Last winter I lost my prescription Dolce and Gabbana shades in Cairo. They fell into the Nile when I was making my way up a catwalk to a ferry. I tried to be philosophical about it, rationalizing my loss was an offering to the ancient gods in an exotic place. But I really was upset: I looked GOOD wearing them and they cost a fortune.
Back in the States I couldn’t find a replacement at the optometrist. Oh, they could be specially ordered, but the price was outrageous. Still, I needed sunglasses, so I pulled into Walgreen’s to get an ‘emergency’ pair.
I found these ugly-useful sunglasses that slip over my regular eyeglasses. I checked them out in the little greasy display mirror. I saw an old dude looking back at me. In a hurry, I bought them anyway and tossed them in the car as ‘driving glasses.’
Damn, but these are the best sunglasses I have ever worn! They fit like a dream, are high-UV filtered and they block bright light on all sides. They look godawful, but guess what? I don’t care!
And so I’ve come to realize this is how one accepts aging: comfort trumps appearance and cost reigns over style. I’m over fifty now and more than halfway through life. Sure, style matters, but now it’s a different, inner style. Appearance is still very important, but I’m not into impressing people at my age. I’ll still draw the lines at those hideous, boxy Senior Shoes from SAS. Well, for now, anyway. Maybe in another twenty years when I’m two inches shorter and my toes are bent, I’ll welcome those, too.
My clunky sunglasses (my wife and I call them ‘sungoggles’) come with several benefits:
- The younger adult, who lives with us, takes stuff and never returns any of it, won’t touch them.
- My wife bought a pair – they come in only one style – and we can each wear the other’s glasses. They’re andro!
- Young people scatter before you in public places.
- Or, they hold doors open for you. Sometimes this is a good thing.
- And if you’re a person who cannot be in public without eye makeup, just slip one of these babies on if you must leave the house in an emergency.
- Finally, they are so ugly, they don’t accessorize at all. Which means they go with everything (if you stop giving a damn about your appearance).