(originally written 11/26/15)
It all started with an innocent meme. (Don't know what a meme is? Click here and get ready to laugh.)
A baseball spectator was photographed with his cap on backwards, with his hand filling the role of visor against the punishing sun. The accompanying caption read "If only there was some kind of accessory to shade one's eyes from sunlight."
Once I finished laughing at this guy's expense, it hit me—I AM that guy.
Well, kind of. Driving down the freeway I often find myself hurling profanity in the general direction of the blinding sun when unable to angle the visor effectively. Looking back, it's wholly embarrassing to have spent so many years bitching about a problem and doing nothing to fix it—as is my mantra.
One day, I finally decided to remedy the problem with a pair of sunglasses. (It wasn't even my dilemma that sparked the purchase; rather, I saw somebody doing it and copycatted. Sigh.)
They weren't anything special; I'm not about to invest a day's pay on a pair of Raybans or anything in that class. Just a $20 pair off the drug store rack. As far as bargain glasses go, they weren't shabby at all. I looked decent enough, and my sun-directed profanity dropped 75% the first week of ownership.
Sadly, our union lasted only a month or so. Leaving the house one day, I suspended the glasses from my shirt collar, as I tend to do. (Not judging any of you, but I personally feel feminine when perching them atop my head when not in use.)
Before I even reached my car, an entire screw dislodged and I was left with a monacle.
Opting to go the frugal route this time ($2) my next pair and I initially did well together. The price difference did not at all diminish the quality IMO, and it seemed this union might last.
But one day my daughter Josie, her friend Jadyn and I went on a miniature hike. By "hike" I mean "forage through large untended area at nearby park". Like a cat climbing a tree, we had no real exit strategy—not having even bothered to track our entry route, we were forced to slice through one jagged branch after another like Crocodile Dundee at his very best.
To protect Josie's eyes from the wild branches, I gave her my glasses. Somehow, they were never seen again. They were on her head. Her head was in my car. Yet my glasses were not in my car. This one still bugs me.
By now, it seemed clear destiny was not on my side when it came to owning sunglasses. Yet, despite the odds, I put myself out there once again the next week. There's no great story to tell regarding the demise of Pair #3—on about the fifth use, they fell and a lens popped out. Which brings us to...
I don't even remember buying this pair. Don't know where I got it from, how much it cost, or if I ever wore them before that fateful Berkeley day.
Actually I didn't even wear them on that fateful Berkeley day. They were solely ornamental as Josie and I participated in an annual trash pickup along the Marina. This took about an hour, and when we made our way to a nearby playground afterward, I know for a fact they were still attached to my shirt—I'd briefly considered using them as Josie played before ultimately deciding not.
An hour later, I gave my daughter sock-application assistance and we left. Only when we were practically in our driveway did I realize my most recent sunglasses were no longer suspended from my shirt, having obviously fallen while helping with Josie's socks unbeknownst to me.
So here I am today, at least $35 dollars invested into protective eyewear—in one summer—and nothing to show for it. In life, some things just aren't meant to be; some women can't have children despite extensive fertility treatment, some men can't grow hair despite a cabinet full of potions, and yours truly can't own sunglasses for any length of time. Facing reality, I decided I was done trying.
Sure enough, two days later, I found myself on an impromptu beach trip with the kid—directly in the path of a fierce, unobstructed sun. Once in the water, Josie naturally chose to lounge and splash right in its spacious reflection—supervising her meant glaring under my hand essentially through two blinding pools of sunlight.
Picture a bald man saluting an invisible flag as a toxic fart permeates nearby. That was yours truly trying to enjoy Beach Day without any of my four lost/damaged/destroyed pairs of sunglasses.
Wonder how many people witnessed my struggle and said to themselves, "If only there was some kind of accessory to shade his eyes from sunlight..."