Mary London Szpara: “Girls Who Wear Glasses…”

I recently noticed a weird phenomena.

Many of the women on national news channels and talk shows are sporting what I can only refer to as “Clark Kent glasses on steroids”. The observation was more confusing due to the fact that they appeared to be props or fashion accessories. They did not appear to be useful, since the refraction of the prescription lense should show a distortion on the face and around the eyes. Like Mr Magoo. (Oops dating myself to be sure)
Now I’m not being critical of those who decide that this is a worthy fashion statement.. However it did make me ponder….

When I was really young, I remember the phrase “boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”. That particular stupid rhyme scarred me for life. So much though, that in grade school when it came time for us to take our eye exam I, well, cheated.

Yes i admit it – I cheated. You see, The nuns would have each student sit In a particular seat designated to be the appropriate distance from the dreaded eye chart. Each exam was simple -reading the eye chart from top to bottom or as far as we can go. Of course the exam was done very methodically as we were in line for the test according to our last name…… Lucky for me my last name was halfway through the alphabet.

I was able to take the time to listen to each one that preceded me and I memorized the chart. By the time my name was called to sit in the designated chair, I was pretty confident that I would be okay. Without sweating I automatically ‘read’ the chart nearly down to the copyright line.

Yup I had that test nailed with flying colors and glasses would not be in my immediate future.

Teachers and parents seemed somewhat perplexed by my acing the eye exam chart. They didn’t ask how I did it and I didn’t offer an explanation. I did learn something new quickly thereafter to continue the deception, I realized if I put my elbows on the desk, my chin in my hands and let my fingers frame my face while using my fingers to stretch the corners of my eyes- my eyesight was improved i relied on that trick the remainder of the school year.

Sadly, it did not prevent me from eventually having to wear glasses, which was inevitable, as evidenced by a family portrait still hanging in my parents home. 10 of the eleven family members were sporting black frames. My young sister was merely two at the time, so it was not a unanimous….but even she would not be immune. Yes , I said 11 of us. Did I mention I came from a good catholic family? 7 boys, 2 girls, plus mom and dad.

Contacts were not an option financially, so the frames were budget minded.

In my high school years I finally found frames that nearly disappeared, the thin wire rimmed glasses…kinda John Lennon style.

It was much later, in my twenties when contacts brought my world in focus…and it 2002 when surgery gave me 20/20 vision and the glasses were a thing of the past and I awoke each morning with perfect vision.

For years, the only glasses I had to wear were sunglasses! I found plenty of options there and aviator styles always seem to fit the bill. (By the way, I have a basket full of sunglasses I purchased over the years. Purging this weekend…) although I do tend to lose them regularly. Thus the need for a basket of this size.

Recently, I found myself in search of glasses to combat blue light. I ordered a pair of Clark Kent style frames in a more neutral tone. They do the trick but are ugly and vanity will not permit me to wear them outside of my own personal space, (or a phone booth if it still existed).

Yes, I have digressed, yet we come full circle.

The questions remain: Fashion accessory or IQ booster, and do men make passes at girls who wear glasses?

Mary London Szpara

After 20 years in radio, Mary London Szpara hung up her rock and roll DJ and programming stilettos to become a full time voice actor, mimic, audio editor, producer, and executive producer of a syndicated radio show And Then There Was That with Sonny Hollywood Chase. Her writing skills were enhanced over the years as she wrote creative copy for radio ads, and then put pen to paper after the death of her husband and soul-mate. Her book The Loss World (Amazon) has become a stage play The Loss World Monologues and most recently, a short film has just been completed. She has produced 2 metal cd's, Metal Mythos Vol 1 & 2, and continues to work with musicians on a regular basis.

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