Originally posted in 5.17.2010
Me, always with a camera bag on my shoulder (this one was a Domke bag—that I still own—that my friend and fellow photographer D.B. gave me when I worked in the ad department at Giant Food after I moved here from Texas), circa way long ago. Maybe late 80s?
Dig those big round pre-Harry-Potter-esque glasses! It would not be a stretch to surmise that my sometimes-closeted love for my beloved John Denver influenced my choice in eyewear. Hey, look at that girl with the big glasses—she must be really, really smart! And dig those paper-bag styled shorts (I be stylin’)! I had read in a Cosmo magazine that the color peach makes you look dewy and youthful. I think I wore peach at every turn after that, because if Cosmo prints it, it must be true. Oh, and this was definitely “the era of the perm.” Even the guy on my right is mesmerized by me. This was most likely shot on the beach on Assateague Island in Maryland…obviously by someone who was either a) inebriated, b) suffering from vertigo or c) truly horrible at composition. Hmmm…I think it was shot by new-boyfriend-Dave-who-obviously-loved-me-despite-my-flesh-colored-face-enveloping glasses. No matter. It’s a record shot of a recorder. And a happy one at that.
I remember when I first had to get glasses—I’m guessing it was around 1987. I wasn’t the least bit happy about it and didn’t want to spend a penny more than I had to. So I bought the ugliest, cheapest, completely utilitarian, fleshy-pink giant frames I could find. Apparently I figured that since I had already won Dave’s affections, he wouldn’t care what my glasses looked like. They were functional and I could see Hecht’s red dot sale signs from a mile away! When I look back on these old photos like this, I wonder what he really thought. What’s even funnier is, I eventually swapped the flesh frames for these faux tortoise beauties, but they were still atrocious, still oversized, still from the wall ‘o utilitarian frames.
I remember when I got my first pair of non-John-Denver-schoolboy-all-growed-up frames. After watching me shop for yet another of my comforting old lady specs, she said, “Um. Miss? Why don’t you try these?” They were very small. Very little glass. Pert. Prim. Shimmery metal. Calvin Klein. $175 (gulp) just for the frames. To humor her, I tried them on. Cute. But really? Could I be so brave to leave my studious-nerdy-why-don’t-you-just-get-some-that-cover-your-chin-as-well frame choices behind? Dare I? Yes, I could and I did. And after adding the super deluxe scratch resistant, sun-shielding, UV-UVA-SUV-ASAP-LMNOP coating, radon-deflecting, night-vision-enhanced, argon-gas-infused lens package, I left with those teeny, tiny little designer frames for only $330! Contrast that to my first old lady frames that cost a whopping total of $50 and came with lenses, a cleaning kit, and an eyeglass holder. Ah, but I did look so stylish after that. Nothing came between me and my Calvins. I haven’t looked back. Until I stumbled onto this slide, that is.