Rose coloured glasses.

Zinna promises to find a pair of glasses that will make me look ten years younger.

They must be rose coloured.

Which, coincidentally, was the actual colour of my very first pair at the tender age of thirteen. Thick rimmed pink plastic with actual glass rather than the infinitely lighter polycarbonate, they were hidden amongst my school books as I travelled between classrooms.  I would furtively pop them on and stare straight ahead hoping one or other of my current crushes wouldn’t notice.

Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Which was pretty much true throughout high school but mercifully disproved as I headed myopically into my twenties.

I spent a couple of years heavily involved in amateur theatre. The glasses would be removed during performances and I developed a squint that was often employed for comic effect – think Mr McGoo.

Eventually I was relying on fellow cast members to steer me away from the ever present threat of careening head first into the audience. It was time to explore the possibilities of contact lenses.

A genial ophthalmologist in the City conducted another eye test and checked the health of my eyes. Apparently they were extremely healthy with all the ocular prowess of a fruit bat.

He assured me that I was the perfect candidate for contact lenses and that he had yet to meet a set of eyeballs he couldn’t fit.

Given my general skittishness to anyone attempting cosmetic congress on or around my eyes or that I was utterly incapable of fishing out the odd rogue eyelash, this was set to be a challenging exercise.

Chuckling at my nervousness, the good Doctor sat opposite me with his plastic container of disposable contact lenses. Our knees met as he leant toward me with the tiny transparent disc balanced delicately on his index finger.

contact lens

Now I want you to relax; I’m just going to open your eye with this hand and –

My head reeled back like a striking cobra and the lens pinged off onto the floor.

That’s ok. It takes a few goes but you’ll be fine.

I’ll spare you the commentary and fast-forward to the point where Dr I-Can-Fit-Anyone is crawling around on the floor retrieving 27 contact lenses and sobbing quietly.

I left with a huge pair of pink, white and gold Christian Dior frames that worked so well with my bouffant 80’s hair and shoulder pads. For clearly this was the decade when my eyewear choices were truly tasteful fashionable.

There were several variations on the ornate Dior’s before a pair of heavy black Clark Kent ones, followed by a series of whacky primary coloured frames to match the Jenny Kee jumpers and Ken Done tee shirts.

The decade that taste forgot.

The decade that taste forgot.

When I turned up for my eye appointment Zinna was nowhere to be seen…and yes, I was wearing my glasses.

Well that’s just great, who’s going to make me look ten years younger now?

She had been replaced with Amelia, a veritable foetus behind the desk.

Take a seat, I'll be with you when i've finished confirming these appointments.

Take a seat, I’ll be with you when i’ve finished confirming these appointments.

Excellent, there’s every chance I’ll leave with a pair of Katy Perry diamante embellished cats eyes now.

Alright, I grant you, she could wear Sir Elton's 70's cast-off frames and look amaaaazing

Alright, I grant you, she could wear Sir Elton’s 70’s cast-off frames and look amaaaazing

I met the optician, Van, a twelve year old, who conducted a most thorough eye examination featuring all the usual flashing lights, drops and pressure tests that one has become accustomed to over the years.

Finishing up she cheerfully announced that my right eye had deteriorated. Just how many freaking carrots do I need to eat in a lifetime???

Van suggested popping a pair of contact lenses in to assist my new frame selection while deftly inserting one under each lid. I had absolutely no time to react negatively. Genius – the woman was an optical ninja.

Wandering out into the showroom it was time to select face furniture to reflect the twenty teens….No? Ok, what would you call it then? What is this decade called? Anyone?

I stood before a column of frames ruefully contemplating my face in the mirror along side. While the contact lenses were not my exact prescription they afforded me clarity of vision that bordered on the forensic.


x-ray vision

Right, girls, here’s your task – from what I’ve observed I have a good decade before unaccountably shearing off my hair, dying it an implausible hue, adorning my ears, neck and wrists in gaudy resin jewellery, swathing myself in luxe pashmina’s and sporting glasses of such alarming colours as to frighten small children – for now, I just need to look stylish and a bit fabulous. Are you up to the challenge?

Amelia finished updating her Facebook status and snapped into action.

I quickly settled on two pairs, which Van obligingly photographed me wearing so I could send the images for familial consensus. Fortunately we all agreed on the same frame, which, as so often occurs, was the first pair young Amelia handed me.

I should probably appreciate the gentle blurring world created by my current lenses and if, when my new glasses are ready, everything is just way too HD, I’ll whip out the vas and give them the Doris Day treatment.

...the future's not ours to see -  - no really

…the future’s not ours to see –
– no really

Que sera, sera.

About Learning the hard way

Jane is of the belief that her life's purpose may well be to serve as a warning to others. She is unsure as to why she speaks in the third person...
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9 Responses to Rose coloured glasses.

  1. Pamela says:

    Jane! I love your writing! Such a pleasure to read – for most of the time I have a smirk lingering but did the laugh out loud thing with Dr I-can-fit-anyone! You are a hoot! And such a pleasure to meet with you last month – what a fun night we had! Look forward to catching you up again!!! Happy days always my dear! xxx


  2. I fear I may finally be nearing that point in life where I’ll need to break down and have my eyes checked for glasses. I assume I’ll look amazing in glasses and have to leave my family to go be some sort of glasses model, but whatever. That happens a lot probably.


    • Learning the hard way says:

      I hear you brother, the number of offers I’ve had to field from Rayban…they just won’t take no for an answer. Seriously Don, you will assume the look of the intelligentsia from the moment you pop on the tortoise shells 😁


  3. Love this post, made me laugh out loud


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