I try to learn from my mistakes and thankfully today when I rested my sunglasses on the counter at the post office a mini-spasm occurred to remind me of a loss that only recently have I been able to rectify.
Way back in the summer of 1983, I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar at Phillips Crab House in Ocean City, Maryland. It was a fabulous experience for two summers and in itself a story for another time.
Flush with tan and tips from my job there was one thing missing…extremely chic shades. Knowing the money I was earning was intended for college expenses I picked up an extra shift here and there (Ace-ing IN…it was called).
I did own a pair of sunglasses, however in order to meet the needs of long-term eye care and proper vision, I was going to have to buy a luxury reliable pair of sunglasses; not mention all the other 200+ servers, busboys, kitchen staff and lifeguards up & down the beach were wearing a certain brand. No, this brand was not a pair of run of the mill Ray ban Aviators. I stepped it up (like the rest of the crowd) and bought a pair of Vuarnet Cat-eye gold-rimmed sunglasses…after I peeled off my $55 in ones (tip money…it spends exactly the same) plus tax; the glasses with case were mine. I wore Vuarnet all the time, not just on the beach as shown below, but everywhere…(Did I mention I spent a whole $55 in tip money? Some college text-book was not purchased that fall due to my concern for vanity appropriate eye protection.)
As the years passed and my parents began to recover from the fact that I had spent a mortgage payment to purchase a pair of Vuarnet. I continued to wear the sunglasses. Many friends were also members of the Vuarnet Wearers of America (VWA). None of us had more than a few dollars to rub together during college; however we did sport sweet sunglasses for years beyond our studious bookworm stage.
One day, in 1990, I dropped the sunglasses on a cement floor. A lens was chipped and the frames as well as my heart were broken, The Hubster tried to glue the frames many times with only short-term success. There was hope Vuarnet had a repair program; send the company the broken frames, lenses, and $20; they would re-frame and return. What a deal…I nearly kissed the UPS driver when he delivered my repaired sunglasses. Alas, I am glad I did not kiss him because when I opened the package I did not see the golden frames, rather a slight tortoise look to the new frames and an apology letter from Vuarnet for they no longer carried my beloved gold frames. The disheartened feeling did not last long because the tortoise frames were much more trendy and well I have always been on the cutting edge when it comes to fashion….
Notice me to the far right with monochromatic turtleneck and shorts.
Several photos of the newer tortoise version…this was during my Rock Star Mom stage.
More years passed and because everyone expected meals when I was a stay at home mom; I went to the grocery store while wearing the sunglasses on my head. I rested the glasses in the grocery cart rather than the case…I think you can infer what happened next. (There goes the $70 investment and corrective eye wear here I come.) Returning to the scene of the incident to search proved futile.
The pain subsided and several friends who fell asleep during listened to my story of woe informed me that perhaps the sunglasses were no longer stylish. I purchased a pair of budget sunglasses and went on with my life and as fate would have it the reading glasses followed about five years later.
Fast forward to 2012, sitting with the Third Wheel (TW, my divorced college roommate, her mother called her that name when she heard she had attended several events with the Hubster and I) and her sister, Dearie on almost the same piece of sand 29 years after purchasing my only pair of Vuarnet I noticed that TW was wearing her 1982 Vuarnet Cat-eye, after a respite of years in some other brand. It seems my other friends were correct; the cat eye was out of vogue for a time. Dearie mentioned that she could no longer wear her Vuarnet Cat-eye because she required corrective lenses all the time. Humph!…she did not follow the wear everywhere and often mantra that I held when I owned my sunglasses. Her original pair sat in a drawer back home.
At home in a drawer, absurd… I needed to think quickly for the sand in the hourglass and under my beach chair was ticking. Dearie loved my handmade handbags, a trade agreement was made right there on the sand. She received a one of a kind handmade handbag in 2012 and I received a new to me pair of retro/vintage Vaurnet, tortoise frame and case included in 2014. (Yes, a two-year difference, but world problems are not resolved in a day.)
I am walking on sunshine, safely once again.
Moral of the story: Leave your Vuarnet at home when grocery shopping or better yet stay home and exercise… the body that sat on that beach many years ago only continues to look that way in your imagination…ouch!