I am totally screwed.

Okay, not totally but a little bit. I made an impulsive big ticket item purchase last week. After I had just returned from a trip to Colorado with my kids. That trip was preceded by a trip to North Carolina and they are both to be followed next week by a week-long Carolina beach vacation.
And I’m feeling guilty about my purchase. Who the hell do I think I am? My brother? I work part-time as a bookkeeper while trying to become an income-producing writer. To help make this financially feasible, I stopped having a housekeeper come every other week and started cleaning my own house. Something I hadn’t done since I got married the first time in 1995. (See Cleaning House.) It’s been over 3 months since the housekeeper was let go and the house still looks good, maybe even better because she wasn’t doing that great of a job. But if I do the math, I blew all the savings of the last 3 months in 20 minutes. Oops.

But it happens. Kind of like the time my husband went to Costco last fall to buy a tenderloin for a dinner party and came back with a 55” flat screen TV and Home Theater System including a Blu- Ray DVD player. And NO tenderloin.  But there was a rebate. And watching The Hangover, repeatedly, in high def and surround sound has been fun.
It’s amazing what you can talk yourself in to.
I’ve been wearing glasses for almost 20 years. For distance only. And over the years I’ve been lucky because my prescription has only changed twice. Still, I’ve had a few different pairs, each being appropriate for where I was in my life at that time. I can easily tell you what each pair was and why I picked them:
First pair: Oliver Peoples with a thin tortoise shell frame and clip-on sunglasses. They were round and Harry Potter-ish, 15 years before his time. I was getting my MBA and they made me feel studious. And allowed me to see the board.
Second pair: Also Oliver Peoples. Round with a thin gold frame and more clip-on sunglasses. I got these for my first wedding thinking the gold frame made them more elegant. Looking back at my wedding pictures, boy were those frames big. My brother had the same pair. They took up half my face. Like a formal Harry Potter.
Third pair: Don’t remember the brand but I went to the other side of the spectrum. The glasses had a thick black frame and were perfect for living in Manhattan and working for a business newspaper. Stylish, urban and professional. Then I moved to South Florida and they looked a little out of place for a suburban housewife. They’re the glasses I am wearing on my current driver’s license because the State of Florida charges extra to take a new picture. Might be time to shell that money out.
Fourth pair: More Oliver Peoples. I love that man. This pair had a thin black frame on top of the lenses but were rimless on the bottom. A perfect compromise after my last heavy pair. Reminded me of a mullet: business in the front, party in the back.
Fifth (and current) pair: A thin, small, wire frame from Paul Smith. Not too big, stylish yet they don’t detract from my face. Frankly, a little boring. I’ve had these glasses for over 5 years yet these have been some of the most un-boring times of my life.
Somehow, on the plane back from Colorado last week, my glasses ended up on the floor of the cabin. Then someone, either me or my daughter, accidentally stepped on them. One of the lenses popped out and the frames got totally stretched out. I put the lens back in but the glasses wouldn’t sit properly on my head even though I have very large ears.
All of my glasses, except for one pair, have been bought at a local optical shop in South Miami, where I grew up and where my parents still live. This local shop has expanded since then and recently opened up an outpost in my local mall. I figured I would go in there and see if they could fix them for me. I explained my situation to the nice man in the store. That I had gotten the glasses in South Miami a long time ago. That my mom knew the owner. That I was loyal customer. I figured that with all of this knowledge, he would be more likely to help me. He asked no questions, took my broken glasses and said he would be back in a few minutes. In the meantime, my daughter and I started looking around the store.
That was my first mistake. All those beautiful frames were just staring at us. The man came back with my old, but now fixed, glasses and graciously told me that there was no charge. The goodwill from his “free of charge” gesture pushed me over the top. And the eyeglass door flew open. “You know, I’d like to try some frames on. As long as we’re here.” And within ten minutes, I had picked out a new pair of frames with the necessary approval of my fashion consultant (my 11 year old daughter). Then I added no glare and transition lenses to the price tag. I’ve never had transition lenses but I’ve always wanted them. I figure I’ve gone through the hassle of having to change from eyeglasses to sunglasses thousands of times. I live in South Florida. The sun is strong here and I am constantly in and out of the house, the car, Publix etc.
After I left the store, I started having some doubts about spending that much money on something I already have. But after a day or so, I couldn’t change my mind even if I wanted to. Hindsight is 20/20. The glasses will be ready for pickup later this week before we leave on our trip. I can’t wait. For either!
And hey, I deserve them. Don’t I? I clean my own house for goodness sake.