I have two very definite reactions to things that happen in this life: a) Completely nonchalant; or b) Insanely panicked and inconsolable. So when I woke up one morning and couldn’t see out of my right eye I immediately concluded that I was going to go completely blind and lose said eye, or even both. I’d already pre-named my guide dog and decided on a pink cane – all before breakfast. Thankfully I was wrong. After being informed by the eye doctor that I needed glasses I was miserable. I’ve always gloated about my perfect vision, been the seeing eye companion of many a glasses-wearing friend, and was just basically thrilled at the fact that I could read a street sign from a kilometre away. I was a superhero in a land where extraordinary eyesight is rare and powerful. Now I am useless, and apparently my eye is shaped like a rugby ball. I don’t even like sports. Adding insult to injury is the fact that I have never been able to rock a facial accessory in my life. Headbands make me look like I’m about to try on a wig, sunglasses slide down my nose, and hats make me look like a sultana. Don’t ask.
With all of this in mind I inevitably go through the seven stages of grief in quick succession – ten minutes to be precise. I finally reach acceptance, deciding that since my life is over anyway I refuse to be in denial. I don’t want sneaky frameless glasses or beige ones that blend in with my skin tone. I want honest ones that say, “Hey everyone, I am glasses. I’m here on this face. Yes, that’s right, this is where I live now”. But I am not Elton John so they also have to be professional looking, I think. Glasses for work. Yes, work glasses. Professional. Intelligent. Classic. I will get something sensible that I can wear with anything, glasses that will force people to take me seriously. Yep. I tell all of this to the sales lady and she looks about as convinced as I do. “It’s best to go with something that matches your personality”, she says. Oh, ok great. Awkward and inadequate it is then. What gave it away, I wonder? Could it be my cat shoes? Nope, they just say awesome. And the dog on my t-shirt is wearing a tie – the international symbol of professionalism. Maybe it’s my fucked up mop of hair which refuses to conform, sitting like a nest on top of my head (see fig. 1.1). Nevertheless she politely proceeds to show me at least eight hundred pairs of glasses, all so unbelievably horrid that by the end of it I’m well and truly prepared to live the rest of my life squinting and popping migraine tablets. Plus, I should mention I’m starving by this point which means my judgement is severely impaired. In the end I go with my gut. It may be an empty gut but it is always right. Mostly. Bright pink Ray Bans. I am slowly and unwittingly becoming a brand whore, but they cost almost nothing and they’re so pink I don’t even care. So there. And maybe I don’t rock them, maybe I haven’t broken the facial accessory curse, but hey, now my rugby-ball eye is kicking all sorts of goals.