We've all heard variations on the theme of "[blank] is the New Black." Eventually every shade in the spectrum will be called into play because fashion types can't make up their minds: "Brown is the new ... " no, wait ... make that "Pink is the new ..." no wait .... And because all things come to those who stand and wait, eventually, our ears are gladdened by the inevitable ever-so-clever self-referential "Black is the new Black."
Well, whoop de do, fashion types. I have news for you. Glasses are the new black. Or at least, glasses are the new hat.
You see, in old movies--I'm talking movies of the 30s, 40s, and 50s--you know, old--hats were huge. Ladies' hats, that is. Why, in Another Thin Man the witty dialogue was derived from a single source: the repetition of the line "Gee, that's a screwy hat." This peerless jest was delivered by a variety of characters, always in reference to the same hat. It resembled a wide-brimmed off-center unicorn's horn. Yes, it was screwy, but damn, that hat had some serious fun. In a single evening it went to a prize fight and into the jockey's locker room at the local track, and which of us could say the same?
Well, nobody wears hats anymore. Not even Myrna Loy. Oh, maybe we do when it's cold, or when we're pretending to be English, i.e., going to a garden party or an afternoon wedding, or when we want to lie out in the sun with a trashy novel. But basically, hats are not happening.
But remember the hat-centric time when the unhappy housewife would be advised to run out and buy herself a new hat? It seems there was a time, pre-Paxil, when a new hat worked as well or better than a couple of dry martinis as regards preserving the harried housewife's supply of seratonin.
And what does the average housewife got to be depressed about these days? The usual stuff that always bothered us, and one of those things is the ageing process. Which, you will remember, comes accompanied with changes in one's vision. Presbyopia, to be exact.
Well, call me Pollyanna, but why not look at the bright side of going blind? Why not take advantage of this God-given reason to buy yourself some mega-kewl glasses? Skip Lasik, shelve the contact lenses, and have some fun with the fact that you can't read the phone book any more. Take me, for example. I've been having some serious fun with presbyopia ever since I discovered that I couldn't read newspaper headlines, let alone the small print.
My latest pair of glasses, which inspired me to write this in the first place, is purple. And cat's-eyed. On top of that, they're only purple on the outside; the inside of the frames is teal green. Yes, they sound weird, but trust me. They are FABULOUS. The shape flatters my face, the color flatters my complexion, and basically, they're as good as a face lift, except not nearly as expensive and way less painful.
Plus, since along with my new frames I also got a new prescription, I have this dazzling new clarity of vision. It's practically surreal. If you ever sat through the opening sequence of David Lynch's Blue Velvet, you know what life is looking like to me these days.
So back to the subject of hats. Until such time as they come back, glasses are the nearest substitute for something you wear near your face that can give you a whole new look. If you wear glasses and they're over two years' old, they are too old. Go out and buy yourself a new pair right now. Get a pair in a cool shape. Get an emphatic color, too. Gold or silver wire rims are for grannies, baby.
Trust me on this. You take a no-longer-particularly-youthful face and park a pair of cutting edge fashion-forward glasses on its nose, and all of a sudden, things start to happen. Your look now says "I am so not a middle-aged American housewife. I am a European woman of a certain age, cheri." Parking garage attendents and UPS guys will start flirting with you big time.
OK, this might strike some as shallow. But presbyopia is nature's way of letting us know that we're old and wise enough to enjoy a few frivolous pleasures.