Thursday, April 14, 2005

Innovations in eyewear

I remember when I was a teenager, way longer ago than I care to admit, one of my great battles with my dad was over getting contact lenses. I wanted them, and he thought they were awful. Of course, he didn't wear glasses himself, so he had no idea what it was like to have your nose and ears pinched, how uncomfortable it was to have spectacles sliding down your nose in sweaty weather -- not to mention how much they messed up your makeup or clashed with your outfit. I eventually got what I wanted, as I usually did, mostly in this case because my mom (a glasses wearer herself) wanted me to have contacts even more than I did. My eyes never did adjust to them very well, though, and after years of tears and redness and crawling around on the floor looking for popped-out lenses, I went back to glasses and never looked back.

Contacts have come a long way since my teen years, and I'll bet there aren't many parents anymore who object to their kids getting them. No, kids who are looking to establish their independence by demanding things their parents are discomfited by have to be a little more creative nowadays than popping pieces of plastic on their eyeballs. They have to do things like this: sticking a rod through the bridge of their pierced nose and perching little eyeglass lenses on top. That's just the sort of extreme idea that makes parents shudder and talk about their dead bodies. But maybe because I've been wearing glasses most of my life, and feeling the weight on my poor little ears, I have to ask: Just how painful is piercing the bridge of your nose, anyway? Worse than facing the sunlight with scratchy contacts?

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