Gone Retro

So, it seems the list of things that I would like to spend my money on but which modern life has deemed there’s no call for gets longer by the day (see also: trousers that fit, shoes without high heels that are vaguely foot shaped). My glasses have long been driving me nuts by falling off my face at inconvenient moments, most recently while on a night ride (thankfully, with enough people around me to turn their lights on the verge so someone else could spot them). I need my glasses, as I’m extremely short sighted – the only pub competition I ever win is the one where people start comparing prescription strengths and swapping glasses (yes, my evenings in the pub are that fun; I spent too long working in IT in retrospect).

I wear them every day and it’s important that they’re both light and comfortable and I’m vain enough that I’d like them not to dominate my face. For the last fifteen or so years I’ve been wearing small metal frames, first silver, then bronze, that sit directly on my nose, rather than have those little pad things that pinch the bridge of your nose. The latest pair have now reached the stage where the arms are loose and worn and so they swing out too wide and let the glasses slip down my nose to where evolution has kindly placed a little ‘ski jump’ ledge. This is great for doing the ‘strict librarian’ look but not so great for actually seeing things and recently they’ve started sliding further so that anything that involves looking down (bike fixing, gardening, putting on my socks) is now accompanied by a clattering of several hundred pounds worth of lens to the floor, followed by much swearing and groping around on my part). So yes, time for a new pair.

Except the gods have deemed that glasses must now come in two sorts: metal-ones-with-little-nose-pads and plastic ones that sit directly on the nose. I’m not wearing plastic ones because I still remember the dreaded NHS specs and just because the youth of the day have taken to wearing them ironically doesn’t mean I’m going to join them. And the nose pads are just uncomfortable. Metal ones that sit directly on the nose? They just don’t exist. There’s no call for them! Because the world’s gone mad or something…

A plea for help on Twitter (is there any other way?) resulted in the suggestion that I try vintage frames on Ebay, and after some extensive googling (the search term, apparently, is ‘saddle-bridge’ or ‘W-bridge’ glasses) it does seem that’s pretty much my only option apart from some very expensive hand-made frames from Saville Row, or some so-expensive-they-don’t-actually-mention-the-price frames from Germany. So I’m left with the conclusion that I either have very good taste, or that I just have to accept that I’m out of touch with the modern world and have become vintage myself. (I’m not alone). So it’s into the shark infested waters of Ebay for me – or else I’ll have to wait for the ironic kids to discover the joys of properly designed metal framed glasses so that it can come around on the guitar again and I can stock up with several pairs and hope they see me out.

What next?


12 Responses to Gone Retro

  1. Flighty says:

    As a fellow wearer of glasses I sympathise. I wear metal frames but with nose pads, which I find okay.
    I’ve never ventured onto Ebay so good luck with that. xx

  2. The slipping specs are a pain. I have tried re-vistting the optician for adjustments; specifying no-slipping as being vital.

    Also tried sport spec cables ad chains.

    My father had a pair of pince-nez; when \i tried them on as a child they really hurt!

    I hear great reports of lazer eye-surgery…


  3. disgruntled says:

    Flighty – cheers
    Charles – No way am I going down the eye surgery route …

  4. Paul M says:

    I suppose you have ruled out a granny-chain? Not a chic look, I grant.

    The other possibility is the things skiers wear – a length of cord with little grippy things to hold the temple pieces, and a sliding clasp to tighten them up behind your head.

    When I used to ski, before my knees got knackered, I did it so badly that the said cord-thingy was essential if I was not to kiss goodbye to a new set of Oakley shades on every run as I lost my balance and tumbled a*se over tip down the piste.

  5. disgruntled says:

    I’m already non-cycle-chic enough, without adding an elastic band holding my specs on. I have contemplated doing something creative with sellotape but stopped myself in time

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about contact lens ? Available now in soft lens designed to be left in for a month at a time. I have a lens in the only eye that actually sees much and must remove it for sleeping but I could never go back to glasses.

  7. disgruntled says:

    I never got on with contact lenses

  8. Junk shops are good places to find vintage spec frames as well. Here in Embra on the south side the the vintage junk shops are cheek-by-jowl.

  9. […] no, I haven’t got around to ordering a new pair yet, why do you ask? It’s only been four months of having them fall off my face at every possible inconvenient moment, which is but a blink of an […]

  10. […] out loud) what it would take for me to actually go and replace my glasses, rather than just blogging about it and then swearing at them every time they fall off my face. He got his answer […]

  11. […] around to getting my eyes tested today after walking round every opticians in Bigtown with my poor out-of-fashion tractor-crushed glasses asking if they had anything like them in stock and booking myself in at the […]

  12. […] with the new prescription. However, it did occur to me that I’ve been wearing the same (increasingly hard-to-obtain) style of glasses for about 20 years now and it might be time to experiment with a different […]

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