Dear Girl With Glasses,
I know you cried when the eye doctor told your mom you'd need them. You thought you'd hidden the strain from everyone so well. You thought you'd been so very surreptitious when you "just needed to get a little closer to the board" to evaluate the math equation chalked there.
I know your breath caught in a gasp when you put those plastic, round, oh-so-eighties lenses on your face for the first time and saw the actual lines of leaves upon trees instead of green impressionistic blurs. I know you read aloud every single billboard sign on the way home. Just because you could.
I know you were shocked when a schoolmate called you "Four Eyes" for the first time. What was the big deal? Why couldn't mean girls leave you alone to read? Until you quickly switched from deciphering the newly-visible multiplication problems on the overhead to figuring out that glasses equaled nerd. And nerd equaled unwanted.
I know you accepted your role in the Movie Plot of Life as the best friend, the encourager, the one who sits alone at home, ice cream bowl in hand, ready to cheer up the pretty girlfriend who just experienced a terrible date night. You played the role of the one who never gets the boy. Because everybody knows the love interest of the movie doesn't wear glasses. That prop is designated for the smart, invisible-to-men sidekick. It is meant for the librarian before she becomes beautiful, the princess-in-hiding, the frizzy-haired gal-pal before the transformation. The glasses are always meant for the girl who is waiting to become.
I know, in high school, you stopped wearing the glasses you so desperately needed, in the off chance that you might be allowed to shift out of your role for awhile. You would rather put up with headaches from straining to see. You would rather walk about the school in a hazy cloud of missed moments than be stuck in your predetermined place as a glasses-wearing geek.
I know, a few weeks ago, you, a grown-up adulting woman, wore your new fun lenses out and about. I know that, in the first five minutes of their debut, a man you are friendly with asked you if you were "trying to look smart."
I know there are many, many girls just like you: The ones who are told, on their wedding days, not to wear the glasses so as to look "prettier." Because prettier is more important than being able to clearly view one of the most beautiful events of your life. The ones who are asked, over and over, by helpful strangers and friends who are in the makeover business, why they don't just try those newfangled inventions called contact lenses? Perhaps the glasses-wearers have never heard of them.
Here's to all the girls with glasses. May you wear them because you want to.
May you wear them because you understand that a device intended to help you see the world more perfectly tells us exactly nothing about the capacity of your brain, of your heart, of your potential to rock this planet.
May you find people who look into your eyes and not at what frames them, who see the soul that is you, not the shape of the plastic pieces that surround them.
Here's to all the girls with glasses. May others start seeing the truth about you....who you are and who you are not.
May you no longer wait to become. Because, dear girl, you already are. The rest of the world is just a bit behind you. But maybe that's where we should be, because your clear-eyed focus sounds just like what we need to follow.
Rock those glasses today, and the next time someone tries to decide who you are, remember that they probably, like all of us over scheduled humans, skipped their annual eye exam this year. That's ok. You can lend them your view for a minute, and maybe, just for that moment, they'll see clearly, too.