I fucking hate wearing glasses at the best of times. They are the work of the devil, but contacts are impossible when you have no eyelashes to swat the urban gunk out of your eyes. God, I cried so much the day I got glasses for the first time (aged 10). Big, snotty despairing howls. It really felt like the end of the world and it shows - every picture of me from that era is etched with my misery. Glasses (I went for the classic pink NHS frame - not a good choice with my colouring)! And a baby sister! Could it get any worse? No. It couldn't. Not even a trip to the Horse of the Year show could cheer me up. It would have taken a Real Horse in the back yard to cheer me up.
For years I begged for contacts and eventually got them at 14, at which point life regained some semblance of meaning, even though I spent most of my newly meaningful time pleading with people to unscrew U-bends to try and recover my lenses from a pool of pipe scum. But by the time I hit 21 I was bald as a coot, devoid of eyelashes, and back in the eyewear of the devil.
I still hate glasses. When I squint at myself myopically in the mirror at the opticians, it goes one of two ways. Marge Simpson/fifties housewife pointy upturned cornerness, or über-geek no mates dreary sexless non-entity. And the cost! Non-glasses wearers, you have no idea. 600 euros? Do you know how many bowls I could get with that? I tell myself regularly that I might go for the surgery option but incision! in your eyeball! Do you get drugs? There would have to be shitloads of drugs.
I went for the super severe Chanel frames tested out when Tony was chasing me. These are glasses for the person I would like to be, I think. They say satirical columnist on the New Yorker, or curator in a design museum, or architect with severe fringe in mannish Helmut Lang suit. They say "yeah, we are glasses. What the fuck are you going to do about it? We are modernist glasses and we have Things to Say". They are aspirational glasses. Punching above my weight glasses. They intimidate me slightly. I am not sure who is wearing whom.
Look. With thanks to my large rubber reptile models.
I look like this:
Or possibly like this:
(New portrait! You like? Looks to me like my evil plan is 99% complete, no?)
The glasses look like this:
"Hi, we're Emma's glasses. We are self-effacing to the point of being barely visible. We apologise for our existence and we promise you won't even notice us. "
"What the fuck are you staring at? Yes. We are glasses. In fact, we are ironic glasses. We are "glasses" and if you don't like us, that is because you don't get us. Your problem, not ours"
New glasses vs old glasses
Can I live with glasses that are so intent on making a statement? Do you see me as more lizard, or alligator? Has anyone gone down the eye incision route? Tell me internet. I need your help.