit the eye doctor and get a new pair of glasses. My prescription hadn’t changed much, but my eyesight had actually improved just enough to make my old pair of glasses unbearable to wear for a length of time. I walked through the store, looking at row after row of frames. I picked one up, tried it on, put it back down. Picked up another, tried it on, twisted my head to the right, to the left, took them off, and held them as a maybe. Picked up another pair, tried them on, grimaced in disgust, put them back quickly, and glanced around to make sure no one actually saw me try them on.

Finally, after about forty-five minutes, I settled on my newest pair. They are slightly larger than my last, black plastic frames, and I like them so much I usually wear them at least a couple days a week. My dad says Steven and I wear “nerd” glasses, but after taking a walk down my memory lane of optical fashion, I certainly think I’ve made improvements. Funny thing is, after all the “nerd” glasses comments, Duane went out and got himself a pair last week.

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all my four-eyed friends. Here’s to wearing our nerdy glasses with pride! For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included a few photos from my own eyewear museum. Try not to let my lovely hairdos keep you from enjoying the trendy eyeglasses.

My first pair of glasses. So stylish.
My second pair were Lindy’s hand-me-down glasses. I don’t know what’s the most exciting thing about this photo–my ugly glasses, my poorly crimped hair, or the see-through phone I was so excited to get for Christmas.
My third pair of glasses, which I retired when I got contacts. My next pair of wire-rim glasses looked a bit like the pair Lindy is wearing in this photo. You’ll need to look past my big hair and the ugly outfit Lindy is modeling to see them.


My current, and favorite, pair of glasses. These days, it’s only fashionable to wear sunglasses the size of TV screens. Oh, how far we’ve come.



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