True story:: A few months ago, while we were both reading and watching the news together, I glanced at the Mister and recoiled in fear. Of old age. He was wearing a contraption that allowed him to look up at the television and down at his iPad while requiring as little movement of his head as possible. He had one pair of glasses midway down his nose and another pair near the end of it.
I thought, “It has come to this. Sexy time is over. Forever.”
Against the advice of my Better Wife Angels –Don’t say it; Say it!– I blurted out rudely, “What the hell are you wearing?”
He glared at me over the top of both pair of glasses and I watched as his eyes darted back and forth; his brain searching for a rapid and witty retort.
“Boficals,” he replied, giving name to his latest invention.
Boficals. I laughed out loud and shook my head at the same time.
“You are Special.”
Boficals quickly became a part of our evening routine, a bit in his comedy act, a little ray of weirdness on humdrum evenings.
But, you can’t un-see Boficals.
It’s a good thing we are beyond our childbearing years because, quite honestly, Boficals maybe the ultimate form of birth control. It’s safe to say we would not be parents to three beautiful children if he’d invented them in his twenties.
Somebody call the Pope and tell him my spousal equivalent just made his job a lot easier.
You’re welcome, Frank.
His contraption didn’t leave the house, a man needs to retain some sense of dignity, but he had to carry two pair of glasses every where he went and he was constantly switching between distance lenses and readers. I knew the time had come for serious change. It was time to trade Boficals for bifocals. It was time to stop raging against the dying of the light and time to ease into the realities of midlife.
It was time for new glasses.
Under the guise of celebrating a few milestones at once, we headed out to brunch in Nashville’s trendiest area of the moment, with two of our three kids, one significant other and one grandchild in tow. I needed backup. Suggesting a walk down to Holly William’s (recording artist, daughter of Bocephus, purveyor of high style, hip soon-to-be Mom and friend of GOOP) fab 12South store White’s Mercantile to pick up a few of our favorite provisions, I gently steered him into eye-glass Nerdvana™.
Known for their bespoke jeans and backyard concerts, Imogene + Willie carries a full line of hip Warby Parker eyeglass frames, retro goodness from Shinola, and a host of clothing made of light-as-air and soft-as-a-baby’s-butt materials. It’s highly possible the frames are one of the least expensive things you can purchase at I + W, but don’t quote me on that.
I first came across Warby Parker on Instagram. It was a stroke of genius to launch a vision line on a platform driven by visual images. (The genius behind that marketing strategy deserves a raise.)
If you’re not familiar with Warby Parker, know that their frames are under $100, they will ship you as many pair to be tried on in the privacy of your own home as you like and, for every pair they sell, they donate one pair to someone in need.
Philanthropic Retail:: That’s a business model I can get behind.
Within minutes of our arrival, the Mister found the perfect pair; just big enough for bifocals but small enough to suit his face, and in a color well suited to his salt and pepper locks.
He had a great experience and has a much improved appearance.
(Full disclosure:: the frames are lovely, but in truth, I do hope he brings the Boficals back out for a laugh now and then.)
Imagine my delight when spotting this little ditty within the confines of a fairly personal marketing email I received from Warby Parker last week:
We really admire your blogging style and think your aesthetic is sophisticated with the perfect touch of modern flair!
I know. Chances are they probably say that to all the girls, but the introduction of their Fall 2014 Collection intrigued me enough to write about it because it contains the one thing I need to maintain my street cred as a 52 year-old, gray-haired designer/photographer/nerd/soon to be grandmother of four:: Hybrids.
Not an Al Gore style hybrid, but an acetate meets titanium version.
Here’s why that’s important to me: I also wear two pair of glasses, just not at the same time. Terribly nearsighted and in no need of Boficals, I wear contacts if the occasion calls for it, and glasses the rest of the time. I have to wear reading glasses with contacts, but just remove the others if I need to read.
First, I have a name brand pair I wear in public, see top below, that stretched out within weeks of purchasing in 2013 and leave me with a rotten headache. No matter how many times I have them adjusted, they quickly widen and become uncomfortable again. Then, I have a titanium pair, circa 1990, I wear at home because they’re still so comfy after all these years.
(There was a high-end pair of wire frames bought in-between the two, but they didn’t hold up well at all.)
The vintage lenses seen above have little cracks in them and the bronze has long since disappeared from the earpiece, but they weigh next to nothing and I
can do fall asleep in those bad boys if I want to.
The other pair serves one purpose and one purpose only: You don’t have to witness my nocturnal 1990s sadness.
You get this and I get a migraine:
Now that my hair is a little shorter and the artificial coloring is almost history (I’m going au naturel and by that I mean a lovely shade of white-gray), I’m in desperate need of
painkillers an eyewear makeover.
I have a weird head. It’s wider at the temple, with a super short forehead and cheeks so high they push frames into my prefrontal lobe when I smile. I’ve found that squared shorter shapes tend to work best, but there are still dozens of profiles in that category. It’s definitely not easy to find the right pair of spectacles.
(If I want to make someone spew water out of their nose, I’ll put on a pair of cat-eye glasses and watch as sinus clearing hilarity ensues.)
With the introduction of 9 new styles and 2 new colors, knowing Warby Parker now offers an affordable Nerdvana™ worthy frame combined with a titanium earpiece on the market is almost too much to bear.
Cue the Desire:
If you guessed Crane Ti in Newsprint Gray, you win.
Bragging rights are yours, my
Aren’t they great, in a nerdy sort of way? I lust for the lack of elasticity in titanium and covet the retention of the plasticity of dork. I’m sure both things are a sin.
Combined with my “new” hair color, wouldn’t they be tres Gray Chic? If Hardy or Greenleaf came with titanium sides I would look at them hard too.
I wasn’t compensated for this post, and the Mister’s pair was purchased before receiving the enticing and oh so flattering email, so feel free to lobby Warby Parker relentlessly on my behalf. If you succeed, I will donate my not-so-old, wear-in-public frames to someone with a really wide head and, as a bonus, I will post a photo update of the head-to-shoulders makeover.
While you’re at it, lobby them to include a few gray-haired models to their catalog. We like hipster-trendy-nerdvana-cool too.
Heck. We invented it.
An aside:: Dear World, be wise enough to market to us with faces that look like ours and we will respond with our wallets. We’ve seen most style’s death and rebirth more than once, plus we’ve lived about half of the answer/questions on Jeopardy, so we’re smart too…smart enough to buy glasses from a company with a savvy for-profit business model and for-purpose mission, at least.
I’ll take Two 70s and Skip the Eighties for $500, Alex.