This picture is a selfie I took on the day that I chose new frames at the optician. I was really excited by how they look with my increasingly gray hair but now that the frames are fitted with my prescription lenses, I am a little heart-broken. To explain why, I have to break a rule I developed:

“AVOID TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR FLAWS because, most of the time, people won’t notice those flaws unless you point them out.”

In this situation, the flaw is that, because the prescription is so strong, my eyes look weirdly small behind the pretty new frames. My vision deteriorated a lot during the year of COVID and, to me, there is a huge difference in how these glasses look compared to my old prescription lenses.

Here’s the obligatory but sincere gratitude: I know that I am incredibly fortunate to live in a time when someone with such bad eyesight can get it corrected, and also fortunate that I can afford all the extras so that the lenses don’t look an inch thick. And if the glasses bother me so much, I could go back to wearing contact lenses.

I also know this is probably something that no one but me will ever notice unless I point it out, so why break the rule? Because sharing emotions helps manage them but also to figure out why I am so sad about this. The answer is probably wrapped up in decades of history of trying not to look as vision-impaired as I am. When I started wearing glasses in the fourth grade, choosing frames was a repeated and angst-ridden project given the options available for young girls in the 1960s. I started wearing contact lenses in middle school, and popped them in daily for almost 50 years. So even though I think I am only moderately vain, those habits attached huge emotional baggage that unexpectedly arrived with my new glasses. With practice, I think I can leave that baggage behind

2 thoughts on “Vanity

  1. I appreciate your honesty. I also have vanities that I don’t acknowledge but that are being challenged by the passing of time. But I’m not ready yet to say them out loud.


    1. Of course, I am always ready to listen if you are ready to share… but don’t forget how perfect you are and that no challenge to any of your vanities is justified.


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