Hipster me this

[Before I get into the actual post, a great big sloppy thank-you to everyone who responded so kindly to my last couple of posts (and the corresponding post over on Alpha Mom). I am emerging from the fog and hoping I never have to switch medications ever again. Thanks for being patient with me.]

Remember how last summer Monkey got glasses and there was much rejoicing? There was also some self-flagellation, because he’d been having trouble seeing for a while, and I hadn’t kept up with yearly exams, but all of you assured me that these things can happen and the important thing was that it had all been resolved and it could’ve happened to anyone. I like you, have I even mentioned that?

So a couple of weeks ago when Monkey started complaining (again!) that he was having trouble seeing, I was all, “Oh, we’re probably due for your yearly exam very soon,” and then I went and checked and, yeah, His last exam was in June. Whoops. I like how I totally learned my lesson from before, don’t you? I went ahead and made him an eye appointment. And then listened to a week of “Mom! HEY MOM! Can you read that from here? Because I can’t! I can BARELY SEE IT!”

The thing I hadn’t anticipated here is that—much like when I got new glasses earlier this year—the current selection of frames at the optical place was… dismaying.

Monkey’s original (current, I guess I should say) glasses are metal and semi-rimless. They suit him, and he insisted that he wanted the same frames again. However, despite the fact that my gangly manchild is, well, not exactly a child anymore, he is still oblivious when it comes to the care and handling of his specs. As a result, we’ve had to replace a couple of nosepads when they’ve been broken off or bent beyond recognition, plus it seems like that whole nosepad area needs frequent readjusting because it’s delicate and Monkey is… not.

Thus, I’ve been using my wily powers of All-Knowing Mom Persuasion this week to talk to him about how PLASTIC frames don’t have separate pieces by the nose there. PLASTIC frames like the ones I wear, like the ones his sister wears, why, they’re practically indestructible. And SO COMFORTABLE! Nosepads are for losers! (I only said that last part in my head. But you get the general idea.)

We checked in at the optical place and the optometrist whisked him into an exam room and returned him to me before I’d even had time to get through my email.

“Has he had a growth spurt lately?” He asked.

“Yes. I think he’s taller now than when you took him back,” I said.

The optometrist chuckled. “I thought so. He’s had a significant change in his prescription, and that tends to happen with growth spurts.”

“Oh, really? How much of a change?” Who knows what’s significant to an optometrist, right?

“We’re going to just about double his prescription,” he said, casting me the briefest of glances that could’ve meant “don’t freak out” or “you’re the worst mother I’ve ever met.” Either way.

(Hey, I think I figured out why he couldn’t see!)

That’s my Monkey. Taller, hairier, and blinder than ever before!

But really, this was all fine, and we commenced trying to find him a pair of frames. We quickly discovered that it turns out that only about 25% of the available frames are plastic, and about 105% of those frames scream HIPSTER DOUCHE.

Monkey loved every pair he put on more than the last. The bigger, clunkier, and dorkier the frame, the more awesome he thought he looked. I glanced over at the children’s frame section with longing; his current frames had come from there just over a year ago, but now they all looked TINY compared to my fast-growing boy.

“I really like these ones,” he declared, about three pairs in. “They’re comfortable.” They were a thick-rimmed black plastic, twin rectangles encasing either side of his face. He looked like he might whip a bunsen burner and a beaker of bubbling fluid out of his pocket at any moment.

“Uhhhh… I’m not sure how I feel about all that black,” I said, while he preened in front of the mirror.

I found him a pair in tortoiseshell, and the color was less harsh, but those frames were a little larger and not as good of a fit. Dangit. I asked a nearby optician if the heavy black ones came in any other color, but she said they didn’t. Of course.

It seemed like we’d been through every plastic pair in the men’s section (and a couple of unisex-looking ones I snagged from women’s, shhhhh) and I was just about resigned to the heavy pair he loved, when I spotted a similar pair in a lighter-weight plastic, with some gray on the sides to break up the black a little. “Did you try these ones?” I asked him. He rolled his eyes but put them on.

“These are pretty comfortable,” he said. “I like ’em.”

“SOLD!” I said. And we bought them.

He’s still gonna look like a three-quarter-size hipster, but it’s more like hipster-lite. Like, he’s allowed to have a few gears on his bike, still, and he’s excused from growing ironic facial hair for now. Mostly because if he sprouts any more facial hair than he already has, he is SO GROUNDED.


  1. Jean

    God I had a hard time finding glasses because all of the hipster plastic ones made me look even more like a dork (and I wear my glasses all the time – I don’t need any help in the dork world). Glad Monkey found something awesome!

  2. Kira

    Hey, how many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Oh, it’s a pretty obscure number…you probably haven’t heard of it…

    I’m sure Monkey will be ALL KINDS of adorable in his new glasses. I already want to pinch his cheek.

    • TC

      Can. Not. Stop. Giggling. (Tells you how hipster I’m not that I’ve never heard that one, eh?)

    • Sheila


    • Lucinda


    • parodie

      Why did the hipster burn his hands changing the lightbulb?

      He did it before it was cool…

    • Katie in CA

      hahahaha. I am so stealing that.

  3. Chuck

    I am due for an eye exam, although I don’t wear glasses yet. As I am in my mid forties now though I imagine it’s only a matter of time, but I’m resisting for as long as I can.

  4. Rocky Mountain Woman

    hmmmm…I have those same glasses and I got them from the men’s department because they looked comfortable and unbreakable.

    Is that wrong?

    Sigh, someday I’m going to do something about the way I look…



  5. RuthWells

    Thanks for the reminder — we are all due for eye exams. I am planning to try contact lenses AGAIN (I have tried and failed 3-4 times in my adulthood) so that I can see on stage in February — wish me luck!

  6. deva

    I want nosepads. I’m tired of pushing my glasses up my nose all the time with my plastic frames, but they look cute, so there’s that.

  7. Crickett

    As much as you like on-line deals, have you looked into getting glasses on-line? You have to get the doc to actually print out the prescription for you, and do some measuring so you can put all the numbers in. But for the cost, I personally could get 7 different pairs on-line for the cost of my last pair at the bricks-&-mortar place. Some places let you upload a picture and “try on” glasses before you buy them.

    I just ordered my first pair, so I can’t testify personally, but there are others who do, and I expect my first pair within 2 weeks.

    If you’ve already got a pair for him, it wouldn’t hurt to use the on-line places to pick up a spare or two…

    • Mir

      We do online glasses, too, but there’s no substitute for actually trying them on, I’ve found. :)

  8. Eileen

    I’m so glad to hear this “growth spurt = going blind” thing. My mother’s guilt was amazing.

    My son time traveled with Marty McFly back to 1985 and stole his glasses from Max Headroom…so…yeah.

  9. 12tequilas

    Any way we can have a visual? Like, maybe put Monkey’s glasses on yourself and take a photo?

  10. Brigitte

    Naw, have Licorice wear them!

  11. Julie

    I think my persciption changed about 3 times one year- possibly the same year i grew 6″. In 4th grade it was suggested I get contacts not for cosmetic reasons, but because hard contacts would stabilize my eyes so they would stop changing shape and therefore my perscription. I’ve been back to glasses for years now and I just got my first pair of plastic frames. I’ve wanted them for yeeeeears, but I absolutely cannot go without nose pads (and one brand does!! my lenses are massive even in plastic and with tiny frames). Got tosay, they are ok, but I think the metal, double-hinged metal ones were more sturdy, but these are cuter.

    • Katherine

      I got hard lenses for the very same reason. All my friends got soft contacts that summer, but my dr really recommended the hard to stop my runaway prescription changes. And it worked. My son, on the other hand, is the rare teen whose prescription got better as he went through puberty. And he was growing really quickly – enough so that he has stretch marks all over his back.

  12. Karen V

    Rivet and Sway maybe? They send you three pairs of glasses you choose and then you keep the pair you like best and send the others back. Quite a few of the bloggers I read have used and loved them… I just can’t remember if you were one of them :)

  13. Jessica (the celt)

    As long as I tried to get OUT of plastic frames as a kid, there’s no way I’m going back to them. I think those are long unresolved issues, though, so take that as you will. I was so excited when I bought my first pair of glasses myself and was able to get smaller metal frames. *sigh* Nope, not going back. ;~)

    Glad you found something good that both you and Monkey could agree on, though! I know my mom and I had had some interesting arguments about glasses, but “it’s what we can afford” kind of wins any argument any day, eh? :D

  14. My Kids Mom

    I’m procrastinating in taking my 9 yo to get an eye check b/c my husband has had thick glasses since the beginning of time and I had perfect eyes until I… um, got old. When we decided to have kids, the deal was that he would give them his hair (thick, blond and curly whereas mine is thin, mousey and straight) and I’d give them my eyes (20/20 and very blue.) Well, kid one came out with straight auburn hair and got glasses at age 7. Fail on both our parts. Kid two got my boring hair but hasn’t YET needed glasses. So now I’m worried that he might need them but I don’t want to put those darling baby blues behind glass. And I haven’t made the appointment I think he needs. Maybe this is the push I need. But then we’ll have both failed on both hair and eyes and I’ll be so disappointed!

  15. Becky

    Lord. Trying to help Katie pick out frames is horrible. The more gaudy te frames, the more she likes them. “Mom! These have FLOWERS on them! They’re so PRETTY!” I totaly feel your pain.

  16. Leslie

    Now that you are Costco devotees, try their optical department as well. I get my contacts there as well as my glasses….and my glasses are high index plastic ( so they won’t be 2 feet thick) reflection free, progressive lenses. They do a great job….Consumer Reports rated them the best of the big optical retailers. My current glasses are hipster-lite as well….and I LOVE them!

  17. Pip

    My glasses are all flimsy and it turns out I’m pretty hard on them – had to have my frames replaced after six months because despite the fact that I had neither dropped or sat them (much to my amazement) I’d nearly ripped through the wirey bits at the side, between the screws and the lens. Oops. Luckily we had insurance so I only had to pay 25%, but it still cost £40.

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