Four eyes are always better than just two
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Four eyes are always better than just two

I started wearing glasses in second grade. For some reason, I thought it was a very exciting addition to my already classic look and sense of fashion. There is nothing more attractive than an 11-year-old girl with “Battlestar Galactica” glasses, braces, orthopedic shoes (for flat feet, what else?) and hair ribbons that matched any dorky ruffled dress that my mother had picked out for me. It was a look, trust me. Because ruffled dresses are very, very fashionable. Especially when you had a figure like mine.

After the “Battlestar Galactica” frames, there were the ivory-colored upside-down glasses. How was that ever in style? And if it wasn’t in style, how was I able to buy them? Then there were the red “Annie Hall” frames (I see I am having way too many references to decades gone by, really, really gone by). My sister got them, but I was not allowed to. Probably because they were in style, and that would just be all wrong for me. And my sister is six years older than I am, and anything she had I was not allowed to have, because then my sister wouldn’t want it anymore. It is really a vicious cycle when you think about it.

Truth is, my mom’s dear friend Arlene, from when she was 5 years old, had a connection to the owners of a big eyeglass chain. So every so often, we would get in the car and leave the scenic suburbs for a good old-fashioned road trip to the Lower East Side. There probably was a stop in Brooklyn to see my dad’s parents since we were so close by, but I am not entirely sure, so I am just using writer’s prerogative to say that we did go there as well. Anyway, I vividly remember the Lower East Side because we would always go to Ratner’s for lunch. Yes, I can bring food into any topic. Ahh, Ratner’s. I hope some of you reading this remember that restaurant, because it was the absolute best. It was dairy, it had an extensive menu, and when you sat down there was a basket of the best onion rolls known to mankind on the table. With butter to put on them. Do you know how hard it was to sneak an onion roll with butter into my mouth without my mother noticing? Very hard. But I was talented at that age, and I managed just a little too well. And the creamed spinach, and the egg barley, and the potato latkes…. I could go on and on and on. But that has nothing to do with the topic of glasses, and everything to do with the fact that I am writing this very late at night and I am starving. As a fun fact, Ratner’s was open for son #1’s time in utero and son #2’s time in utero but, alas, son #3 is as awesome as he is despite the fact that he never sampled Ratner’s. Maybe that is why he is my best eater — but now I have just strayed way too far off topic.

Glasses.

For years I would get my glasses at Lenscrafters, and they always cost a small fortune. “We will make your lenses thinner. We will make them work better for you at night. We will make them glare-free…” Lots of promises for the same price as a dinner for 10 at Ratner’s! (See how I tied that all together?) Recently I needed new glasses. Yes, be quiet — it was a stronger prescription because I am getting old, blah, blah, blah. Someone told me about glasses at Costco. How are they so cheap????? It was husband #1’s dream!!! I could have bought three pairs for the price of one of my older pairs! And then son #3 introduced me to Warby Parker, where almost every pair is under $100. How is this possible? Does this mean I can get a new pair of glasses every year instead of every eight years — by the time I get to my eye doctor, who is the nicest human in the whole entire universe, my vision is so bad that I cannot even read a stop sign?

No, it does not. Because according to husband #1, I would be spending money only because the glasses are inexpensive, not because I really need them. Yup, just one of the many reasons why I married him. Oh so practical. Hope you all are able to see the gifts in front of you, and if you are not, get to a doctor.

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is currently the owner of cool purple glasses. Well, at least she thinks they are cool. She doesn’t really know…

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