Three years ago I wrote a post about my ill-fated attempt to copy Sarah Palin’s eyewear. While I wasn’t a fan of her political views, I sure did like her rimless glasses. My eye doctor had given me a new prescription. He said I had the beginning of cataracts and needed prisms in the lenses and some sort of special film on them to improve my increasingly poor night-driving vision.
When I went to the optician and said, with some embarrassment, that I wanted glasses like Palin’s, he remained calm, although he later told me that opticians all over the country were then frantically contacting each other to track down that very thing. He said that Sarah had provided a terrific boon for Kawasaki (“like the motorcycles”), the Japanese company that produces her eyewear.
When he added up all the special stuff I needed, those glasses came to $465. Ouch! I soon posted the sad saga of how I took my glasses to an art class at night, got out in the middle of a blizzard and lost them. After searching in the parking lot for an hour I drove home with one eye shut and returned the next morning to find my chic new glasses had been crushed by a snow plow.
Now once again a political woman and her glasses are making news. Hillary Clinton is wearing dark-rimmed glasses, and we are told this is the result of the concussion and blood clot she suffered recently. Like me, she has to have expensive prisms in her lenses to prevent her from seeing double. Many say the glasses give her increased gravitas and a more imposing air, but I feel her pain at having to give up her contacts. We all know that men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.
I empathize with Hillary’s plight. With one very near-sighted eye and the other very far-sighted, the only way I can avoid seeing double is with ultra thick lenses, and even then I do a lot of praying while driving at night, because the glare of oncoming cars wipes out my vision of the road. (I was born with a lazy eye and had to go to kindergarten wearing John-Lennon style granny glasses over an eye patch on my left eye!)
Some celebrities, like Tina Fey and Meryl Streep, look good in their conservative. sexy-librarian glasses. Other celebrities, like Elton John and Lady Gaga, choose to bite the bullet and flaunt the most outrageous specs they can find. In fact, I believe Lady Gaga has designed a whole line of eyewear-- but I don’t think either Hillary or I will be wearing her creations any time soon.
Last month I went back to my optician—the one who had suffered through the Palin glasses mania—with a brand new prescription for dark glasses, stronger than before, to correct my double vision while driving in the daytime. I told him I was thinking of switching political parties and going for something sort of Jackie Kennedy. (Back in the sixties, both Jackie and I lived in New York and bought our over-sized dark glasses from Meyrowitz.)
He knew just was I meant. The price was painful, but the glasses were ready in time for our trip to Nicaragua, and I happily wore them everywhere, even in the pool. (As you can see, it was very windy which scared granddaughter Amalia, especially when the wind blew the lounge chairs into the pool.)
I went back to thank my optician for putting up with my vacillating between political parties when it comes to my style in specs. But he didn’t listen. He was distracted, worrying if he had enough stock to deal with the expected rush on Tom Ford Marko Aviator glasses like those worn by Daniel Craig in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall.