My blog title today should – and probably does – make you cringe. Imagine that we – all of the baby boomer generation – actually heard (and took to heart) that statement from the time we were small children.
I don’t know the girl in the photo. It was what came up when I googled “free image of child in 1950s glasses” or something like that. But it could have been me had I not been a conceited little snit. Except that the hair would be a pixie cut with crooked bangs.
When I was in the third grade, it was discovered that I needed glasses. My eyesight was bad, and became steadily worse over my elementary and early high school years. My mother immediately and dutifully purchased me a pair of glasses – just as pink and cat-eyed as those of the girl in the photo; I’m pretty sure they are the exact same ones! – which, unlike the decidedly smarter but less conceited girl in the photo, I never EVER wore. I didn’t wear them for reading. I didn’t wear them to see the blackboard. I didn’t wear my glasses. Period.
Why? Because “boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”
In those days, contact lenses weren’t prescribed as readily, and certainly not until one was much older than third grade. I was finally allowed to wear contact lenses somewhere near my senior year of high school. Until that time, I literally lived my life in a blurry haze. I was not just slightly near-sighted. I was extremely near-sighted.
I got very good at living the blurry life. I could recognize people from their hazy shapes. I somehow got through school with passing grades, probably from sitting in the front row whenever possible. I lived a suitably normal life. A life without glasses. Somehow I convinced myself that a permanent squint was more attractive than glasses. Pretty sure that wasn’t true.
What’s hard to imagine is that my mother allowed me to go without wearing glasses. But my memory is short. It’s possible that I would put them on as I approached my house, though she was not one who could be easily fooled, so I sort of doubt that. My better guess is that she simply didn’t recognize just how near-sighted I was, and, well, “boys don’t make passes……”
I was liberated by contact lenses, and wore them until I was about 45 or 50 years old when I finally had Lasik surgery. Talk about liberation. Being able to see without glasses or contact lenses was heaven.
Nowadays, things are decidedly different. For one thing, eyeglasses are really cute. They simply were not attractive in the 1960s and 1970s. First the 1960 cat-eyes. Then the 1970s huge frames. Yoiks. These days glasses can be, and are, a fashion statement. Thank heavens because as my eyesight again diminishes despite the Laskik, I now wear glasses almost all of the time. Not that I care a whit about being cute these days.
And thank heavens in particular that I see children wearing glasses, and looking so darn cute doing so. I have a friend with a little girl who has had glasses for several years, and she looks absolutely darling in them. See?
Thanks for posing for my blog Addison Kay!
Surprisingly, thus far none of our grandkids needs glasses. I’m sure some will some day some how. Until then, I will be emphasizing to them the importance of being kind, being smart, being respectful, and being self-confident. Because these days boys decidedly DO make passes at girls who wear glasses.
Although they better leave my granddaughters alone until I say so, glasses or no.