7 Reasons That There is no Stigma Attached to my Spectacles
Regular readers of 7 Reasons might be not have been aware that half of the team has been expecting a rather special delivery for the last fortnight or so but we have and now, I can proudly announce, that it has arrived. My new spectacles are here. I’ve never had to wear them before and here are seven reasons that there is no stigma attached to wearing them whatsoever. None. At all. Got that?
1. Because I Got To Go To The Optician. And while I couldn’t write about my experiences there – because it’s been done far better already – I was able to enjoy a unique facility that is provided by my local Specsavers: Their waiting area overlooks the front door, just inside of which is a loose doormat. I have never been so royally entertained by slapstick in my entire life. The sight of almost all of the hapless and unsuspecting customers stumbling through the door was one of the most entertaining things I have seen in a long while. And they would have been able to enjoy the sight of me stumbling out onto the busy street half an hour later if this were not an optician. There is no stigma attached to physical comedy and even Norman Wisdom is cool. In Albania.
2. Because I Am Long-Sighted. I’m not near-sighted, short-sighted, ordinarily-sighted, conventionally-sighted or even averagely-sighted; I’m long-sighted. This is optician-speak for awesome. I can see a long way. I have super-sight. There is no stigma attached to being awesome. Superman is only unofficially awesome and he can get away with wearing his underpants on the outside of his trousers. I am officially awesome, therefore can easily get away with spectacles. And perhaps even the checked-shirt.
3. Wearing Spectacles Is A Necessary Public Service. Because I’m long-sighted, there’s almost nothing that I wouldn’t be able to see if I weren’t wearing them. The spectacles are actually needed to tame my sight. If it weren’t for them, the Hubble space telescope would probably be redundant and people as far away as Addis-Ababa would need curtains (if they don’t already). I’m wearing them for the greater good and there should be no social stigma attached to philanthropy.
4. I Need Them To Look At A Screen For A Long Time. I’m not going to guilt-trip the readers of 7 Reasons by suggesting that I would go blind writing my half of it if it weren’t for the glasses, but I would. Because I have to stare at a screen for a long time and I occasionally have to look at this image. Which always makes me try to stab myself in the eyes with a pencil. The glasses are necessary protection against this. If only they made spectacles for the mind.
5. Because Science Is Cool. Science is currently seen as hip and interesting, and glasses are a universally acknowledged signifier of scientific knowledge and capability. Watch any Hollywood movie – or Thunderbirds – and you know that the one in the glasses is the scientist; usually it’s Jeff Goldblum. Does Professor Brian Cox wear glasses? No. Do I (very occasionally) wear glasses? Yes. So to those unfamiliar with him, this makes me the better scientist. Right until I start to talk about quarks and molecular something-or-other and get distracted and end up talking about Ray-Bans.
6. Because They’re Ray-Bans. I love Ray-Bans. I’ve always worn them as sunglasses and I once got called a Ray-Ban geek by an assistant in a Ray-Ban shop, just because I knew the model numbers off by heart. And what the little codes on the arms mean. And I foolishly mentioned it out loud. Once. And my spectacles are Ray-Bans that I can wear at night and indoors without looking like a complete cock**. This is progress. Now the only place I can’t wear Ray-Bans legitimately is in bed when I’m asleep. And perhaps even then I could put opaque lenses in and use them as the world’s coolest eye-mask. Wearing spectacles is another step on my journey toward having Ray-Bans permanently affixed to my face. And Ray-Bans are cool: In my head, if not outside it.
7. Parenthood. I’m now a parent and, in years to come, when Byron Sebastian Fearns is making the long and daunting walk to his father’s desk to receive some sort of stern admonishment, I will need to move the glasses to the end of my nose so that I can look over the top of them while rebuking him. Because I know – from experience – that no telling-off is complete without that. And that putting clingfilm over the toilet bowl is frowned upon by people in glasses. Bugger. I used to love that.
*Yes, I did type this entire piece using only one hand.
**Sadly, they won’t prevent me from being one.