Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Letter to my Glasses

Glasses,

Oh how I loathe thee. Let me count the ways:
  1. When I was first instructed to wear you part-time as a youngster, I did. I suddenly found myself less popular. 11-year-olds (/scowl). I already had a small contingent referring to my family's Toyota High-ace van as the "Yank Tank" after immigrating to this land. Adding "Four eyes" (in all its cliche-ness) to the list of things shouted in my general direction was the beginning of our falling out, Spectacles.
  2. It didn't help that the selection of "looks" you came in for children was limited to tortoise-shell circles or tortoise-shell large ovals...in varying shades of brown.
  3. So I stopped wearing you. It was a temporary fix for the labelling. For a time I was considered "sporty" by those in the judging-a-book-by-its-cover business. But then my vision deteriorated in your absence. The optometrist-man advised you were never optional, and were now no longer part-time. What was a tender, name-called girl to do?
  4. Then, Glasses, you were upgraded. I was cursed to don larger frames and thicker lenses as punishment for imposing exile upon you and your bad ju-ju.
  5. I became a magnet for other glasses-wearers of my age; as though having myopia in common made us soul mates. It didn't.
  6. After yet another family move (of many), I discovered you weren't much of an obstacle to friend-making in my final year of Primary (12 years old). This didn't make up for the damage you'd done.
  7. I started high school with you, reluctantly. I was repeatedly confused with another girl with hair within 176 shades of my hair-colour that was half a foot shorter than me, and on the more rotund side...because she also had glasses.
  8. Everything was always about you. "The girl with the glasses" became my persona. "Do you know Angela? ... Tall? ... Long brown hair? ... Glasses?" The memory-cues always ended with you. You were the sure connection to me. You, that I liked least of all.
  9. I trialled for a netball team. I compulsively mentally registered each intercept, goal and stellar pass I made in the course of the trial. I knew I had played above fair. I was relegated to the lowest team with you. I noted more than half of this team also had glasses. I blamed you. You didn't deny it.
  10. I did okay making friends in spite of you always being all up in my face and demanding attention. But you literally stole the limelight in photos, and rainy days were always all about you. Did I mention how you got hot and steamy whenever I played sports? It was really inappropriate, and embarrassing, to say the least.
  11. I finally convinced my parents there were alternatives to your company, and I deserved them. You spent much of your time for sixth and seventh form in a case in my bedroom while I wore contact lenses. I didn't feel sorry for you...usually. At night time my eyes missed you, so we were reunited for their sake. But know, I didn't do it for you.
  12. I made a regional representative team for basketball and team captain without you. Maybe I got better. I sure tried. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I was better off without you.
  13. To this day, I shun you. I wear you in the company of those who know me without you only. I am delighted when friends act surprised to see you. So they should. I am not my glasses.
  14. No matter how many times anyone (my own adoring husband included) assure me you are spunky and that you enhance my appearance (now that I've opted for rectangular, smaller frames...in three styles, in fact), I cannot ignore our history. When you join me, there is nothing Clark Kent about it. There is no sexy secretary. There is only the "Four-eyes," awoken from slumber, just as insecure and demoralised as before.
  15. When my husband laughs at photos of me with you during your tortoise-shell phase, it reduces any other nice things he has to say about you to empty words. Empty, empty words. I don't care if you've changed, you're still you, Glasses. You can't change that.
  16. While some other lasses may make your Glasses-friends look good - hair down, hair up, in trackpants - for me this is not so. I feel bad when I'm with you. If my hair is down, I feel worse because, for my face shape and hair type and length, it makes me look like the girl at the beginning of a movie that desperately needs a makeover; a la Sabrina (the second one) style.
  17. Whenever I want to cuddle, kiss and shmoosh faces with loved ones, you're always getting in the way. Rude.
  18. I refuse to be with you on occasions that matter. I do not want to be seen with you in photos. I concede to your company, in private, most evenings and mornings because my eyes thank me for it. If it weren't for them, you wouldn't get any face-time at all.
  19. As a result of all of these things, I refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of money on you anymore. Quit sucking me dry! This is yet another reason you're so high on my loathe-list. You're so darn needy.
  20. Lastly, please stay home when I am meeting someone for the first time. I have a real stigma about being "the girl with the glasses" forevermore to new acquaintances. Get your own life.
No longer yours (except when it suits me, because I'm a user like that),
Angela Noelle

P.S. This picture of me was taken about 4 years ago, one ill-fated night that you stuck around in the company of a camera. So you're in it. I'm not sorry there are not more recent photos of us together. I'm glad. I wouldn't have posted this, except I think I look close to tolerable pulling that silly face.
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