I want to be a four-eyes

Kaia Preus

I looked up from my long division and three-digit multiplication to see Kit Summers strutting into my fifth grade classroom, brand-spanking mint green glasses framing her eyes, shiny railroad tracks lining her teeth. Math was forgotten and the rest of the day I could focus on nothing but Kit’s new glasses and braces. An obsession began; I had to have them. Thankfully, I knew that braces were inevitable––the gigantic (yet cute, may I add) space in the middle of my teeth ensured that, but the glasses posed a problem. I was talked out of trying to trick the doctor; I guess wearing glasses when you don’t need them can actually cause you to have the need to wear them, and I didn’t actually want to be blind, I just wanted to look cool.

My next bet was Target. I spun rack after rack of sunglasses, hoping to find some that could suffice as glasses. And then I saw them–clear lensed sunglasses with the roundest silver grandma frames I’d ever seen. They were perfect. Unfortunately my mom didn’t want to buy them for me, so I had to wait for Santa to help me out, and Christmas was a full two months away. But my longing for these glasses did not dwindle; on the contrary, my want for them increased daily. Every time Kit whipped out her glasses cleaner during class, or informed the gym teacher that she didn’t need to wear the dreaded goggles during floor hockey because she already had glasses protecting her face, I only wanted them more.

When Christmas day finally arrived and I found the treasured grandma frames tucked in my stocking, I was ecstatic. When I returned to class after winter break, I tentatively pulled the glasses out of my backpack and put them on during literature, no doubt conjuring images of Mrs. Claus scrutinizing Santa’s list. The appearance of my new glasses would not come as a complete surprise to my classmates, however. I had been feigning headaches and squinting at the board for weeks. But when Joey saw my glasses and asked to try them on, I knew I was in trouble. “They, um…my glasses…the frames are super flexible so only I can wear them or else they will get messed up,” I said, trying to keep my trick afloat until gym class.

“I don’t believe you. Those are fake. They look like they’re from Target,” Joey hissed. I fumbled for a retort, for words, for anything but the sheepish grin spreading across my face. But nothing came.

I may have learned not to tell foolish lies, but I have never gotten over my love of glasses. When someone compliments me on my hot pink faux glasses, or my red-rimmed rocking ones, or my artsy black frames with the designs on the side, I just say: “Thanks. They’re fake.” But they might not be for long. This past summer I had my first eye appointment in years and I found out that my left eye is slightly worse than my right. For now I’ll stick with my fakes, but in a few years I might be able to rock glasses for real.