I have been wearing glasses since I was in kindergarten. Those few memories I have of life before that magical moment I remember as being quite blurry, so I know that it was astonishing when I found out that not everyone saw the world the way that I did. Glasses were my saving grace, but they also got me picked on mercilessly (what is wrong with kids, anyway??). And I was always afraid of losing my glasses, breaking my glasses, or having my glasses taken away from me.
One of those horrible incidents happened to my son just after we moved up to Maryland. He was jumped by some kids as they all left the school bus. The driver? Looked the other way and drove off. He walked home with a black eye and his glasses shredded. His little gold wire frame glasses had been ripped apart. I found out later, much later, that the mistake that got him pounded was that a bunch of kids were all calling each other the "N" word as a part of their slang. He had never heard the word used at home (and I guess he didn't hear it in NC, either) and when he joined in, trying in his little Asperger's way to fit in, he set off a firestorm. He didn't know it was bad to say that if you were the wrong color. So they took it out on him and his glasses. I took him home and homeschooled him (while still working) until he was a sophomore in high school. Then, he was big enough that no one messed with him, and he was a little more street smart.
I've never had that happen to me, but it was threatened a lot. Big Rosie on the playground in sixth grade threatened to stomp them into the dust. Later, I was a very good friend of hers, when she became ashamed of her own behavior in the face of my politeness and refusal to fight. Later that year I was finally pushed to fight for myself -- not against Rosie but against a girl who called me a fat pig. Big Rosie was standing in line in the lunchroom, watching the whole thing, grinning from ear to ear. The principal knew me and my family well. She publicly said she was giving us equal punishment, but privately she just told me that I knew better and not to do it again. I never had to. Like my son, I soon towered over the other kids, for awhile at least.
See what a new pair of glasses will bring up in a girl's mind?? There are so many emotions connected to something like glasses. I started wearing contact lenses in the 8th grade in an effort to get noticed for what I "really" looked like, but a couple of years ago I had to stop wearing them due to eye problems. At first I actually would hear myself saying, "I'm sorry" when someone noticed I was wearing glasses instead of contacts. I felt awkward and ugly. Besides, no one knows when you change to a new pair of contact lenses. They do notice when you wear, don't wear, or change your glasses.
I have just changed from wire frames, which I've been wearing for - um? - thirty-two years? The salesperson talked me into plastic frames this time. They are chic, a tawny brown, and make me look smart (snicker!).
I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to them, as I always do with a new pair. Focusing at a distance is much easier right now than focusing up close...like on this computer that I stare at for much of the day. But after a few days, it will happen. Before you ask me to post a picture, let me assure you that I will - tomorrow. I will be dressed nicely in the morning, and I will let Paul snap a picture for you all so you can see just how smart I look. I hope the SuperGlasses take me up a few points, because I just got my note from my interim adviser at American University instructing me to choose three courses for the fall and two alternates so I can get started with registration. I'm trusting Ken to get my spine ready for all of this driving, and I'm trusting myself to be able to do it. And the glasses? Maybe, just maybe, they'll give me that smoldering poet look.
Peace - D