A Case of the Uglies

You ever have those moments when you're looking in the mirror and asking yourself, "What the hell were you thinking?" (If you're a guy, I understand that you started scratching your head right about the time you got to "looking in the mirror" and that the universal "whaaa?" look crossed your face as you got to the end of that sentence. It's ok. I wasn't really asking you. However, I'll clue you in briefly: this post is along the lines of your wife/girlfriend/sister/whatever asking you if these pants/dress/what-have-yous make her look fat. You will not have the right answer. You will never have the right answer.)

My hair has been giving me fits for, oh, two months. Roughly around the day after I last got it cut. I thought growing it out some would help, so I did. It didn't. Most of my annoyance with my hair has stemmed from the fact that my hair is neither curly nor straight - it's just that weird wavy that pretty much always manages to stick out in all the wrong places and flip all the wrong directions no matter how much time and energy I spend on it. Consequently I tend to spend very little time on it, which just maximizes its horrifficness. So on Sunday, I decided to ask my sister to give me a perm. She did a great job. But, well, I've been pretty much considering investing in paper bags ever since. Let me reiterate that this is not my sister's fault. I liken it somewhat to beer goggling - I was frustrated with my hair and so, in the throes of that frustration, I made a choice that, no matter how well executed, was never going to end with anything other than a Ronald McDonald afro (minus being bright red.) Though honestly, Ronald McDonald might be a step up - think more Alice from Dilbert - the great flying triangle head.  (Sing with me! "Triangle head, triangle head, triangle head hates particle man...")

Last Friday, before the ill advised perm, the whole family went to the eye doctor. As seems to be the going trend with me these days 1) the pressure in my eyes is high so I have to go back for another screening on that (with new equipment. They'll call me "when we figure out how to use it" -- my expectations for a positive experience? They are low.) and 2) my prescription has actually weakened. I'm not sure how I manage to need less vision correction the older I get, but this is very much the trend that I'm on. And so, because it's not good to have more vision correction than needed, I end up with new glasses each year. (It is, I'm told, worse to walk around with too strong glasses than to just deal with glasses that are too weak. Go figure.) Anyway, they no longer make the frames I used to have. So I poked around their frames, and in the back of my mind I considered the online place that Jen loves dearly, but honestly, I worried that I'd end up with something I hated cause I couldn't put them on and see how they looked before hand. Oh, Irony, how I love you.

Here's the thing. Even though my prescription gets weaker each year, I still do need correction to see clearly. And so, we're back to beer goggling - except this time with glasses frames. You take off the glasses you have (you know, the ones that help you do simple things like, oh, I don't know, SEE) and then you try on new frames and you try to stand close enough to a mirror that you can decide whether or not they look good. At the same time, you have the sales lady who pretty much only likes the really expensive ones on you and your husband who is just lucky to remember what you look like, let alone pass any kind of useful judgment on same, and a 3 year old who just wants to touch and twist everything he can reach. So you end up deciding that the new frames will be fine and you order them and you leave. And you didn't really see them well enough for the pit of worry to form at the bottom of your stomach for another day or two. Right about the time you realize that you have a triangle afro on your head and, oh gosh, new frames that are going to do nothing other than draw attention to how absolutely terrible you look from the neck up. Given that you already pretty much despise how you look from the neck down (well, not completely. I like my hands. My hands are quite nice.), you go with great trepidation to try on the new glasses when informed they've come in. And they are not as bad as you thought they would be.

They are about sixty times worse.

And so now you are resigned to the fact that you have wasted the time of your sister and spent good money so that you can try desperately to think of reasons why you should not leave the house for the next six months because you look like what Alice from Dilbert would look like if she joined the Army and got issued BCGs. Or perhaps, like Alexander, I ought to just up and move to Australia.


Eric Siegmund said...

Since this post is not intended for those of us of the male persuasion, my suggestion that its empathy-inducing potential would be enhanced by photographic evidence is likely to be dismissed. But, being a guy and overly susceptible to visual influences (vis-a-vis subtle mental inferences) I figured it was worth a shot.

Linda said...

I think you are beautiful.
Your Mother
PS I knew that would solve all your fears. SMILE

beth said...

Eric, I'm working on that for you. Really. Just hold on.

Thanks, mom :)

Jen said...

I think we're all overly critical of our own appearance. You are lovely, afro and nerd glasses notwithstanding. ;-)

Been there. Done that. Feel your pain.

About Zenni - measure your your old glasses (if you like them) and use those measurements to find new frames. Also, they have updated their site to allow for the uploading of a picture to help with the picking out process. I head to the eye doc this week and I'm on the fence about the immediacy of Lenscrafter or the cost savings of Zenni.