Shades of Summer
It all started out so simple when I said to my little brother, “Hey, cool glasses, I like that style, where’d you get ‘em?” Then, said little brother did a monologue of the whole process—the good, bad, and ugly—about how he ended up with these cool sunshades. All I wanted was some new glasses for the summer and Pat talked me right out of the whole idea. My head was spinning; I’d rather squint. He went in to the very specific details about the cool frames, the fit of the lenses, and the subsequent problems with the frames, fit and eyeglass salesperson. I was getting a headache while I blinked into the glaring sun as he left no stone unturned of the transaction, and then figured I’d just go track down a similar style in a local shop. But, this would not be so simple because every time I go to buy anything, it becomes an exhaustive and futile outing. Shopping is not my thing; never was and never will be. I always noodle what I want before I execute the deal. I don’t noodle in the shop. I don’t shop, I buy stuff on the quick and leave said shop.
The next day I entered an eyeglass emporium and figured I’d make short work of a purchase because I knew exactly what I wanted. However, there were so many glasses to pick from that I was immediately crushed by the immensity of the myriad possibilities. Moreover, I saw nothing like the wraps my little brother was currently sporting, and that’s why I was there; I wanted a specific type of sunshades. I didn’t want to try on three, ten, or twenty different styles to only find out I didn’t like any of them. To put a cherry on the sundae of this heap of information overload, the salesperson informed me that I needed a paper prescription from an eye doctor in order to buy some sunshades.
“I want this prescription. I can see fine.” I said. “Can’t you just use these to figure this out, now?”
“I’m sorry sir, we need a prescription.”
“The last time I bought glasses, they just measured these glasses and I was good to go. They are great. I just want new sunshades.” I said.
“I’m sorry, sir.”
“Have a good day,” I said.
I walked out of the emporium feeling thwarted, and defeated, while squinting into the glaring sunlight of high noon. Furthermore, I was flummoxed while my current lenses fogged up because of my mask; my regular glasses would have to do. I pulled my Tilley hat down to my eyebrows, unmasked and unfulfilled. I took off in my car to go sailing while mumbling how life is too short for this nonsense.
Sunshades are a big business, and maybe we’ll never out grow our desire to wear cool glasses. Jack Nicholson wore some cool shades along with a fedora in the movie “Prizzi’s Honor,” and they were cool—I guess—and became de rigueur for guys who thought Nicholson was cool. Women have an easier time picking out sunshades because they like to accessorize their getups. Guys are pretty standard by nature so designers have only so much cool
to work with when twisting up a frame for men. Add to this, we all know that what’s old will someday be new again. For example, aviator sunshades are now hip and cool, again. I recently absconded some sunshades from my wife who doesn’t even wear sunglasses that much, and god only knows where she got them; she likes to shop for stuff. I’m not sure if they’re cool or not, but I like them and they work when I’m sailing. They fit well and seem to look ok, I guess.
Island friend Doug Gasner usually stops by the car shack for a hello when he’s coming from or going home. Recently, Doug popped his head into my field of vision. Bang, I was gobsmacked by the sunshades he was wearing because they were just like the ones I was looking for in the aforementioned emporium. Gasner’s brain is like a Google application; the guy has so much connective stuff rolling around in that head of his that he has an answer for everything and he’s funny as hell.
“Doug, where did you get those sun glasses, I want that exact style,” I said, “I couldn’t find them in the eyeglass store.”
“On-line,” he said, “hang on, I’ll show you.”
Doug hit up some website and showed me the glasses. I was sold.
“How can I get a pair?” I asked.
“Just go to the site and order them. They use PayPal,” he said, “they deliver in a few days.”
“PayPal?” I asked, “I don’t know how to do that. Too complicated.”
I do not buy stuff on-line, so I told Doug to buy these exact glasses for me and I’ll flip him the scoots. Easy. Doug immediately hit his iPhone as I checked in some cars. Subsequently, I had the glasses in five days and I love them. Ahem, so doesn’t my wife.
I got my sunshades in the mail and wore them to George’s that night at supper because we were sitting near a window while the sun was setting. Cindy tried on my new glasses after telling me that they were, “cool,” and if my wife says that to me, I figure that I’m on safe ground and don’t look too goofy. (Cool for a geezer means we don’t look goofy.) She tried them on and liked them. She looked cool.
“I’ll get you a pair just like mine. I’ll have Doug Gasner order another pair.”
“Why thanks, husband,” said Cindy.
“Yer welcome, wife,” I said, “now what are we eating?”
Doug repeated the PayPal thing and the glasses came in the mail. A couple of weeks later, Doug and I squared up in the standby lot. I had only one con-
cern about my wife and I having the same sunshades. Would we end up being one of those married couples that wear the same jackets, hats, or ahem,
sunshades? Because I just can’t go geezing down that corny road. Finally, I don’t think my wife will go down that particular road, either; at least I hope she doesn’t. Happy summer on all.