I've Been Framed

I've Been Framed
by Dorothy Rosby

I stand in the middle of the eyeglass store, surrounded by walls of shiny, new frames with vacant stares. It’s overwhelming. I feel like I’ve walked into an auditorium full of invisible people with poor vision. A very nice technician comes over and casually tells me that if I don’t see anything I like, more will be coming next week. I want to say, “NOOOOOOOOOO!”

Instead, I tell her calmly I don’t need glasses all the time, but I’m at the point where they might make my computer screen clearer, which would be nice, and driving at night safer, which would be even nicer. If they could also not look ridiculous, so much the better. She’s optimistic. I’m not.

I did prepare for this day, though. When I need advice on anything, I go to my good friend Google. So I came armed with tips I got online:

1. Eye wear should reflect your best feature, for example, your eye or hair color. I think my best feature is my instep, but I don’t see how that helps.

2. Frame shape should contrast with face shape. Amazingly, I wasn’t entirely sure what shape my face is, despite having had it for a very long time, so I held my bangs up and stared into the mirror. A rectangle stared back, sort of like a shoe box with eyes, ears, and a nose. One internet source recommended oval or round frames for me, but another disagreed, saying basically, “Wear whatever you want as long as you like it.” Open minded, but not very helpful.

3. Frame size should be in proportion to face size. That makes sense. My reading glasses stick out like the headlights on a motorcycle. It’s not a good look for me and probably no one else either.

4. Choose frames to match your coloring. You might not believe this, but I’m cool. My coloring is anyway. Cool coloring calls for cool glasses, or, at least, glasses in cool colors—black, silver, blue, darker tortoise, etc. I’m not excited about getting glasses, though, cool or otherwise, so I’m thinking of something in a nude.

I tell the technician I want glasses no one will notice, sort of like… contacts. But she has other ideas. She says her philosophy of glasses is, “If you’re going to wear glasses, wear glasses.” In other words, be bold. And I have to admit, she looks lovely in her thick-rimmed black glasses.

I’m not quite that brave. I choose a thinner, blue frame after much deliberation, hemming and hawing, and gnashing of teeth, which you don’t normally hear in an eyeglass store.

My glasses arrive and they are cool. At least their color is. I’ll be honest here. They’re going to take some getting used to. I wore contacts for years and then I had laser eye surgery because I didn’t want to wear glasses. I still don’t. Cool or not.


Dorthy RosbyDorothy Rosby has already misplaced her new glasses.

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