Lenses

1950s Women's "Cats Eye" Glasses. Ci...

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There’s something about them that I like — these external attachments to our face. A successor of sorts to ‘name calling’ [though nowadays calling someone ‘four eyes’ is as antiquated as gliding someone off with breeches considering that most people nowadays may take them up one time or another due to excessive exposure to a monitor] and/or ‘fashion icons’ and a predecessor to the fact that you may need to relax your organs a bit more.

I do not know why I like spectacles so much — unlike the few who was fitted with them since infancy I had come to know them only when I became fourteen or fifteen — a revelation unwelcomed then. When our family friend, who is also an eye specialist, told me to read the letters on his chart I knew I was doomed. The blurry figures were as apparent to me as their solid-transparency. They were there as ghosts of what my eyes used to previously focus on in some faraway facet in my lifetime.  The light that was reflecting on my line of vision was still not enabling me to get these ghosts back into focus.

Something strange happened to me amidst these ongoing trials — my eyes were becoming watery. The doctor realized that I needed a fit of those ‘glass-circles’ that made seeing more adaptable. After a ‘turning here’ and a ‘turning there’ with some of those pieces my eyes were back on track.

Yet at this time something embarassing happened — I began to cry. To my juvenile understanding “glasses” were not worn by ‘me’ and to the teenage-sphere they would stand out and inspire ‘ridicule’ — at least that is what I thought.

The doctor was surprisingly quite calm. I had expected him to be alarmed (or truthfully appalled) at my behaviour but I think he really didn’t care for such trivialities because his job was to write down what adjustments I needed to wear. In other words, he was not being judgemental. There was a natural frankness about him though as we were family friends and I don’t recollect well but maybe he was saying things like ‘not to worry’ to me. My Mom also seemed a bit surprised as I am not really a ‘cryer’ or ‘weeper’ but then she just called my Dad to let him know that I would be needing glasses.

While talking to Dad I was crying and my father felt unhappy [though upon reflecting I guess it was more of a comical misunderstanding albeit a very embarrassing one] so he asked his friend if I could get contacts instead. The doctor said that contacts for my eyes were currently unavailable — I do not know about the US or UK but I am talking about almost ten years ago so at that time adolescents my age could not get contact lenses — so, I finally simmered down. The doctor stated that maybe if I wore them regularly I might not need them anymore [I think my memory is faulty here and that he didn’t state that but one thing is for sure — I still need glasses because though I wore them well for a time I became very erratic later on in wearing them due to forgetfulness and excessive amounts of computer work did not help the condition].

I finally decided to take it as it is. I was ready. I was going to wear glasses now.

In the optics store I chose my first pair of glasses, which I still have by the way. It was a golden frame — one of those vintage spectacles of the past. They were, as I recall, thinly rimmed and looked more like a schoolteacher’s apparel. But I liked them. They, I think, almost looked rimless. Well, I got what I wanted and was prepared to start the journey.

When I went to school wearing those glasses for the first time the first interaction I had with one of the boys in my class was outside class and went something along the lines like this:

‘Hey, you are wearing glasses.’

‘Yeah, they look kinda weird on me don’t they?’

‘ Yeah.’

But he was not really critical at all. I guess because he wore glasses too[if my memory serves me right]. And the rest of the class didn’t really care. I guess I went to school with the era that just started realizing that massive videogame consumption and television addictions were going to lead to glasses anyway.

Oh, at that time the utilization of computers were still kept to a limit. There were no international frenzy for blogs, emails, typed assignments, twitter accounts and the friendly App in your cellphone that blinks every time that you get email. I was still playing Tomb Raider: Chronicles then too.  In fact in computer class we were still learning the equations that help operate “Qbasic” as though there were “Visual editors” around let’s say that this digital rush was still not so visible in my country or my city.  In other ways the internet was not really used that much as a learning kit in those days. I use to prefer browsing sites of my favourite animes and pass the time chatting in Yahoo messenger with some close friends.

Well, spectacles change too. I no longer wear those golden frames. In fact when I turned sixteen I took to a more vintage black, thick-rimmed style or silver metallic rimless while cramming for O’Levels. I still remember hot summer afternoons me typing away with those black frames in my computer and thinking of the Order of the Phoenix release of Harry Potter that time of the year [ironically, I wore glasses like Potter too now only his are circular and mine are still either oval, square and rectangle — we still differ in geometric alignment].

At this period, the attitude altered as one can see and my Dad reminded me jovially that the person who was initially reluctant to wear glasses now decided to spend every waking moment with glasses. I liked them now. They were a friendly species. Like mutualistic bacteria they needed you and they caused no severe side-effects I can think off. I think I also liked my thick, black-rimmed frames because they resembled the ones Jassi wore of Jassi Jaisa Koi Nahin (There is no one like Jassi), the Indian predecessor to Ugly Betty.

However, the hiatus to glasses came in properly in University and it was not to act all ‘cool’ because glasses are already cool now and ‘in’ were many of the frames. It was because of normal human error capacity. I forgot to wear them. In the rush of getting my things prepped for classes I unconsciously forgot them because Thanks To Allah Almighty my eyes were not that bad that needed glasses to see and analyse every minor detail.

Well, I had to start again this year. With the truckload of University work and countless hours spent in front of the computer for both compulsory and recretional uses my tired eyes lead to contant headaches and a visit again to my doctor who was our family friend. Now, of course there was no prolonged hiatus in meeting with him. The usual visits had been there though my University years had them lacking. Well, he said something along the lines ‘you got to go back to glasses again’.

My eyes did not get watery. Nor did I ask for contact lenses. I no longer needed those bad training wheels of ‘I need to always care what people thought about me’ — the truth was I started loving glasses as they went with who I was and Thank Allah Almighty that the revelation came soon for it would be quite idiotic to stay in a concerted limbo that made no sense.

Well, a new era meant — a new decision on spectacles. At least to me.

I realized I love the thick-rimmed species of the whole genus/kingdom as I think I am more suited to the ‘nerdy’ look — well my interests have become more specialized or varied to some extents. I still love the classic black, thick-rimmed specs but I do not mind seeing other colours and thinner-rimmed cousins to my vintage acquaintance. Yet I guess my face does not do ‘Harry Potter’ so the geometric partners of ovals, squares and rectangles did not really change.

So glasses are brilliant with their vintage and retro appeal. I love wearing them and Thanks To Allah Almighty I do have more than one pair as I am a bit eclectic in taste.

It is truly beautiful how Allah Almighty had them engineered. Made for purposes clinical in nature but now offers subcultures of other specimens as well.

I love spectacles. The only thing they cannot do [makes us appreciate the eyes we were born with as Allah Almighty gave them to us] is that they fog up and must be manually cleaned as they do not come with the essential feature of our eyes — that viscous layer where our coloured little ball dances is equipped by Allah Almighty to cleanse dust and dirt with an additional equipment of lashes and coverings that allow us to blink and close and burst open to vision.

But they sit snugly on your nose [a good pair] and attach nicely to the top of your ears.

They might make you value the beauty that is your eyes and vision.

Update[some minutes later]: P.S Those green glasses in this post are so pretty INSHALLAH I wish I can get them one of these days ^_^

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