As you may have noticed yesterday, I sometimes wear glasses. Sometimes I go without, instead squinting to read the street sign ahead or the markings on a chalkboard in front of me. On a rare occasion, I’ll throw in some contacts so that I can judge the attractiveness of a man without aforementioned squinting or relying on the judgement of the friends around me. Not that I would go and do anything about it, but that’s a far digression from the point that I don’t need to get into right now.
Alas, this is what I look like with glasses and end-of-day hair:
This is what I look like without glasses and end-of-day hair:
Not a big difference, right? Just for fun, let’s show a few more.
Nope. Very little difference. I would in fact argue that my very free and totally worth it hipster glasses make me look better if for no other reason than they shield the world from the bags under my eyes and perhaps give my face a bit more color than my Irish genes intended.
Hollywood, on the other hand, tells us something different.
I watched the pilot of New Girl, starring the stunningly beautiful Zooey Deschanel and must first admit that I liked it - I see potential in her quirky leading lady and the golden-hearted if occasionally douche-leaning (instead of a swear jar they have a douchebag jar) male roommates. And, full disclosure, I make no secret of my adoration of Hello Giggles (co-founded by Deschanel herself).
That said, I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that a pair of glasses makes her character anything less than a beautiful woman who happens to have four eyes. (And if I happen to also make up songs during the day, so be it.)
This isn’t the first time we see a girl go from blah-to-babe with the mere removal of her spectacles. Need I remind you of She’s All That? I didn’t think so. There are plenty of giggity-gorgeous women who rim their eyes with more than liner. Can we please just make one show about a woman who happens to wear glasses who is not the Ugly Duckling? How about one who isn’t the overworked mother who has given up taking care of herself and her sex life in order to be the best mom her kids could wish for? Or, God forbid, the old spinster woman who could never see clearly enough to find her One True Love.
Five Ragingly Beautiful Girls with Glasses, Shes with Specs, Women with Nerd Goggles with whom I’m Down to be Associated:
Tina Fey (and hers are just a prop!)
Annette Bening (though, let’s not aspire to have this hair day, shall we?)
The delivery guy came to my door, “the apartment below you burned down?” “Um, yeah that was my old place. I just moved in here today.”
Needless to say my chicken sandwich was a little depressing.
First, there’s the whole Small Talk thing. I’m not good at it. Small Talk can be broken down into categories, none of which my life is appropriately set up for:
Location (location, location). "So where are you from?" Well, I’ve lived in Chicago for seven or eight years now, but I was born in Detroit and went to high school an hour or so outside the city. But I actually grew up in Asia. I went to middle school in Beijing. "Wow. So do you speak Chinese?" Yeah but I didn’t learn it until college. Actually, I was really pissed at my parents for making me move there. My big act of rebellion was continuing to learn French. Did I take it in high school? No, that’s actually where I learned Spanish.
This topic inevitably leads to the next subcategory. Family. "Oh, okay. So, where is your family now?" Oh my brother is going to school in Indiana. Trine University. He plays soccer there. It’s D3, you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. My mom is still in Michigan. "What about your dad?" He passed away a couple of years ago. Wow, it’s crazy how fast the time has gone.
This then comes to the sub-subcategory of Small Talk when one is getting to know a woman: Daddy Issues. ”Wow, I’m sorry.” That’s okay, thank you. “Were you close?” When he was dying, sure. Before that he was a totally an asshole.
Okay, so maybe I don’t answer in that way to strangers, but eventually when people become my friends they ask me since, well, they don’t know what it would be like to be 25 and have a dead parent already. Then I whip out the asshole part and they kind of just stare at me. It’s quite entertaining.
Normally, I just do a nod and shrug move and the subject quickly changes to work. ”What do you do?” Oh, I just work in college admissions. “That’s interesting. I’ve always thought it’d be fascinating to see how people are selected.” It really isn’t. I’m trying to get new job, actually. (A kind person will insert a chuckle here.) “What do you want to do?” I have no idea.
And thus all attempts at Small Talk are moot.