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My husband, Practical Man, often has to pry a book out of my snoring, sleeping fingers.   I know fingers don’t usually snore but, I’m sure mine do.

It can’t be my adorable nose making all that racket.


We made our headboard out of architectural tin and for the entire drive home, Practical Man kept mumbling, “I can’t believe I just paid money for a rusty old piece of metal”.

Ever since I learned to read, it’s been the same story.   Me and a book, in a dimly-lit room, my nose literally squished against the pages as I strained and squinted to see the words from my secret spot beneath the covers.  I probably would have needed glasses at some point, but I may have hastened the process just a tad with my voracious attachment to 1970’s six-year-old’s I-Can-Read literature, like Pickles the Fire Cat, The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk and The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck.

Not much has changed.  Right now, I’m reading Penelope Crumb (funny and touching children’s chapter book), and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (a wonderful book for grown-ups and ’40s vintage fans).

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that my left eyeball hurts today.  What with the habitual reading before sleep ‘n all.

It’s been hurting on and off (mostly on) when I move it around recklessly–as in reading, driving or checking out Practical Man’s form on a tractor–since February.   Doctors are mystified but I don’t appear to be going blind, growing a brain tumour or developing Multiple Sclerosis.

In other words, it’s all good.

It just hurts.  But I can still see, for which I am grateful, since I have needed glasses (badly) since the age of seven.

And Practical Man looks darn good on that orange Kubota.  It might hurt my left eye to look, but I’d hate to miss that.   So I’m grateful for the vision provided to me by glasses and contacts.

But, like many, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with them.  After all, it was said that Boys Don’t Make Passes At Girls Who Wear Glasses.

Norman Rockwell's The Girl at the Mirror

My parents bought me this Norman Rockwell print when I was a child. Apparently boys weren’t making passes at her either.

At first, my affair with glasses was all good.  In fact, it started out rather glamorously.

Behold my Great Grandma Hildegard’s snazzy, sparkly horn-rimmed glasses when she held me as a baby in 1969.  They match her equally snazzy, sparkly earrings and brooch, of course.  Don’t you just love how eyewear gives an instant snapshot of an era?

Great Grandma Hildegard holding me as a baby with her fetching horn rimmed glasses

My great grandma Hildegard is a much-loved family legend…and very fashionable with her glasses.

But after that, things–spectacle-wise–started taking a definite turn for the worse.

My parents bought me fancy (and no doubt, expensive) glasses that darkened automatically in the sun but this was the mid-70s, so they didn’t lighten back up very well.  As a result, I had a vaguely Annie Sullivan look about me…even though with that haircut it was hard to look like anyone but a young Shaun Cassidy.


Me, at 8 years old with my glasses

And then there was puberty (bad perm and worse glasses).  Still look like Shaun Cassidy.  Remember the phase where the arms of the glasses started at the bottom of the lenses and then swooped up over your ears?  Apparently, I thought that was a good look (stop laughing).

Bad perm and worse glasses


In high school, I didn’t love the “four eyes” teasing or the fogging up the instant I set my foot on the first step of the bus to school when I was busy trying to plan how to nonchalantly plop myself down next to Graham Gorgeous, the hunky guy who had just moved back from New Zealand.

But, it was all good.

I had worked out that if I entered the bus backwards, my glasses didn’t fog up.  It’s very challenging to bat your eyelashes at Graham Gorgeous when steam has obscured his view of your beautiful baby blues.

Yep, it’s a real mystery why I didn’t end up as Mrs. Graham Gorgeous.

So, I should have known better by the time high school graduation rolled around.  Apparently blue eye shadow was my thing.  Not that you would notice on account of the gigantic, red glasses and ’80s bangs.

High school graduation photo with giant, red glasses

What can I say? I was a late, LATE bloomer.

Despite that, all these years later, I am thankful for glasses ‘cos I can’t find a thing without them.

For example, I can’t find my glasses without my glasses.

How cruel is that?

I haven’t found snazzy, sparkly vintage glasses like Great Grandma Hildegard’s, but I’ve started wearing this modern-day, reasonable facsimile:

Me, wearing vintage inspired sunglasses

My vintage-inspired sunglasses (maybe I can bedazzle them so they’re more like G.G. Hildegaards). And, I match the grass.

And, every night, when Practical Man pries the book out of my snoring, sleeping fingers, I’m sure I am smiling because I finally know the truth:

Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses.

It’s all good.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2013.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my latest book.