In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need glasses to see clearly. In a slightly less-than-perfect world, those of us who need glasses would discover that every pair we tried on made us look like the models in the posters plastered on the walls of the local eye glass boutique. Any life-long wearer of glasses can look at those models and tell you that none of those pretty people even wears glasses, unless they’re paid to do so.
As much as I’d like to see some ruggedly handsome transformation of my face once I try a pair of frames on, I am usually greeted with one of the following versions of myself instead.
The Young Roger Ebert Look: Make no mistake, Roger Ebert was a great film critic and displayed a rare brand of grace and courage when he fought thyroid cancer. Be that as it may, when I try on a pair of larger glasses with solid frames, I bear something of a resemblance to a young Roger, which is not the look I’m typically going for. I guess it could be worse and I could look like a male Sally Jesse Raphael.
The Vanderbilt From F-Troop Look: Excuse me while I date myself with a reference to an obscure character on an old TV show. Some of you senior citizens may recall Vanderbilt (or Vandy as Agarn would call him). He was the fat, visually impaired soldier in F-Troop who could be seen chatting up horses he mistook for pretty ladies and falling down the well on at least three separate episodes. This was back in the days before political correctness, when people could be made fun of for having poor vision, just like Mr. Magoo. If I try on glasses with lenses which are too small for my face, I end up looking like Vandy. Despite my not living in an area with too many horses or open wells, it’s not a look I’m comfortable with.
The Creepy Convict From Down The Block Look: If I try on any pair which doesn’t easily fit into the other categories, I may be surprised and a little scared to look in the mirror and see the guy from three blocks over who was just arrested for some sort of deviant activity. We all know the type. When neighbors are interviewed, they’re always shocked that he has been arrested for being a peeping tom, animal porn collector or Sarah Palin stalker. Watching TV at home, we look at his mugshot and wonder how anyone could have imagined he wasn’t up to something nasty.
The Serial Killer Look: When I try on a pair of snappy aviators, I hope to see a cool looking pilot or race-car driver looking back at me in the mirror. Instead, I see a guy who has moved well beyond the “Creepy Convict” look listed above and into a whole different dimension of evil next door. He knows where the bodies are buried, because he’s the one who buried them. I don’t think even serial killers want to look like this.
The Mel Cooley Look: Now that my hair has left my head to migrate to other parts of my body, I no longer resemble a young Roger Ebert (or a young anyone for that matter). To be perfectly honest, large frame glasses now make me resemble the actor Richard Deacon, who was best known for his role as Mel Cooley on the old Dick Van Dyke show. There is one saving grace of resembling characters from really old TV shows, most of the young people I know have no idea who these characters were, so to them, I just look like an old, bald guy in glasses. I suppose that’s a good thing. I don’t necessarily like the look, but I need to see where the hell I’m going.
As much as I’d like to let you all believe that I’m some kind of creative genius who comes up with these thoughts out of thin air, I’m not. The lovely and talented “She’s a Maineiac” wrote a post recently about her possibly needing new glasses, and it spurred me on to share the trials and tribulations with my own miserable experiences shopping for fashion eye wear. If you don’t read her blog, you’re missing out. Just don’t forget who sent you over there.