When I first sat down to write this post a number of ideas flashed through my mind, but I just didn’t feel like heavy this week. So I’m doing what a ton of bloggers get shit about. That is, writing about what they had for breakfast.
But I’m not gonna write about breakfast.
When I got my new eye prescription, I put the lenses into a pair of frames I’d been using for years. I like them, but it was also time for something different. Really different. Then a Groupon coupon that would save me some serious shekels sealed the deal. I committed myself to a store where I’d seen odd and wild frames in their window. Hey, spring is just around the corner. The greening of Zach.
This “new image” idea actually began a few years ago when I spent a week with Sue’s relatives in an Adirondack cabin where Calvin Coolidge used to summer. Twelve year old Bella had blue frames that I adored. Problem was, I worked with lawyers then and spent a fair amount of time in court. I always removed my earrings, but still played fast and loose with turtlenecks rather than shirts and ties. But blue glasses…way out of bounds. I’d hate to have any jury affected by my questionable fashion sense.
But I don’t go to court anymore. Which made it time to stretch. To find those blue frames, or their 2012 equivalent. Sue graciously accepted my invitation to come along. Perhaps it was a defensive move. In other, similar, circumstances she had let me shop alone, then greeted me and the results with a sadly shaking head. (I never brought home a leisure suit, I swear.)
You gotta love Harvard Square. Hell, if we melted down all the silver and gold attached to the bodies we’d all be rich, though I’m not one to cast aspersions given my earrings and bracelets. The young women in the eyeglass store were also loaded with facial (and I’d guess body) piercings, still, they looked at me funny when I said I wanted something a little outrageous. Couldn’t blame them–I was a sixty-three year old in a store meant for twenty-somethings.
After those initial glances, the two youngsters took me on. I guess there’s enough strange in Harvard Square to allow for mine. Along with Sue, they cheerfully pitched in. I felt like I had three personal shoppers all bringing me frames to try on. Which was incredibly helpful. Despite my vision of blue, I had no real idea about what I was looking for.
Odd how often that happens. I knew I wanted something different, but when it came right down to it, I felt like I’d walked into a room to get something, but was stopped cold in my tracks upon arrival. I was there for a reason–hell, I could taste it–but for the life of me couldn’t figure out what.
Here, it was did I want round fronts? Go for a 1950s look with dark on top of the lens that fades to grey as it circles the bottom? Was I interested in a return to the 70s with “aviators?” So many questions and a whole lot of choices.
Went through the blues (surprise, surprise), but either they weren’t the shade I wanted or were the wrong shape for my face. Moved on to green, purple, and even mustard. Same problems. Either the color or shape didn’t quite cut it. I was beginning to think my quest was gonna end in disappointment.
Sue and the clerks saw the beginning of my funk and suggested I slowly, methodically go shelf by shelf instead of taking the kid in a candy store approach I’d adopted as soon as we’d walked in. Off I went, this time looking carefully at each frame. Wouldn’t you know it–about halfway around the track, an oversized fuchsia caught my eye and found its way onto my face. I liked them, liked them as much as Sally Fields believed the members of the Academy liked her. I thought I had finally found my frames until the younger and more metallized of the women slid next to me. Aware that I was beaming and also aware that Sue had simply shrugged, she carefully chose her words.
“It seems you like this pair.”
“I do, actually.”
“They are pink, you know.”
The pink was what had attracted me. And I was old enough to be secure of my sexuality.
“I know,” I replied.
“The shape works, but they really look Elton John. Want to try them in tortoise shell?”
I shook my head, watching the color catch the light.
“And I think I have a pair you’ll like better. Wait here and I’ll get them.”
Wait here? Of course I was going to wait here. Wait and think about whether I wanted to look like Elton. “I’m not the man they think I am at home. Oh no no no, I’m a rocket man.” Hadn’t he been recently honored at the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Awards?
The young lady returned and fidgeted. “I would feel like a used car salesman if I let you buy that pair of frames,” she said earnestly.
“Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone…”
She handed me a pair of absolutely clear, round frames and suggested I try them on. Truth was, they fit my face perfectly. And their clearness was definitely outside my normal groove. Still, with the pink, I could be Rocket man.
As I stared hard into the mirror it eventually dawned. I wasn’t Elton John, was never gonna be Elton John, and I don’t really enjoy burning out my fuse alone. Plus, I never even cared about Lady Di.
But I was the reflection I saw behind those clear frames and knew it. I guess pink, blue, green, purple, and mustard are just going to have to wait. Maybe when I’m 64.
The Boy Wondering: “I’m at an age where I only use the word ‘hip’ to describe an ongoing medical condition.”