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Sunglass Rut

06/01/2012

I knew that Whole Foods trip was too good to be true. Little did I know, though, how it would play a part in my longtime sunglass curse. But let me start at the beginning …

I am death to sunglasses. No matter how I try to care for them, I can’t seem to make them last. The longest I can recall keeping a pair was 13 months, a minor miracle.

Typically, vacation spurs a need for new ones, whether I lose them, drop them, sit on them, or otherwise crush them. But I seem to manage comparable injuries at home. Sometimes I can mend them, extending their life for a while. This happened last summer when one of those little screws fell out. I bought an eyeglass repair kit and fixed the problem, but those screws never seem to be threaded just right, and eventually, as happend a few weeks later, they fall out. Then it’s only a matter of time before they separate in your hands, hit the ground, and a lens pops out for good.

To me, vacation means that one way or another I’ll be buying a new pair of glasses. The odds are just too high. Disney trips, especially, are notorious for replacement events. Too many rides threatening to fling your property about, countless indoor/outdoor shifts requiring that you take glasses on and off, and unexpected distractions that cause you to leave property behind. On one trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, I had two pairs with me and lost them both. One, a great pair of giant tan shades that I jokingly referred to as “My J-Los,” was the victim of a sitting accident. The other, I simply left behind somewhere, never to be seen again.

This happens to me a lot, I’m afraid, the leaving behind of things. Sunglasses, my wallet, a cup of coffee … I’ve been known to get to the register at a store without my Peet’s in hand. But I know exactly how this happens, too. When my hands are too full and I need to read a label, I put the coffee, or wallet, or whatever on a shelf, and then afterward, I just walk away. Luckily it’s hard to get out of a store without one’s wallet. And I usually realize I’ve got no coffee as well. But sunglasses? More than once, I’ve had to retrace my steps to find them, but more often, it’s long after they’ve been abandoned that I realize they are gone.

Sometimes, my sunglasses simply vanish. When we went to New Zealand a few years back, I arrived in Auckland without any shades. I had had them the day before we left and figured that I’d just left them behind. So I bought new ones on Mt. Doom (a great place to have an excuse to buy a souvenir), and enjoyed the rest of our trip. When we got home, the original pair was nowhere to be found—first time ever that I’d lost a pair on vacation without the glasses making it on the vacation itself.

Recently, I’ve had a particularly bad run of luck on this front. Somewhere after the new year, I broke the pair of shades I’d had since losing the aforementioned screw-battle last summer. At least that pair lasted six months. The next pair I bought had metal arms, which I thought might make them less susceptible to cracking. These held up well … until one day shooting archery in the woods.

I’d specifically put the glasses into a zip pocket, thinking that I might otherwise lose them. Of course, zippers work better when closed, and apparently I didn’t close mine. When I realized that the glasses were missing, I doubled back on the path but didn’t find them. Did I mention that they were green and brown? Perfectly camouflaged in the scrub. In this case, not only was my usual curse in effect, but I think the forest gods got them. A few targets before, we’d shot into a tree, and I’d made a comment about how the arrow looked cool sticking out of the trunk. I am not usually a superstitious person, but forests can be spooky places, and it seems like a bad idea to rejoice at a tree’s expense. I regretted my statement immediately, but the forest had the last laugh that day.

This brings us around to the Whole Foods excursion and my delight at finding new glasses so easily. Remember when I wondered if that fairy-tale trip was too good to be true? Well guess, what? It was.

I think I’ve set a new record with those shades; they only lasted a week. Then one of the arms cracked, apparently unable to withstand the horrible strain of being wedged into my purse pocket. I manged to repair it with Gorilla Glue, but it broke in two other places after that. Also, the rim cracked, a lens popped out, and the glue just couldn’t hold it all together. By the third round of attempted repairs, I’d gotten glue on one of the lenses and couldn’t see clearly through that side.

Oh, but wait, it gets better. I went to lunch with a friend today, wearing the Frankenstein glasses out of desperation. As we walked to the restaurant, his sunglasses fell off, cracking and losing a lens. Fortunately, he had a back-up pair in the car, but the fallen ones were totaled. I don’t know what to say about this recent development. It has me a little concerned, as though somehow the curse is contagious.

So tonight, I stopped at the drugstore, which had sunglasses on sale two-for-one. That isn’t why I went there. It was simply a fluke, a bit of luck I don’t trust—especially after the Whole Foods disaster. So now I have two pairs of glasses. Care to guess how long they will last?

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From → Ponderings

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