XO | Tom Blog

Four years old. My parents took me to the eye doctor because they noticed one of my eyes regularly crossed in. The doctor prescribed glasses in order to correct my Estropia, an Astigmatism, and most likely also Amblyopia, which my brain developed from learning to shut off the second image from the double vision caused by my one eye crossing in.

In 1974, I started wearing thick, bifocal spectacles. They were not cool. I was picked on for a decent portion of my childhood, and I’m certain that these bifocals did nothing to discourage that. The glasses were a pain in the ass. They were regularly broken or needing replacement from getting hit by basketballs, kickballs, footballs and being accidentally sat on. When I was 14 years old, I was hit in the face by a basketball. I was so tired of my glasses breaking and afraid to tell my parents that I broke another pair. Instead of being honest with my parents, I just set them away in a shoebox and told them that I felt my eyesight was getting better and I wanted to try and see without them. I lasted for about a decade without them.

Recently while shopping with my wife for an updated pair of glasses, I found a pair that made me feel great. Actually, the prescription isn’t on mark, but the frames are cool. A kind of slight, mild tribute to the shape designed by Oliver Goldsmith and worn by actor, Michael Caine.

I wish my glasses, back in the 1970’s, looked as cool as they did on Michael Caine. But instead they turned out to make me more goofy. Actually, those thick bifocals became a fair part of my personality. Even though I was made fun of and picked on a lot as a kid, I always had a great sense of humor. Instead of feeling like the glasses made me a pathetic target, I used the look of the glasses to draw attention to my face when I was telling stories and being funny. They helped me to develop the “spectacle” side of my persona. Thank you, glasses.