Barbara eye wears glasses

I find it interesting to think about how I’ve defined myself at different points in my life.  The summer before I started fifth grade, I had to start wearing glasses. This was after spending the bulk of fourth grade tapping the shoulder of the girl sitting in front of me to ask her what was on the chalk board. Ahhhh…chalkboards–now there’s a post for another time.

I was excited about the glasses for about five minutes. I have astigmatism, so I have to wear glasses or contacts all of the time. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of commitment in fifth grade. Soon, my glasses became the symbol for everything that I didn’t like about myself, for all of my pre-teen angst. I remember at the beginning of seventh grade, being in my home economics classroom (Remember when they used to call it home economics?) and listening to my teacher explain how another student had told her a trick for remembering my name: Barbara Eye wears glasses. Even as I type this I feel the embarrassment, the awkwardness inherent in transitioning out of childhood …

The following summer I talked  my parents into getting me contacts. I don’t think I have one picture of me in glasses from eighth grade on, until perhaps I was in my twenties.  I felt such freedom at no longer having to wear those stupid glasses, at being able to wear sunglasses.  How funny it seems now that something so seemingly insignificant was so important to me then. If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom, putting in my contacts. And maybe I’ll go out today and get another pair of sunglasses.


About barbaraeye

I am seeking sanity.
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2 Responses to Barbara eye wears glasses

  1. Tina Gibson says:

    Good job, Barbara!

  2. I remember being mortified in ninth grade in French class when we were learning our numbers by announcing what size shoe we wore . . . I wore a size 9.5/10. I had the biggest feet of any girl in class. It’s amazing how inadequate we all feel at that age and how far we go to try to prevent our kids from feeling the same way that we did, but it’s all part of growing up.

    Nice post.

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