Column: Glasses, fashionable? He saw it coming


Wednesday’s column plays off an LA Times Image section story headlined in print “A new essential?” about eyeglasses as “a stylish accessory” sometimes worn by people who have perfect eyesight. Whaaat? I write about beating the rush by having adopted the eyeglasses look in third grade.

I think the accompanying picture of myself, the most horrifying photo I could find, dates to fourth grade. Love the shirt.

If you wear glasses yourself, when did you begin wearing them? Feel free to share any eyeglasses-related stories or observations.

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  • shirley wofford

    First of all–cute little boy, there.

    When I was in elementary school, my mother decided that I needed to see an eye doctor, so she made appointments for both my brother and me in Billings. Going to Billings was a mixed blessing. It was the big City, and took a long time to get there–100 miles was a long journey in those days. We both got car sick–but after each appointment we got to have lunch at the Belknap Grill–so fantastic, but we were usually partially blind from the drops.

    Of course we had to have glasses, and thought that was great. We had to get back to Dr. Morrison every year. One year my mother handed the appointment card to the receptionist and she (the receptionist) started laughing. Then my mother started crying. We had come on the wrong day.

    I had to wear those glasses throughout my school years, and they weren’t fashionable and cool at all, like yours. They were those wire things. It was true–nobody made passes at me. I did get plastic frames in Junior College, but after I came to CA, I willed myself cured of the far-sightedness I was always told I had, and stopped wearing them.

    After I got into my late 40’s, I had to have reading glasses to perform the requirements of my employment. Now, I am at the point where I may also need distance glasses–my Opthamalogist in Claremont will give me the news whether or not I can pass the vision test to get my DL renewed this year.

    If I must, I hope I can get some that look fashionable, on one of my age. And, I hope I can afford the kind that turn dark in the sun, and since I wear sunglasses when driving anyway, it won’t be too much of an adjustment.

  • Charles Bentley


    First, it has to be said: Nice shirt.

    As for the glasses, out here those were known as Kurt Rambis glasses (aka Clark Kent/Superman glasses). Back in the day, you would have been a tremendous addition to Rambis Youth.

  • DebB

    I beat you by a couple years — I started wearing glasses in the first grade, and have some pretty ugly pics to prove it. My teacher, trying to help I’m sure, held them up in front of the whole class and said, “Look at Debbie’s new glasses! Aren’t they wonderful?!” I hated them from that moment on. During the summer between 9th and 10th grades I got contacts, and have worn them for nearly 45 years.

    A few years ago I needed bifocals, but because my eyes are so bad the bifocal contacts didn’t work for me. So now I have one eye corrected for reading, the other for distance. Supposedly my brain puts them together, but in reality something is always just a little out of focus (a metaphor for my life, I think). And I suspect this is the reason I can’t watch 3D movies or go on roller coasters any more without getting sick.

    At any rate, the prescription-less glasses trend is not new. I remember when I was in Jr. High, around ’66-’67, people were wearing glasses with just glass in them. For one brief shining moment I felt comfortable with my glasses — they were cool! It wasn’t long before I went back to being just plain geeky.

  • Dee

    First, I LOVE the shirt, I’m sure my mother had drapes just like that.

    I had glasses until high school when I got the newest thing called contact lenses (it was a long time ago).

    That was back in the day when they said contacts were so great they would last for YEARS.

    Later, when I went for a new prescription the eye doctor told me I should, “Donate those Frisbees to the Smithsonian.”

    [Ha ha! — DA]

  • Ramona

    Glasses? Second grade here in California. I had attended first grade in Minnesota (no kindergarten in those days) and part of second grade in South Dakota.
    We arrived here mid-term and the teacher had sent a note home saying she thought I had vision problems during my first week in class. Nice catch! I was essentially blind as a bat.

    Got contacts with the pay from my first job right out of high school and never looked back. (Pun intended)

    Wear reading glasses now and I have the $10.00 drugstore glasses – 4 pair – sitting all over the house and in my purse.

    I, too, adore Dr. Trezza and his partner, Dr. Tatum.

  • Ramona

    P.S. I forgot to say that I will never understand why anyone would “voluntarily” wear non-prescription glasses for fashion’s sake. Those of up who must wear them to exist usually consider glasses a pain, literally and figuratively.

    Maybe it’s different when one has a choice. Or perhaps dents in the bridge of one’s nose have status now.

    And I just want to take that little guy in the picture home with me and make him pigs-in-a-blanket and potato salad.

    [He always liked pigs-in-a-blanket. — DA]

  • Bob House

    Ahead of the fashion pack on the glasses, but the shirt says that The Summer of Love arrived a few years late in America’s heartland.

    [It’s tough living in flyover territory. — DA]

  • RK

    You know, if you were wearing a burgundy-colored vest, the shirt you are wearing would not be an issue. Repeat this mantra: Accessorize, accessorize…

    And with your amazing permission I would like to submit with clarity 1,000,000 times via your RSS feed and grasp what Hand Made Leather Bags said except, well, I can’t!

    (And love the hair and glasses!)

    [It’s Thursday morning and I’ve just deleted about 20 spam comments (including a few from Hand Made Leather Bags) to find the five real comments. — DA]

  • Tablet Bott

    David, is that really you, or the kid from “A Christmas Story”? Have you ever owned a BB gun?

    [I haven’t, nor have I ever licked a frozen pole. — DA]

  • T Bott

    Well, were there any unusual table lamps in the household?

    [Nope. My dad knew how to pronounce “fragile,” too. — DA]

  • T Bott

    Your father speaks Italian? As I recall fragile translates into English as easily breakable.