In view of my thoughts in advance of his remarks, I think it is only appropriate to include a link to the text of President Obama’s speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
Recently, the weather has taken a sharp turn in a much colder direction. This change has brought about one of the worst drawbacks to wearing glasses — the annoying fogging phenomenon that occurs when the glasses-wearer walks from frigid climes into a warm room, the lenses turn to milk, and the blinded nerd stumbles aimlessly until some kind of equilibrium is reached and the glasses once again allow, rather than prevent, clear sight.
I’ve worn glasses since I was in first grade, and they have their good and bad aspects. The drawbacks of glasses are many and well-recognized. When I was a kid, and glasses actually were made of glass, they didn’t really facilitate aggressive participation in contact sports. It’s not easy to crowd the plate when your brain conjures mental images of an inside pitch shattering your spectacles and lacerating your eyeballs. If the frames of your glasses got broken — and they inevitably did — your beleagured Mom was likely to patch them up with scotch tape. Several of the school photos of UJ and me feature us sporting taped-up, horn-rimmed glasses. It was, candidly, not a good look. And the reality is that glasses are never a positive fashion statement. No one with 20-20 eyesight decides that no-prescription glasses would enhance their appearance. This is why the large blow-up photos found on the walls in an “eye center” are so misleading. I’m convinced that none of the laughing skinny 20-somethings or the smiling, rugged 40-year-old outdoorsmen shown wearing the latest optical fashions really need glasses. (They never show them wearing fogged glasses, either.)
Still, to my mind there is one central, dispositive positive aspect to glasses. If your eyesight is poor, there are only two alternatives to wearing glasses — being unable to see anything clearly, or either regularly sticking something into your eye or paying some mass-marketing practitioner to perform “laser surgery” on the most important of your five senses. I’ll take glasses — even occasionally fogged glasses — over those alternatives any day.