Sunglasses Summer

This summer I have a simple, straightforward goal.  I’m not trying to lose 50 pounds, or develop six-pack abs, or write the Great American Novel.  No, my sights are set much lower, at something that is at least reasonably attainable:  I want to wear my sunglasses as often as I possibly can.

Some years ago, when I bought a new pair of regular glasses, I got this pair of retro sunglasses for a reduced price.  However, I’ve never really worn them much.  I think it’s because I’ve never gotten in the habit of wearing sunglasses at all.  I’ve always worn prescription glasses, and back in the old days if you did your only option was to wear the kind of shades that clipped on to your regular glasses.  That was too nerdy for me, so I swore off sunglasses.  As a result, even when I got these prescription jobs that address the near-sightedness issue, I just never thought of wearing them.

But earlier this year I resolved that I should start wearing the sunglasses, and I’ve realized I really like it.  For one things, the dark lenses hide the unseemly bags and wrinkles surrounding my aging eyes.  For another, the sunglasses make me think I look stylish, even if that is a laughable proposition.  And wearing the sunglasses on hot days somehow makes me feel cooler, temperature-wise.  I know that can’t possibly be true in an objective sense, because obviously eyewear doesn’t reduce the ambient temperature or minimize the harshness of the sun’s rays, but wearing the shades gives me that feeling just the same — and I like it.

Already this year, I’m confident that I’ve worn my sunglasses more than I have in all of the years I’ve had them, combined.  I feel a certain sense of accomplishment, but I also feel like I’m in more of a summer mood.  Amazing what a pair of sunglasses can accomplish!

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ShadeWorld

This past weekend we experienced our first really hot days of summer and some blazing sunshine.  With the sun so bright that it seemed to make your eyeballs pulse, I decided to don my sunglasses and slip into ShadeWorld.

I like ShadeWorld.  I’m a recent convert, because for many years I just didn’t wear sunglasses.  I hated the kind that clipped on to my glasses, and I was too cheap to buy prescription sunglasses.  Finally I did, and I haven’t regretted it.

IMG_1228In ShadeWorld, there are no sharp edges, sharp words, or sharp practices.  It’s a copacetic place, like walking through a photo-shopped landscape where the Master Photographer used the maximum “warming” effect from one side of the frame to the other.  Everything and everyone touched by the rays of Old Sol seems to glow with an intense inner flame.

When I passed this scarlet tree on a walk on Saturday, it was so luminescent and beautiful that I had to take a picture and share it with the rest of humanity.  Of course, I was seeing it in ShadeWorld, not in reality.  Without the dark lenses and anti-glare and Blublockers and whatever the heck else has made my sunglasses the most magical pair of spectacles since Joseph Smith discovered Urim and Thummim and founded the Mormon religion, the radiant leaves just looked like ordinary leaves.  I should have realized this, but ShadeWorld clearly affects your senses.

And that’s why I couldn’t don my sunglasses and live in friendly, easygoing ShadeWorld full-time.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to deal with reality.  ShadeWorld should be reserved for those times when the blinding harshness of everyday life becomes too much, and only a physical change in the look of the world will do.

Now that I think of it, I imagine I’m going to be visiting ShadeWorld a lot until the presidential election is over.

Sunglasses, By The Masses

Yesterday Kish and I were at a store and she bought two new pairs of sunglasses. It’s a familiar scene.  By my rough estimate, with these two new additions, Kish has now owned 3,461 pairs of sunglasses during our years of wedded bliss.

Unfortunately, the life spans of those unlucky eyewear items tend to be as fleeting as that of the common mayfly.  They inevitably end up lost, or destroyed, or otherwise discarded, left to join their brethren in the Great Sunglasses Beyond, where they fondly reminisce about their brief but crucial days of service in shielding the eyes of sensitive humans from the sun’s cruel glare.

If these two new pairs of sunglasses turn out to be anything like their predecessors, their likely fate is as follows:

Left on a restaurant table — 10%

Pulverized by heavy items in an enormous handbag — 15%

Chewed to smithereens by Penny — 22%

Fallen apart after cheap screw falls out of flimsy frame and can’t be found, even with use of magnifying glass — 17%

Inexplicably lost within 48 hours of purchase — 35.9%

Last long enough to become unfashionable — .1%

The World, Through Sunglasses

What is it about sunglasse?  Why do they have such a profound mental and physical effect?

You put them on, and immediately you begin to relax.  Your brain thinks, “vacation.”  You breathe out and exhale all of the work-related pressures and stresses.  You chuckle at the effect.  You smell coconut lotions and fruity, umbrella-topped concoctions.  You feel the sand between your toes and a warm, tangy, salty breeze gently brushing the hairs on your arms.  You slow down a bit.

I think sunglasses have an almost magical effect on people for many reasons.  First, almost everyone thinks they look cool in sunglasses.  Celebrities and Secret Service agents wear them all the time, for a reason.  Whether you really do look cool doesn’t make any difference, of course — it’s the thought that counts.  Second, sunglasses are associated with vacations and good times.  And third, the way in which sunglasses alter the world around us makes a big difference.  Why shouldn’t we want to take the edge off the glare of bright sunshine and darken and soften the world a bit?