If You Would Be Kind Enough to Ignore My Oily Skin, Greasy Hair, and Hawkish Profile

Although last night I was on the treadmill at the Y, running like the cops were chasing me and trying to confiscate my plastic glass of watery keg beer, listening to .38 Special sing “Fantasy Girl,” the truth is I’m no longer young.

In fact, recently, a very kind optometrist (a young woman with eggs so viable I could hear them chattering about their new platform wedges and skin so smooth you could smash a piece of silly putty onto her cheek and then peel it off without there being a single line–or bit of newsprint–on it) put her hand on my knee (ROWWWR!) and gently asked, “So, are you feeling like you’re ready to make the move to bifocals?”

In a certain way, that’s a moment, right? That’s a moment of “Hell, I is old.” On the other hand, for me it wasn’t that earth shattering, as I have crazyass eyes so bad that I was put into bifocals at age 7 and kept there until I changed to contacts in junior high.

As 1970’s songbird Charlene might croon, “I’ve been to bifocal/But I’ve never been to me.”

At this point in my life, I’ve been to bifocal, and I’ve been to me, and it wasn’t nearly as sunny there as I’d hoped, so now I’m going back to bifocal.

Naturally, if one is getting new lenses, one should also, clearly, get new frames.

Frame shopping is the fun part of being legally blind (the downside part is when, without your glasses on, you don’t recognize which of your two children is the male one. ‘Cause then you try to braid his hair before school one day, only to find, strangely, that it’s really short and can’t be braided, which then makes you wonder if mean kids at school circled your “daughter” and chopped off all her locks in some group hazing ritual, and that’s why she’s been left shorn and bereft of her crowning glory, and you feel a little sob catching in your throat as you bravely strangle out some assurances that her beauty comes from within, until suddenly a little voice pipes up and says, “Mom. MOM. I’m the boy. I always have short hair”).

In short, what I’m trying to say here is WOO-HOO, I got to go frame shopping this week!

Except, wait an echolocating minute, I can’t actually see what I look like when I try on frames in the store. In case you didn’t catch it before: I’m legally blind. Without my glasses, I don’t even recognize which one is my own house; I have to start with the house on the corner and go up to each successive house on the block and feel out the numbers nailed to the front next to the door, until I get to the magical numbers that are my own address. One time, though, I started doing the feeling thing and didn’t realize the neighbor lady was standing right there on her front step, and I was actually grabbing her breasts and trying to figure out if they made a “4.”

Oddly, they read more the shape of a 38C.

She and I have been very, very good friends since that day.

As I was saying, before you starting interrupting with all these distractions, Gentle Reader, is that I can’t actually see what I look like when I’m trying on glasses frames; thus, I have to take along a compatriot and even, in recent years, a digital camera. One time, when a friend of mine was taking pictures of me trying on different frames, and the flash went off repeatedly in the store, a crowd gathered; eventually a large woman in a flowing scarf emerged from the pack and tentatively asked for my autograph. Writing directly on her scarf, I signed, “Life has been hard without Ronnie, but at least I still have my china. Best–Nancy Reagan.” She thanked me and backed away, so I guess the joke was ultimately on me because what the hell that I managed to pass as Nancy Reagan, and I wasn’t even wearing red?

Anyhow, this week, Groomy went along, and so did Niblet, and of course there were the nice ladies who work in the store and who each own 27 pairs of frames themselves, so I had ample feedback.


Once we narrowed it down to two final contenders, we reached an impasse. We were so stuck that The Nice Ladies finally said, “Let’s just pop both pairs in a baggie and let you take them home for a few days. With an expensive decision like this, you should be really sure.”

HOOHAH, but the fun of trying on frames had just entered a new dimension, one called Now I Get to Walk Around the Neighborhood For a Couple of Hours and Take a Survey of Everyone’s Opinion, and If We’re Doing a Survey, That Means Girl Gets to Come Along and Bring a Clipboard and Record the Votes Which, In a Way, is the Best Birthday Present I Could Ever Give Her.

22 votes later, we had a winner–not a clear winner, mind you, as the votes split about 2/3 for one pair and 1/3 for the other. In some ways, the two frames are alike, for they’re both greenish and rectangularish. In other ways, though, they differ. Which pair do you think should have won?

Oh, and I would remind you, at this juncture, of the title of my post.

This is Picture A of the pair we called “Ridges”:

Dude, yea, I know the writing on the lens is soooo awesome and helps the overall effect! In fact, when I get real lenses put in my new frames, and they leave off that writing, I fully plan to get a little tattoo on my upper cheek that mimics those words exactly, so I can rock that look for always.

And here is Picture B of “Ridges”:

All right, I’m going to switch it up now, so if you need a palate cleanser, rub your eyes and give them a cracker.

This is Picture A of the frames we called “Circles”:

And Picture B of “Circles”:

I have, in fact, placed the order for one of these two pairs. If you guess the correct frames, I will send you exactly one kabillion dollars plus, for a limited time only, as a shout out to glasses and being blind, a “Twelve Days of Christmas” shotglass pack:

Oh, yea, and turtle wax and Rice-a-Roni.

Plus a Ginsu knife.

And a Snuggie.





28 responses to “If You Would Be Kind Enough to Ignore My Oily Skin, Greasy Hair, and Hawkish Profile”

  1. yinyang Avatar

    I like the first ones. But, I don’t know your neighbors, so I’m not going to guess which ones they chose.

  2. Jeni Avatar

    One of my least favorite things to do in the whole wide world is shopping for new frames for my glasses! I can never figure out what to get because no matter what I do, they do nothing, absolutely nothing, that improves my appearance. Rats! Everytime I find a pair of frames I really like, they are either unavailable in the bifocal/trifocal stage my vision is in or they are so outrageously expensive I fear breaking them just trying the damned things on!
    I liked both pairs you showed here and, using the kind of logic I would apply to said purchase of an item like this for myself, though I liked the design of the Ridges a bit better, I would opt for the Circles simply because the color of the frames -to my logic -would be a tad more neutral, thus no risk of green clashing with anything in the clothing arena. Well, that and any cost that would also make one pair a bit easier on the pocketbook. Did I mention I have half-Swedish and half-Scottish genes and every now and again, the Scottish ancestry in me emerges and I become downright cheap?

  3. AmyTree Avatar

    Ridges!!! Ridges!!! (They look like mine, but I rock the wood-panelled finish instead…)

  4. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    Okay, I vote Circles. They don’t compete with the lovely color of your eyes.

  5. Shania Avatar

    Circles! But I love them both.
    Where’s my snuggie?

    And go here:


    You can get a pair for each day of the week!

  6. Balou Avatar

    Frame shopping is fun although I’m usually looking at frames while my eyes are dialating from the eyedrops.

    I like both but I’m diggin’ Circles. They’re more unique. I’ve seen a lot of the Ridges on faces out and about. Plus, Circles don’t completely block your peripheral vision like Ridges do to keep an eye on #1 and #2 and the “nutty” professor. Plus, Circles let’s us see more of your beautiful eyes. Now I’ve probably completely burst your bubble because I’m guessing Ridges was the winner. Hey! Ridges look great too!

    I’d highly suggest getting the lineless bifocals. Because I’m apparently ancient compared to you as I’ve had them a few years, I found it was an easy transition and only took about 3 days to get the hang of it and realize I could read up close without removing my glasses.

    My guess was your neighbors house number was 00. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (Hey! Hubby got a job! happy dance I’m working on a post.)

  7. lime Avatar

    well, i kinda dig circles myself. i could really stand to go frame shopping but since my boy joined the bifocal club at the tender age of8 or 9 and then the girls successively joined the single lens club in rapid order there hasn’t been moolah for new mama frames. (mainly because she’s so vain she spends her paltry allotment on contact lenses, but ya know there are times when i need to rock the frames and my 12 yr old frames are just so past prime rocking stage. and i think i should get the opportunity to maybe see if i can find a pattern of snazzy “triangles” or something since my uber groovy psychic sister got to choose from ridges and circles and all. but my is this not the longest parenthetical comment ever…) anyway, i could really use me a snuggie and some ginsu knives so i hope i won.

  8. kmkat Avatar

    I like Ridges better, but someone made the point about peripheral vision so I am officially neutral. My own glasses are the rimless ones with hair-fine side pieces, the kind that were the height of fashion about 5 years ago but I just got them last year because I am cool like that.

    Go for the lineless bifocals — you don’t want the rest of the world to know that you need them ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Chantal Avatar

    See, I like the front shot of circles but I like ridges from the side… So now I need to decide, do you think face to face is more imporant, or how someone sees you as the come up beside you…

    I still think those ridges look cool from the side so I take those.

  10. Ann(ie) Avatar

    I gotta go with circles!! I dig em. 8)

  11. flutter Avatar

    Ridges fo sho. But honestly, I would prefer the 12 shots of winter solstice set, complete with your own pagan chanting bowl. Get on that, would you?

  12. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    Tough choice. Both look great on you, but I think Circles blends into your face more naturally while Ridges competes for our attention, kind of like wearing a dress or being worn by one.

    But I think the main consideration should be “What would Nancy do?”

  13. Pam Avatar

    Had the “take them home” thing myself. Daughter and friend talked me into pair A. with a “definitely!”. Paid a fortune, and forever after wished I’d chosen pair B…so not goin’ there girlfriend, telling you which ones I like best! Enjoy your new specs.xxx

  14. jess Avatar

    Oooh, I vote for circles, though both are great. Can I request Ramen noodles instead of Rice-a-roni, even though it is “The San Francisco Treat”? I love love loved the card, btw. thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. ArtSparker Avatar

    I like the rideges, although they both have an assertive quality I think.

  16. Sunflower56 Avatar

    I like the circles! They are a little more interesting shape and seem to flatter your eyes and face shape better than the others.

    I dislike myself in reading glasses so much that I find myself only wanting to read when no one is around, and even when I answer the phone I find myself taking my glasses off first.

    BTW, I really enjoyed your new video camera post, that was fun.

  17. Voyager Avatar

    The Ridges rock. That’s all I hafta say.

  18. kirsten Avatar

    i like the arms of the circles (who couldn’t love all those little circles?!), but i like the contrast of color that the ridges frame gives on your face…
    i’m torn…but my final answer is…ridges…

  19. chelle Avatar

    B … the second pair love them.

  20. Anonymous Avatar



  21. actonbell Avatar

    I’d vote for Ridges, the first one, but as you say, they are rather similar, and are both mighty fine. You look really good in green, btw.

    I’m still in contacts, but beginning to fret over the dryness of my eyes–was once an oilslick, am now a dried-up middle-aged thing.
    I haven’t been here for awhile, I must remedy that…

  22. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    I’m going with Ridges.

    Saddest part about this, I’ve hear there are trifocals. Personally, I just have three chains around my neck – computer reading, regular reading, and sunglasses. If I have to look up a phone number, I load the computer glasses on top of reading glasses. My family just shake their heads at me.

  23. monica Avatar

    I like circles. So, blind uh? what’s your numbers ? mine are -3 on the left eye, -8 on the right… I can easily imagine your feel-me-up siuation with the neighbour :o) but isn’t it great there are so many frames to choose from… ( almost impossible) Ridges are nice too, but Circles are better. love to hear which one you’re getting.

  24. sid Avatar

    First time here. You’re frigging hilarious. Kept imagining you squinting at your kids and trying to reassure the “girl”.
    Anyway I refer circles

  25. Prefers Her Fantasy Life Avatar
    Prefers Her Fantasy Life

    I’d go with the green pair. Although I foresee wardrobe and accessory issues in your future. But still, they have a bit of punch.

  26. Jazz Avatar

    God how I hate shopping for glasses. I hate the last pair I bought. And I’m stuck with them for several more months before insurance pay for another pair…

    I love Ridges myself.

  27. cathy Avatar

    I would have liked frame A with sides B but I always was difficult to please.

  28. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    Um, circles? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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