Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making a Spectacle of Myself

So.... the results of the Reader Poll are in.... and the glasses will be going back on eeebaaay Though if any of you fancy them for a tenner, they are yours! ;)
My relationship with spectacles began at the age of six when my teacher realised I could not see the blackboard. These are my first glasses. Glamour is all.

I was quite a feisty child until I was made to wear glasses. I lost a great deal of confidence in the playground once I was forced to "take care of" these beautiful objects.
My mother was too proud to have her only daughter wear (free) NHS-issue frames, which came in one shape and three colours: pink, blue or clear.

People pay good money for this "vintage" style now!

Photo: NHS style 192, from the 1960's

One of my worst memories of primary school was the day I tripped on the steps and smashed my glasses while they were still on my face. A sliver of glass was embedded in my eyebrow and my mum had to pick it out with tweezers... shudder!

As I got older, styles changed and every year my prescription was renewed - so I had high hopes of wearing the latest "look". But more often than not, the new lenses went in the old frame.

I did have a pair of "Deirdre Barlows" though - they were hilarious! Sadly, no pictures survive.

Photo: Deirdre Barlow from Coronation Street in her fashionable frames.
When I hit 15 or so, I rebelled against my glasses and refused to wear them outside of the house. Contact lenses were not an option back then, so I just "managed". I would use them for reading in my bedroom but that was about all.

I don't think anyone from my undergraduate days ever saw me in glasses.

But when I went to Leeds in 1985, I marched to the nearest optician and asked for old-style NHS wire frames and wore them with pride.
Yes - my hair really was that colour!

This was probably the peak of my spectacle-wearing career. I was absolutely "on trend" with the other vegan / anarchist / feminist / hunt saboteurs of my generation!
But since then, adult life has intervened. Glasses have got more expensive. I have felt the need to look "professional" and ended up "boring". My current glasses are fine but they don't give me the alternative edge that I had in 1985. Hence the search for the perfect vintage frame.
But clearly these are not the ones for me! They are not even as vintage I thought they were. I am guessing early 1990's rather than 1940's!

So thank you all for your votes. The final results were:

No Roo - FL is right! 71 (84%)

Maybe... with the right outfit? 6 (7%)

Yes Roo - even though FL is right! 3 (3%)

Ignore them - I think you look fabulous! 4 (4%)

Votes so far: 84
Poll closed
And given that my readers are generally quite supportive, and my darling FL occasionally has to be seen by my side, I have to accept that I will be laughed at in the street if I wear these glasses.

But if I find out that FL bribed my daughter to lodge those "anonymous" votes, there will be trouble!


Scruffybadger said...

You are right - if you wear glasses they make a statement (even if it's that you don't want them to make a statement!)And most of us tend to have one pair, so it's important to get it right. I'm still not formally looking for my replacements yet ... but am enjoying following your journey!

Steven L. Ritter said...

MY vote was honest... You can always trust me to be honest. I like the ones you are wearing now!

feresaknit said...

Okay I'm not to sure how to type this but picture one

Saying awwwwwwwwww - whilst laughing and gasping for air! Too cute - with the hair bows and the ringlets, the aran cardy and those buttons - I just have to see one of those and I think aran.

Whatever FL paid it was money well spent! ;D

christinelaennec said...

Very cute photos of you in earlier incarnations. I think you fear you look boring when actually you don't at all - however, the whole point is to feel that you're being true to yourself, and there's nothing better than feeling that little anarchic edge. [Whoops, I see you wrote "alternative" not anarchic!] This hunt for the right frames is making for very compelling "viewing" by the way. I hope FL is enjoying it as well?

Lucette said...

I like all the growing up with glasses photos in your collection. I too grew up with glasses and am not sure I have any photos of the past.

didyoumakethat said...

Hee, hee - great post. I wear contact lenses most of the time, glasses at home in the evening when my eyes are tired. I've never had a really decent pair of frames and I just don't suit glasses!

Sandy said...

I was very near-sighted as a teen and would have preferred glass bottle ends over what I had to wear. Not wearing was a bad option because I wanted to drive... well anyhow, I struggled for years with a narrow face and glasses that always looked far too 'sensible.' I hear your plea!

Good luck in the search and we will all be here waiting for the walk down the runway!

Roobeedoo said...

I thought you would enjoy that photo of 6 year-old-me! My daughter is still reeling from seeing the photo album as apparently the early pictures look nothing like me... I hope this is a good thing!