By Lorry Myers
I was eight years old when I started wearing glasses. My teacher noticed that I had difficulty reading the chalk board and asked the school nurse to check my eyes. I wasn’t happy about getting glasses, and neither was Mom. I knew that glasses would get in the way when I played with my brothers and my mother knew that glasses were not in the budget.
Still, I needed glasses.
My mother coaxed my eight-year-old self to choose the flashiest frames from the cheapest selection of kid’s glasses. The frames came to a point at the right top of each eye and were called “cat eye” glasses. These plastic frames came in several different colors but Mom was partial to the discounted turquoise frame that had a hint of glitter so that’s what we came home with. My glasses brought a new clarity to
the world and when I looked in the mirror, I knew I was different.
So did my classmates.
They called me “four-eyes” and “blind eyes” and ironically enough, they called me “cat eyes”. My glasses, they would point out, were crooked or smudged or easily broken. I looked like a nerd, I looked like their grandma, I looked like someone who knew nothing at all.
I never told my mother but I hated those glasses.
The next time I went to the eye doctor, upgraded lens were inserted into my old frames instead of buying me new glasses. I wanted to tell my mother that those turquoise glasses were a problem. My elementary days were over so how I was supposed to see Junior High through rose colored glasses when I was still stuck in a turquoise pair?
I wore those school girl glasses for four years hiding behind others in group photos and hiding behind a closed smile in class photos. Fashion styles were changing and so was the elementary child who was no longer eight years old. I was certain there was not a girl on the eve of being a teen ager who wanted to wear glasses like mine.
I never told my mother that either.