Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grace under Sunglasses

In bygone days, women wore veils. They wore veils to be married, and veils to bury. Jackie Kennedy probably embodies the whole veil to sunglasses thing at its stylish best. It's a very humane thing, to be able to hide behind a veil when one's not quite at one's best. And she pulled this off with grace.Well chosen sunglasses may hide about half one's face ...we can thank Jackie for that.

Not all of us have the excuse of extraordinary public grief or relentless, marauding papparazzi. At least not in my little world. If you are in either of those other worlds, get the biggest, darkest sunglasses you can find, and never take them off. Or a veil, if you want. But the rest of us MAY just be using the sunglasses for another purpose.
The purists among us choose sunglasses on utility. "It's bright, thus I am wearing my sunglasses. The same ones I have been wearing since the early '90s." EARLY '90's...did you hear that BigD? Long time ago.Hey, BigD! *N.B. (who remembers what that means?) You are not a professional athlete. Yes, many bike racers and NY Yankees wear this style. You are not one of them. Time for some new sunglasses. "I always wear these. They're plain, they're classics." OK, I can live with that BigB. You look classic.
You too, Cubbie. Classic. The Sophisticate appears to be sunglass-free. IF she wanted to wear sunglasses on that bright porch, she might be demonstrating any number of reasons the rest of us wear sunglasses, that have little to do with the sun.
  • I am very, very rich and can buy very, very expensive sunglasses. Impressed?
  • I want you to think that I am rich, so I bought knock-offs. Impressed?
  • I stayed out way too late last night. What's your excuse?
  • I have pink-eye. Seriously. Want to hold my hand?
  • Yeah, my eyes are puffy. Jealous?
  • I don't want to make eye contact with you. No further questions.
  • Just quit looking at me, dammit.
Sometimes I think . . . OK, hope . . . that the right sunglasses can make one look thinner, or tanner, or whatever one might like to be. For some, they are a tool to make it less obvious whom we are looking at directly, when we might be in the midst of a group of young men.
WHO is she looking at? Who is making her smile? Who?

These moms are demonstrating that same principle. The game is going on somewhere....out there behind them; however, with the sunglasses, who can tell where they are looking? Surely they saw the SCORE! the SAVE! the GREAT PLAY! Moms see everything, even when facing the other way, as long as they are wearing sunglasses.
Works for dads, too. This particular dad is incognito, due to his ultra- sensitive profession. It's all in the mirrors. "You don't know who I am watching, it could be your kid, it could be mine...and please don't talk to me, just for a minute or two. I'm intensely into this game."The rest of us believe that the bigger the sunglasses the better. (Also "the bigger the handbag...." and even 'the bigger the.... earrings!' ) Why big sunglasses? To hide more face. And to divert attention from...everything else. See, that's Ru-mi with The Sophisticate. She likes big sunglasses too. We like black around here, and faux tortoise, and we like to score a bargain - TJMaxx, Off5th, Ebay - big dark sunglasses, to hide behind. Instant anonymity.
Sunglasses on the head works well for me in terms of keeping up with them. PPP uses this method also. It is much easier to find them on one's head than in that big black hole of purse detritus.

The sunglasses also keep the air blowing in the car from turning my contacts into crispy little polymer cookies while they are in my eyes. Which would make my eyes red, so pre-emptive sunglass wearing works for me.
Yes, we have been known to wear them in the laundromat - it's overly bright, plus the lint blowing around. I pretty much wear them -summer, winter, spring and fall - rain or shine, for better or worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. . . Seriously, if you can't pull out the sunglasses when you're sick, what's the point? But don't wear them at night. That's for rappers, which we are not.
We are NOT rappers, see? Those are some vintage sunglasses, straight out of the vintage house of my vintage faux grandmother, who PPP does not remember, but was willing to model. (Not today's story...wait for that one).

Anyway, that wearing-them-anytime-anywhere is borderline humiliating to my children, but I don't care, because I am not sophisticated any more. I have moved past sophisticated, in fact I may have skipped it entirely.
Which is painfully clear, considering that I spend my day putting sunglasses on my dogs and taking pictures.
Emma is modeling my big white sunglasses. I used to have a different pair of white ones, when The Sophisticate was a mere 14 year old Mini-Sophisticate. Her friend claimed to LOVE the white sunglasses, and still remarks about them today - 8 years later ( also very sophisticated.) An alternative version of that story is that these young ladies found the white sunglasses hilarious and so -in front of me - they "LOVED them" rather than "Can you believe she is actually wearing those things?", in order to get me to wear them more, to provide more fodder for 14 year old 'humor'.

Anyway, I found some white ones in the winter, - at TJMaxx for less than $10, don't tell anyone - and put them in my purse. I saved them, and did not put them on until after Memorial Day, assuming that the same rule applies to white sunglasses that applies to white shoes. SUMMERTIME: official boundaries Memorial Day and Labor Day. I know the white shoe thing can officially start at Easter, but Easter was so early this year that the white - shoes or sunglasses - didn't feel right. In my arbitrarily ruled world, I saved the white ones until Memorial Day. And on Labor Day night, I will remove them from the top of my head and put them away in a very safe and special place, if they don't get lost before then, which I hope I can prevent by wearing them on my head as much as possible. And then, when Memorial Day rolls around next year, I will....not be able to remember where I put them, at all, and then they will turn up next year about November 12, AFTER white-wearing season is over.


Liz said...

Hmmmmm.. I've always heard, "Big sunglasses and a big purse equals a smaller butt." It's a principle I hold dear. :)

Joey said...

cute pictures! i really like alot of those vintage sunglasses.