I’ve Come to Love Wearing Glasses

I’m a librarian. A reader. I identify as a four-eyed person. I’ve always worn glasses. I got my first pair in the second grade. It was a miracle! The blurry world I’d inhabited all my life suddenly came into focus. I could see the blackboard! I could read street signs! I could actually see facial expressions. I hated it. It was the early ’60s, decades before Nerd Pride, when myopia wasn’t cool. The ideal girl was a cheerleader, not a bookworm. There’s a reason why that pop song was called “Brown-Eyed Girl” and not “Four-Eyed Girl.” My new specs, with their light blue frames and thick lenses, didn’t signal: “Cool! Smart! Fun!” They signaled: “Hey bullies — pick on THIS kid!”…. I was comfortable in my soft muzzy world and my new glasses were ugly, so I only wore them when I absolutely had to. As I got older, my vision grew increasingly worse. But — lucky for me — glasses got cooler. By the time I hit 7th grade, cheerleaders were on their way out and Hippie chicks with granny glasses were on their way in. Even John Lennon, my hero, wore specs! These days my specs signal: “Cool! Smart! Appropriate for library work!” And it’s a good thing that I’ve come to love wearing glasses because I couldn’t survive without them. My eyesight, steadily deteriorating for five decades, is now so abysmal that without my glasses I’d walk into walls, tumble down stairs, or, at the very least, knock everything off the bathroom counter each morning.