I left my sunglasses in Chicago a few weeks ago, and since they were all of about $8, rather than have the Seester mail them to me, I just went out and bought another pair.
Here's the thing: I HATE trying on sunglasses. $8 or $800, it doesn't matter. Sunglasses are like the swimsuits of facial accessories. You're going to look and feel stupid when trying on 99.9% of them. (Sunglasses people know and delight in this...that's why they put that giant plastic tag on them that smacks you in the nose whenever you're trying them on). At least swimsuits give you the privacy of a changing room. Your humiliation with sunglasses is right there on the endcap of aisle three for the entire world to enjoy.
But I digress.
I think the hardest thing for me is finding a good shape for my face. The current fad in sunglasses (for women, at least) is the giant, 50's era round ones that, in all honesty, I think only Audrey Hepburn could pull off with any success. She made them look classy. When I wear them, I just look like Harry Caray.
Of course, you can't go too small either. Sometimes I try to overcompensate the absurdity of what my face does with Audrey's glasses by shooting for the tiny, Ben Franklin-esque spectacles instead. No luck there either, unless I want a new career as an Elton John impersonator.
I tried aviator glasses (think giant bug monster extra from When Space Ants Attack!), square frames (1960's substitute teacher), oval frames (makes my face look rounder than Charlie Brown's), and round frames (Ozzie Osbourne, anyone?) I tried thick frames (Harry Potter), thin frames (nope, still Harry Potter) and wrap-around frames (Harry Potter gets recast as the Terminator). I tried amber tinted (these don't block enough sun to really even be considered sunglasses), black tinted ("We're with the Secret Service, ma'am"), reflective tinted (why yes, I AM Lance Armstrong), and in one case of desperation, pink tinted (I couldn't decide if this made me look like a Flower Child at Woodstock, or Barbie. Or worse still, Flower Child Barbie).
Finally, FINALLY, I found a pair I could live with. They're frameless, black tinted, and somewhere between square and oval shaped. I don't look like a fashion model in them, but I don't look like anyone worse, either. I just look like me in sunglasses.
So fast forward to today, when I was getting ready to run some errands and grabbed my new sunglasses up to go with me. I snipped off the annoying giant plastic tag and put them on for their first test in direct sunlight. Not bad, not bad. These frames stretch farther to each side of my face than my last pair, but I find that I actually like that since it blocks light from coming in on the sides too. I wear my new sunglasses to the grocery store. Through the drive-thru at the bank. To Home Depot. I stop at the gas station on my way home and get whistled at while at the pump. "Yeah buddy!", I think, "I have finally managed to do it! I have found some decent sunglasses! No more Harry Potter When Space Ants Attack Flower Child Secret Service glasses for me, baby!" I'm feeling so good about these new sunglasses that I lean over and check myself out in the rear view mirror.
And that's about the time I realize that I've been parading around town with a giant "100% UVA/UVB!" sticker stuck over one eye the entire time.
I hate these sunglasses.