Waiting to order my Red Beans and Rice with Sausage, I couldn’t avoid noticing the woman at the front of the line. Wearing a brown uniform of one of the local utility companies, she looked neither well-dressed nor affluent. It didn’t matter to me. I couldn’t remove my gaze from her attractive face which was enhanced further by a gorgeous set of dreadlocks atop her head. Of course, what really caught my attention was her glasses. The simple fact that I could not identify their color was remarkable. The wide temple pieces on the sides were decorated by nothing more than patterns. There were lines, shapes, and designs, but the multitude of colors were insignificant and difficult to discern.
I chose a seat to allow continued analysis of the woman and her group. Her friends were dressed more normally in casual attire. The average man, whatever the definition of that may be, would likely be more attracted to the friends. One thing I’m seldom described as is average, though. And in this case I ‘locked on’ to what interested me most. The lenses in front of her dark brown eyes were in the ordinary range of a moderate minus script. I wasn’t close enough to narrow it further although it didn’t make a difference. The frames were the show stoppers. As she turned towards me, I saw that the front part that held the lenses was quite unique being colored in dark, slightly transparent shades of brown and purple. Though not the most attractive woman in the eatery, she was the only one wearing glasses and she had managed to make the most of it. Her choice in eyewear was nothing short of bold. She was bodacious.
The ring on the finger of her left hand spoke volumes, though. It warned me to keep my distance and move on. In fact it screamed at me to not even get caught looking too much. Pity, I rather enjoyed the view. The return walk to my office was long and gave me time for observation and consideration. Within a few blocks, my path was crossed by a young woman who appeared to be the age of a coed. Wearing shorts, a sleeveless cotton shirt, and rubber-soled flip-flops, she carried a cumbersome backpack. Short and thin with exceptional muscle tone, her tanned skin and sun-bleached dark hair gave her the look of an avid runner. She looked to be the type that would prefer the use of contacts if she needed corrective lenses. But on her face? Very dark, tortoise-colored wide-temples framing a very strong minus script. She wore them comfortably as she glided towards me.
“Excuse me,” she interrupted, “do you know which direction I need to turn to get to the Chatham Tap?”
“To your left,” I replied, “I’m heading that way if you care to walk with me.”
“That would be so nice. I’m meeting my boyfriend. He’s the new bartender. He started working there today.”
As we made the three-block walk to the pub I kept her engaged in conversation, if for no other reason than to keep her turning toward me to speak thus allowing numerous opportunities to study her distinctively light brown eyes. They were wonderfully minimized behind the flat-fronted lenses that contained loads of cut-in. Her bodacious wide-temple frames were the perfect accent to a face and body that was colored so wonderfully. As much as possible, I tried to appreciate those moments while we walked as friends. But she had made it perfectly clear from the start that she had no interest in going further than that. Pity, that view could have kept me entertained for days. But who was I kidding. She was much too young for me. Hell, I have pairs of socks older than her!
When I rounded the next corner, I found myself in the shadows of the taller buildings in the heart of downtown. I nearly bumped head-on into a woman in her fifties wearing a navy suit with platform pumps. She was absorbed in a formidable conversation between two male ‘suits’ of a much younger age.
“I wonder if you could clear something up for us?” she intruded directing her speech towards me.
With a very mild minus script, she was wearing black ‘conservative-styled’ wide-temples. I say that phrase fully questioning if that very description is an oxymoron. Is there really such a thing as conservative wide-temples? You can decide. To me, the frames she wore begged to be noticed. But, the prescription looked so slight that I wondered if she had chosen to use glasses as part of her ‘career uniform’ just to be taken seriously by co-workers.
“Sure,” I responded expecting to be quizzed concerning matters of finance, politics, or something important like the weather.
“Can you tell us what year the Colts moved here? I say it was before Indianapolis hosted the Pan Am Games. They say it was the same year,” she said pointing a thumb towards each colleague.
Wow, it was like being on the ‘Cash Cab’ and I was the person who had been chosen for a ‘Street Shout-Out’! Except, I don’t think Ben Bailey has ever worked his cab through the streets of Indianapolis. But I must say, at least their question was concerning matters of great importance.
“It was 1984;” I responded assuredly, “the Colts moved here in March and played their first games in the Hoosier Dome later that fall. The Pan Am games were held in 1987.”
“See! I told you!” the lady yelled while thumping both men on the back of their heads. “Thank you,” she said directing her attention again to me, “you’ve been helpful.”
She appeared to be a woman used to being correct and, most often, getting her way. Honestly, she was a bit elderly for my tastes. But as they continued walking, I could tell the argument had not been completely resolved.
“Well I’m going to look it up on the internet when we get back to the office,” one of the male colleagues whined obviously disagreeing with my answer.
“Go ahead, you’re wrong,” the woman chided.
“Gourd head?!,” the other man mocked as their voices trailed out of ear shot.
I gave a final thought to the view of her bright blue eyes behind the glossy thin lenses in her wide-temple glasses. There is no doubt, that view had been bodacious.
Nearing my destination, I wasn’t especially excited about returning to my desk. With little to work on, I wasn’t primed to start a new project on a Friday afternoon before a ‘Monday-holiday’ weekend. Instead, I took a seat in a shady spot along the fountain ledge around Monument Circle. My building was directly across the street and from that vantage point I would be able to spot anyone frantically looking for me in an emergency. Nearby, a thirtyish woman wearing a bright top, a colorfully-patterned long skirt, and high-healed sandals, was viewing the monument. Her red hair was curly, wild, and free, with bright red-orange nail polish professionally painted on her fingers and toes. She jangled and clanged noisily from the numerous bracelets and bangles on her arms and ankle. Resting on her nose were wide-temples that were two-toned green with circular patterns grooved into the sides. Containing a plus prescription in the lenses, her green eyes were enlarged, inviting, and sexy.
The woman strolled happily with two young girls wearing wide-temples of their own. One’s was made in a bright blue transparent plastic with various shades of blue swirls. The other girl’s was a two-tone aquamarine metal frame. All three of them made wide-temple glasses a main ingredient of their fashion statements. When the girls curiously asked questions to their ‘mommy’ concerning the monument and fountain, the woman responded patiently. For at least two reasons, there was no rationale for me to entertain further involvement for anything other than an interest in their eyewear. The three ‘ladies’ had chosen glasses with flair and their decisions were bodacious!
The discovery I made during my noontime walk was to realize that for several years I have been observing and living during a fascinating time of optical history. When wide-temple glasses first crept into fashion, they were bold. They were very unusual and unlike most anything previous. It was a style that demanded to be noticed. Wearers inferred a statement that they were proud and accepting of their flaw. Pay attention to me. You can see I wear glasses. I may not see perfectly, but does that matter? I’m smart, I’m fashionable, and I’m sexy. And I’m not hiding from you anymore.
Soon wearers began to ‘show off’. Colors blazed new trails. Almost anything was imaginable. Pleasant colors of blue and beige; bright colors of red, white, and orange; unique colors of purple and pink; strange colors such as shades of green and yellow; beautifully deep colors of black, brown, burgundy, and dark red. There were transparent hues, crystal clears, and two-tones.
The choices in lens shapes progressed. Cat-eyes, ovals, narrow rectangles, and large squares became available with wide temples. Frame materials grew from simple plastics to metal, composites, and combinations of everything. Wire-rimmed wide-temples were created by using two wires forming nothing more than the shape. That has allowed a version to be worn without the inherent difficulties with peripheral vision.
But now, multi-colored frames are the norm. Jewels and glitter have almost become passé. As I stated previously, the present state of wide temples includes patterns and designs that defy description. When desired, there is an added bonus for the wearer. Strong prescriptions are far less obvious in these frames. Thick lenses can be hidden from the side view by the temple pieces. There are styles for men but I wouldn’t say they have made the same impact. Few males step beyond conservative tastes when it comes to eyewear.
But what has been truly amazing is watching the girls and women that have no fear of attracting attention because they wear glasses. These ladies represent an entire cross-section of occupations and personalities. Some are beautiful while others are less so. They wear suits, scrubs, evening gowns, miniskirts, lab coats, skinny jeans, shorts, work clothes, and uniforms. They are lawyers, soldiers, actresses, housewives, mothers, truck drivers, and police officers. They are divas, geeks, slobs, and the girl next door. Most of all they are special.
Arguably, none of this is entirely new. There were sparkly cat-eyes in the fifties. There were shades of blue, white, and crystal in the sixties. There were drop-temples in the late seventies. And of course, there were the large frames of the eighties and nineties. Even the more recent tiny-lensed glasses were such a break from the large lenses previously, that at the time, they were trend setting. But there has never been any style that has attracted as many wearers as wide-temples glasses. They are bodacious!
In my humble opinion, no style has ever done more to promote the wearing of glasses. I’m not saying it is the style that everyone loves to view. I’m not saying it is the style that everyone loves to wear. But I have never seen so many girls and women making the choice to wear glasses before. Maybe it is nothing more than coincidence that it is the most popular style during a time when the wearing of glasses has become trendy. In time we will be able to look back and judge. For now, the remaining question is simply: I wonder what will happen next?
I was shaken from my thoughts by a woman who had seated herself beside me during my daydream. Small and slender, she was wearing a short skirt and long jacket. On her tiny feet were high-healed pumps with pointed toes. On her face, she wore transparent purple glasses with gold flecks in the wide temples. I’d seen her before and had to wonder why she was wearing the purple glasses instead of the black ones she usually wore. Her hazel eyes, strawberry blond hair, and softly freckled but tanned skin were complimented perfectly by the bodacious color and style.
The woman smiled and said, “My concentration is shot today. With all this ‘500’ commotion downtown, I just can’t work. How would you like to go home with me, make some drinks, and have some fun?”
Without hesitation, I dialed my boss’ office number on my cell phone and waited for the ring.
“Charles, this is Daniel. I’m going home early with my wife. Have a great Memorial Day weekend. I’ll see you Tuesday.”
Written by Dieter
uploaded in January 2011