An Evolution of Eyeglasses


About every4-5 years I buy a new pair of eyeglasses. I have progressive lenses (a trifocal lens without the lines). In the past, I have looked for the smallest lens my prescription would allow. I picked frames that I thought would be the most practical without being completely boring. Guess which pair I just bought recently? If you can’t guess, it is the robin egg blue pair that are larger than the other two pairs combined.

My family doesn’t know who I am anymore. Seriously. When I showed them the glasses for the first time, my husband and daughter stared open mouthed, only to eventually utter a few unintelligible sounds. When they finally found their words, they both admitted independently that they thought the glasses were pretty hip, and that is what was throwing them off.

I wasn’t offended. I knew they had more personality than what I usually pick. My question was, do they have more personality than me? I’m not threatened by that possibility. But I wanted to know what I was up against. The next day I took the question back to the experts. Yes, they assured me, with time I will be able to live up to my glasses. With practice, with more gregarious hand gestures, with a louder volume, I can OWN these glasses.

And so I’m easing into them. I wear them for a few hours at a time. And just in the house. But soon I’ll venture out with them on. I’ll avoid eye contact with others at first so as to not shake my confidence. I’ll pretend like I was born to wear these glasses until eventually I believe it.

I think this is going to be a good experiment. Maybe these glasses are who I am. I just didn’t know it until now.




A Rock Star for a Song

We were invited to celebrate a good friend’s upcoming 50th birthday. Mutual friends/fellow invitees secretly learned from his wife that when alone, the birthday boy loved to rock out to Bon Jovi’s 1986 song, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” No surprise he would want to keep that secret. So naturally our friends decided to perform the song at his party.

My husband and I were hanging out with these mutual friends/fellow invitees. When they mentioned their plans to do the song, we decided to collaborate. While I’m not a Bon Jovi fan, I’m a huge fan of both surprising and embarrassing friends. The men would play their acoustic guitars and the women would sing. Note that I am not a singer. But it sounded like fun so I decided to ignore my lack of talent.

I had two parts in the song that I took very seriously. One was the echo and the other was the final verse. (This would be a good time to stop and watch the video. For those of you who remember, it’ll be a nice stroll down Big-Hair-Glitz-Rock-80’s-Bands-Bad-Rock memory lane. For those who didn’t live through that era, it’ll make you appreciate it all the more. Although before you get too judgy, remember your own musical embarrassments. Every generation has them.)

The echo was a vocal strain but required commitment. The final verse, well, with these lyrics you either have to go all out or risk looking ridiculous. “I walk these streets, a loaded six-string on my back. I play for keeps ’cause I might not make it back. I’ve been everywhere, still I’m standing tall. I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all.” If you don’t sing it like you mean it, you’ll look like a joke. But singing with conviction just might make it appear you are in on the joke, and thus look very, very, very cool. Except to my kids because I am never cool to them.

The four of us practiced together and I sang the song on my own. A lot. I sang it on my way to work. I sang it at home. I sang it in my head and I’m pretty sure I sang it in my sleep. I was determined in spite of my limited musical ability to own my performance like I was meant to be there. Admittedly I questioned my participating, but I never wavered on my desire to do it and I never stopped having fun along the way. It helps when you are willing to look like an idiot.

The party night arrived. The ShuPots rehearsed ahead of time. (Yes, we named our band.) We arrived and settled in for a bit, wanting to allow everyone to get a drink or two in them before we did our song. The time arrived and we performed our hearts out. I could see the birthday boy’s face, which looked thrilled, mildly horrified by his secret being exposed, and touched by our gift to him. The crowd was gracious and sang along. Thankfully there were no videos taken which allows me to remember our performance as nearly perfect.

Happy 50th, AB. I know it’s still early, but I’m hoping our performance will go with you as you near that big day.

Friday G&T’s

Up until a year ago, I had maybe one or two gin and tonic’s. It was an okay drink, but a bit too piney for my taste. So when offered one, I would typically decline. “Not worth the calories” I would think. Then one day my dear friend (she was dear before but she was about to solidify her status) offered me a G&T. “No thanks,” I said, “not a fan.” “Then you haven’t tried Hendrick’s.” She made me a cocktail, and immediately I fell in love. This was no ordinary gin. Of course Hendrick’s is not an inexpensive sort of gin. I would periodically pause by its shelf at the liquor store, but would walk away because of the price. Every now and then my (dear) friend would invite me over for a G&T. I never said no because I knew it would be Hendrick’s.

This summer, with schedules being quite busy and lots on our minds, I decided to splurge. I bought a bottle of Hendrick’s. But rules were immediately established. I now have a child of drinking age and knew that between my husband and him, I would hardly get a few weeks out of a bottle. “This bottle of Hendrick’s is for Friday G&T night, one per person. If you want more, go to the liquor store and buy a cheap version for your refill.” It seems a bit silly I guess. And I have been lovingly made fun of more than once. But the bottle lasts a long time this way, and Friday night arrives like Santa bringing a stocking filled with gifts, making the week’s busyness fade away and the relaxation of the evening slide right in.

Little things in life are important. The small decisions we make, the simple pleasures in life, the people who are such a constant that we don’t really even notice them… until they aren’t there, these are what make a life. I know people who do important work but don’t seem to actually be living. They move from task to task, obligation to obligation, accomplishment to accomplishment. As someone who can spend significant time on serious matters, I have come to enjoy the simple, silly, seemingly insignificant aspects of life. They are what bring me joy, laughter, and pleasure – a cat curled up on my lap, a great television series, swapping stories with my hubby at the end of the day, making my children laugh, sitting on the porch with good friends. 

I am very proud of the hard and serious work that I do. But I believe that if I weren’t doing this work, someone else would. And so while I take my work seriously, I don’t take myself too seriously. Making room for the things I enjoy has helped build a life that I love and makes me better at that serious work I do. Here’s to Hendrick’s and my (dear) friend!