I first got glasses when I was eight years old and going into the third grade.

It was long before the Clearly Contacts franchise and the thick hipster frames. Long before they were stylish and cool and made someone look smart rather than nerdy. This was also long before I, as a person, was cool and confident and ready to rock two circles of glass atop a rubber nose pad.

My eyesight seemed to deteriorate alarmingly quickly. I went from a carefree second grader to being unable to make out who was who on the other side of my third grade classroom. At first I refused to give in to my glasses. I was at a new school and wanted to be pretty and cool and loved by all–something glasses would surely get in the way of.

So, I wore them onto the school bus, waved goodbye to my mom through the window, then promptly took them off and hid them in their plastic case.

My parents eventually caught on.

“Mrs. S. says you’re having a hard time seeing the board,” my mom said one day. “She says she’ll call on you for answers and you don’t say anything. Is it because you can’t see?”


I pitched the idea of punching the lenses out of their frames and attaching them to a wire like that man from Cinderella did, simply holding them up to my eyeballs whenever I absolutely needed to see something.

My parents weren’t into the idea.

When fourth grade rolled around I had no choice but to permanently set those wire frames onto my face and begin the long and gruelling trek of being the fourth grade loser. I was ugly, uncoordinated, and because of those glasses on my nose, lacked any sort of confidence whatsoever.

I grew my way through elementary school and straight into high school where I finally started to figure out who the fuck I was and embraced my inner quirks, which boosted my confidence and popularity all in one. Even so, the second I was able to get contact lenses I was all over it. I put those wire frames on a shelf, wearing them only before bed when my only interaction was saying goodnight to my parents and telling the dog my deep dark secrets.

I no longer faced the world hidden behind the frame. I had officially made it through my glasses years. I had won. I was bandaged and tattered but I. had. WON.

I am now 26. I am blind as ever. And I still hate my glasses just as much as I did when I was 8 years old and figuring out the best strategy to poke out the lenses.

The dislike is very different now. Overall, my glasses no longer impact me as a person. They don’t butcher my self-esteem or remind me of the days of sitting alone on the school bus. My glasses are actually decently cool and I wear them when I have a headache or am overwhelmingly tired or simply can’t be bothered sticking that contact lens in my eyeball first thing in the morning. They don’t faze me.


Regardless of this – regardless of how baller and confident I have become – I fucking HATE wearing glasses.

For example, you can never win with the weather. It’s sunny? You’re blinded. It’s raining? You can’t see through those fogged up, splatter-stained lenses. It’s hot? They slide right off your sweaty face.

Glasses vs. contacts at the beach? Glasses are off the table because you want to wear your shades, but contacts are equally annoying because they’ll inevitably get dry and sandy and end up being this crumpled little lump stuck to your eye that you painfully have to peel off when you’re finally home and in front of a mirror.

Or it’s winter. It’s freezing. You’re en route to brunch, bundled up with your head down walking as fast as your legs can go. You see your destination. You fling the door open, desperately seeking the heat the indoors has to offer – and BAM. You’re struck with two giant pieces of fogged up glass in front of your eyes. Are your friends here? Is anyone in front of you? YOU CAN’T SEE A THING. So you take them off and squint at that back table of people that looks like they’re probably girls and–oh, are they waving at you?–you wave back and walk towards them and suddenly realize it’s not them after all. So you turn around before they can see you and bump into the waiter who was carrying a tray of coffee and you apologize profusely as the cups and saucers teeter over on the tray. You finally make your way back to the entrance and try to defog your glasses on your shirt (which is so impossible to do because you’re layered with scarves on coats on sweaters) and you FINALLY achieve this and FINALLY get them back on your face and then you look around and see no one you know. Not a single soul. So you smile sheepishly and request a table for 3, and the waiter begrudgingly takes you there even though you just spilled coffee on their shirt.

You spend half your life savings on eye exams and frames and lenses and lens solution and that overpriced glasses cleaner that unfortunately really does work better than water.

All because you are a poor unfortunate soul who was sentenced to a life in glasses.

So, the moral of the story? Never tell a glasses-wearer how much you wish you had glasses. And if you DO get glasses, wear your contacts all winter long. Waiters across the globe will thank you for it.