Thought Catalog

I Hate My Glasses

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I spend my life wandering through a blurry dream world, one made of vague ambiguous shapes, some moving, some standing still, some making noises, some that lick my face, some that don’t. Trees are blurry green shapes. People are the ones that talk at me. Cats are the small furry ones — sometimes rats. My environment is an indistinct cloud I float through like a balloon, a muddled impressionist painting by an untalented artist. Why do I live this way? Because I never wear glasses, and I need glasses to see.

When people wave at me from far away, I never wave back — not because I’m rude, but because I can’t tell if they’re making eye contact with me. Pupils are tiny and their angle is difficult to identify. Instead, I squint intensely in an expression frequently mistaken for a glare, focused on discerning the identity of this distant grayish blue blob. When the blob seems to exhibit signs of discomfort or awkwardness, I hazard a tentative wave, which is greeted with a half-smile and a quick departure in the opposite direction. Do they think I didn’t want to say hi? Or that they weren’t important enough for me to remember? Has my unaided eyesight cost me a friend? Not important. Interactions like these are all normal, and okay, and acceptable, and not at all cause for concern because, you know, it’s fine.

Standing in line at fast food restaurants, I frequently turn to my friend and say, “I can’t read.” He says, “They have special classes at the community college.” I say, “Please read me the menu up there.” He says, “It’s Wendy’s. They have burgers, frosties, fries — the menu’s exactly the same as it’s always been.” I say, “But they might have a special limited edition entrée I don’t know about.” He says, “Why don’t you wear your glasses?” I say, “Because they make my face look weird.” I can tell by his expression that what I’ve said is so unfathomably dumb, he can’t bear to formulate a rebuttal. Sometimes I ask the person at the counter to read me the menu: “List me your foods. All of them.”

Once, while sitting in a friend’s living room, I spotted a black silhouette rush past the window across from me. A few moments later, I saw it zoom past again. After seeing it a third time, I stood up, pointed at the window, and declared, “Justin, there’s something going on out there!” He said, “What?” I said, “Suspicious activities transpiring by your driveway. Someone in a black coat keeps running past the window.” He watched the window, and suddenly the figure passed by again. Then he turned to me. “Brad, that’s a garbage bag.”

The only time I wear my glasses — uncool silver framed ones from when I was fifteen — is when I’m driving a car because A) I’m legally obligated and B) if you see me driving without my glasses, it’s the last time you’ll ever see me alive. One day, I’ll just invest in a prescription windshield, but until then, I have this sense that I drive around in Nerd Mode. Nerd Mode is like a turbo jet fueled version of my normal nerdiness. Maybe I’ll turn to the passenger and, apropos of nothing, begin recounting the last ten issues of X-Men Legacy or maybe I’ll discuss the factors that led to the Butlerian Jihad in the prequel novels to Dune. Maybe I’ll describe my idea for a sequel to Serenity. It feels more natural when I’m wearing glasses.

I don’t like the way glasses encase and partition my facial features until I’m unrecognizable to myself — it’s the same feeling Native Americans must have had when settlers began dividing up the landscape with fences. I’m not myself anymore. I’m myself with glasses. And I don’t believe in augmenting myself to compensate for physical flaws because that only ends in, you know, cyborgs. I feel my face has sustained this general configuration of eyes, nose, and mouth for this long, and I don’t like the idea of adding another feature that could potentially throw the tableau further into chaos. Also, I can’t afford super cool kid glasses right now.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Brad, you’re an idiot.’ Then, ‘Why don’t you just get contacts.’ I can’t get contacts because my eyes are fragile sensitive newborn kittens, and any poking/ prodding causes acute pain and uncontrollable crying. Once, I visited the eye doctor to see if maybe I could get some contacts, but when the eye doctor loomed toward me, grabbed my face, and attempted to thrust a contact lens onto my helpless eyeball, I began hyperventilating like a small child. The doctor said, “What’s he doing?” and my mom said, “He’s hyperventilating.” The doctor looked at me, still shaking and crying. “Huh. This has never happened before.” Maybe that wouldn’t happen now that I’m older, but it would.

At this point, I’m used to it. It’s like the way some HD televisions look too sharp and clear to be natural, so you just keep watching the old Magnavox. I’m used to the hazy indistinct world I live in — being unable to distinguish individual leaves on a tree, stealthily scooting my desk right up next to the chalkboard, stumbling through karaoke because the teleprompter’s too far away — so I feel (irrationally) comfortable continuing with a life of poor vision for the foreseeable future. Still, I occasionally have a flash of insight in which I realize my vision’s slowly steadily declining until the day I go blind in a cornfield, wander aimlessly for days, and then die of thirst in a neighborhood cul-de-sac. TC mark

image – Lazlo NagyHU

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    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      All I can say is that I make passes at people who wear glasses…and I know that’s enough of a reason for you to quit being a hater…keep ’em on. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        SHIIIIIT WHERE ARE MY GLASSES GET THEM ON MY FACE

    • guest

      #whitewhine

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        #whitewine and then #whitewhine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1690980049 Uchenna Anyiam

      I love my glasses 

    • Diana

      im not even kidding, you seriously just described me. the squint, the trip to the contacts, the driving.

    • guest
    • Random

      dude… wear your glasses. maybe get new ones that you actually like. or suck it up and wear contacts.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        No.

    • http://twitter.com/eltigrillo Daniel Alvarenga

      I totally do all of this. I can’t get contacts because I have a permanent lazy eye. You know who your real friends are if they read you the menu, not many people will do this.

    • Addybites

      I wear contacts but periodically when I don’t I LOVE my glasses they’re such a fashion statement. I mean you really shouldn’t be wearing the same glasses from when you were fifteen ANYWAY so you probably need to go get a new pair.. They actually have many, many, interesting & good looking frames this turn of the century… Try it out! 

    • Ian

      You’re a moron.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        I know.

    • samantha

      yes, yes, yes! my reasons for not wearing glasses are the same as your reasons. things have more ‘depth’ when they’re blurry, and I don’t need to see your pores anyways. who needs vision.

      • samantha

        however, not being able to identify people really does suck. I’m probably thought of as a squinty asshole who doesn’t say hi.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

          It’s okay. How often do you need to identify people from far away anyway?

    • http://twitter.com/faheimm Marina Faheim

      you’d never go thirsty in this cul de sac – http://cougartown.wikia.com/wiki/The_Cul-de-Sac_Crew

    • Mary

      I will buy you some cool kid glasses! 

    • Rishtopher

      Even after reading your article, I still don’t “get” this behaviour… I have two friends are are exactly the same. They go through the squinting and glaring at friends, the difficulty in reading menus, etc. It’s not even that they’re in “nerd mode” with their glasses on though, they both love the way their glasses look on them, but for some odd reason, they just hate wearing them. 

      What’s the deal if you like the way they look? I love my glasses and mine are very comfortable. Why would you get glasses you didn’t like though? Is it that your lenses are too thick to choose ones that look better on you? I have a friend in that situation as well.

    • Alex

      Um, the part about the fast food restaurant made me laugh so hard. I hate my glasses too, but I’m much less blind than you apparently are, so it’s not as disastrous when I don’t wear them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

      It’s like the way some HD televisions look too sharp and clear to be natural, so you just keep watching the old Magnavox. 

      I feel like you just made up this sentiment to justify how you feel about you *with glasses*. Hahah.

      I just think you haven’t found the right frames and don’t want to shell out big bucks for something you’ll hate… I got my latest pair of glasses for $162 (a steal for someone with a -15.00 sph and major astigmatism) and although I LOVE them now, committing to a new pair was easier because I didn’t feel the pain in my wallet.

      I grew up with glasses though. I have contacts but never wear them because when I look at myself in the mirror it isn’t anyone I recognize. It’s sort of depressing to not know who you are anymore… but it’s not as bad as being BLIND, Brad.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        What did nearsighted cavemen do before glasses were invented? They just went about their business.  I am exactly the same as a caveman.

        • Anon

          they died cuz they couldn’t see the death coming.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

          Oh shit, I didn’t consider the caveman’s natural predator: The Death.

    • http://www.facebook.com/harrie.dacumos Harriette Castillo Dacumos

      I think your problems are completely unnecessary. Just wear the damn glasses.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        No.

    • best guest

      All glasses are sexy. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1058603815 Nightmariel Wade

      OH MY GOD… this is my life to a t. i’ve found my people!

    • Sam

      You lead an absurd life. I’m sure you get this everyday, but grow some balls and fix your dilemma.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        No.

    • ab

      i’m not sure if ‘prescription windshield’ is the dumbest potential modification to a car i’ve ever heard of or the best.

    • Anonymous

      phlpn.es/7x9vmd

    • samantha

      haters gon’ hate. 

      p.s. glasses are stupid.

    • http://vista-cruiser.tumblr.com jack

      I

      UNDERSTAND

      COMPLETELY

      AND

      AM GLAD

      I

      CAN

      RELATE

      WITH

      SOMEONE

      ELSE

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        I

        AM

        GLAD

        TOO!

    • J0persha

      could you maybe experiment and wear your glasses for a day, or a week, and find out if beeing able to see everything clearly adequately compensates for increased feelings of nerdiness and unsettling facial partitioning?

      And seriously? you don’t believe in augmenting yourself to compensate for physical flaws? I can understand of you’re thinking about augmentation of appearance, but may I ask how far you would take that? Would you refuse cataract surgery, a mechanical heart valve, an artifical limb? Yes they are extreme examples but the same reasoning applies.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.pike Brad Pike

        I would refuse all of those things, yes. I would rather die than become A MACHINE.

        • Quixim

          What about shoes? They augument your feet by letting you walk on things without cutting them. Or clothes, because they keep you from freezing in cold weather

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=612817462 Josh Baer

           bollocks. if you could get robot limbs that would move you around without you ever getting tired or feeling like youve even left a couch… with super hero strength and the ability to punch a grizly bear to death… you’re telling me you would rather NOT become a cyborg…

    • Nick

      Just get trendy black rimmed emo glasses. They seriously look good everyone. That’s why everyone has them.

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