Some time in 2004 right before nursing school started for me again, I went to the eye doctor, with, among other things (like the ever-popular glaucoma test), the intent of getting a new pair of glasses. While in 3rd grade, getting new glasses was totally Full Of The Awesome, much like my spatter paint scruntchie* (complete with matching oversized shirt!!), it kind of loses it’s luster after 20 odd years.
I went alone because, well, it’s boring and dull and I can totally drive after they dilate your eyes because I’ve been doing it since Jesus was my classmate and I rode a dinosaur to school while wearing my hyper-color t-shirt.
Given the choice to come back at a more suitable time, let’s say, oh I don’t know, maybe when I could have actually read something that wasn’t on the floor or twenty plus feet away from me, I opted for the Wrong Way.
Two paths lay before me and I chose the one WRONG TRAVELED.
Door Number WRONG.
Oh yes. I decided to pick out a pair of glasses while my eyes were dilated. Alone.
They looked pretty cute on, I was completely convinced, my hazy recollection being one of looking extra-specially adorable, with the slightest touch of studiousness. I marched up to the surly cashier lady, ordered them happily, pink tint to the lens, per usual (cue rose colored glasses jokes now) and went back a week later to collect them.
I walked jauntily into the store, sat down at the counter and gave them my last name.
I waited a couple of minutes, marveling all of the ugly glasses that the store carried. We had the Iranian Taxi Driver Glasses, made so popular by white men with handlebar mustaches in the late 70’s/early 80’s (my father himself favored them).
Then there was the rack of the HUGE late 80’s/early 90’s school marm hexagonal pink glasses made famous by Sally Jesse Rafael and worn by women and children for long enough to be immortalized in many a class picture. I mused about how fortunate I’d been to escape that trend somehow.
I laughed to myself, chuckling about how my taste was eversomuch better than other patrons, congratulating myself HEARTILY for my awesome choices in glasses.
The smiling clerk returned after digging through a large bin of new glasses and handed me my prize. I greedily opened the package, hardly glancing at the frames before shoving them onto my face.
I looked eagerly into the strategically placed mirror and my happy, expectant look was quickly replaced by one of horror. The big black plastic frames, the angular edges, the thick frames all winked merrily, reflecting the sodium lights above me.
They carefully, thoughtfully, emotionally reflected one gigantic loser.
I had accidentally bought EMO GLASSES! How, oh HOW did I buy EMO GLASSES? These were popular among the whiny college rock bands who sing deep and meaningful songs about deep and meaningful feelings and EMOtions. These were things that I not only openly mocked, but things I openly mocked OFTEN.
“Oh no,” I whispered to no one in particular. “How did I do this?”
Now I had to WEAR EMO GLASSES! IN PUBLIC!
I shuffled away, tail between my legs back to show my (now) husband/then-boyfriend who was happily scarfing down a couple of bagels at Panera.
His eyes widened like saucers as I approached, whether is was my dirge-like march or the glasses now adorning my face and I slid into the booth across from him. Being the terrible liar that he is when I asked what he thought, he said diplomatically, “They’re…nice.” But his eyes told me the truth.
I looked like Lisa Loeb.
Well, I told myself as I bit off a chunk of his bagel and chewed bitterly, at least they finally fucking found Waldo.
*If spattter paint shirts come back into fashion please, PLEASE put me out of my misery. PLEASE, Internet?