[Content Note: Teasing.]

I was 9 when I got my first pair of glasses.

I was so excited—not only could I see better, but both of my parents wore glasses and so, for reasons that surely made sense to my child's mind, getting glasses made me feel grown up.

Naturally, the teasing began instantly. Four eyes. Google eyes. Nerd. Even as a child, it didn't bother me as much as it simply perplexed me. Yes, I was wearing glasses. Yes, my thick lenses make my eyes look different. Yes, I am a nerd. Well observed.

This continued for five years, until I got my first pair of contacts at age 14. I wore them every day, from the moment I awoke until the moment before I hopped into bed. My glasses were there only in case of emergency—although there was never an emergency. When I tore one of my contacts, in the days before bottomless boxes of disposables, I wore it anyway. If I knew I was risking damage to my eye, I didn't care.

It wasn't because of the teasing about my glasses that I didn't wear them. It was vanity, and that not about my glasses, either. When I was younger, I had terribly oily skin, and having glasses sat upon the bridge of my nose turned my entire nose into a shiny mess.

"Your glasses make you look like a frog, and your nose looks like an oil slick," said one of my seventh-grade male classmates, while we sat in the library, supposed to be writing book reports. It was the "oil slick" that got me.

Many years later, I was having a routine annual eye exam when my eye doctor told me that my eyes weren't getting enough oxygen from wearing my contacts so frequently. The veins (or arteries? I don't remember) in my eyes were growing thicker and into places they shouldn't be, in search of oxygen. If I kept it up, I would eventually go blind.

So I started wearing my glasses again.

I have been wearing my glasses almost exclusively for quite a few years now, and I still get the occasional comments about them. I have had other adult human beings actually say to me, out loud, "Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses." Blink. I get emails telling me my glasses are ugly; have deleted irrelevant comments on YouTube about my "googly eyes." Last weekend, I wore contacts to a friend's comedy show, because of a perniciously sore zit on the side of my nose, and someone told me how much prettier I look without my glasses.

It's such a strange thing to me, the negative commentary on wearing glasses. It always has been.

They help me see. And because my vision is so poor without them—I cannot read the clock at the side of the bed at night; I am the kind of myopic that makes Piggy's broken glasses one of the most terrifying scenes for me in Lord of the Flies—they help me to live safely. They help me read, and they help me cross streets.

I love my glasses, and I am so grateful for them.

[Related Reading: Thumbs Up for Adaptive Eyewear.]

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