Way back in the day, I remember hoping one day I would be able to wear cat eye glasses. I really wanted to wear them. They were very popular in the early sixties and I thought the women who wore them, especially if they were secretaries, were at the top of their game.
Why, oh, why, did I have to have great eyesight?
When I was little, I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. But, not just any regular actress. I wanted to be a smoking actress. You know what I’m talking about; the ones who adorned gowns, strategically placed a wisp of their hair over their left eye, smoked, and said, “Dahling” a lot. That’s what I wanted to be.
Until I saw my dad’s secretary wearing cat eye glasses.
I used to spend a lot of time after school and some Saturday’s at my dad’s real estate office. I played secretary a lot and pretended I could type at a very fast speed. Most of my creations were quite sad, but it was fun pounding the keys on the black typewriter. Back then, ink ribbon was used in the typewriter, so I am sure my dad’s secretaries were not happy to come back on Mondays to see the ribbon needed replaced. I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it. There was no way I wanted purplish ink on my fingers, especially when my dad often took me over to Mom’s Lunch for lunch. How can you possibly pick up a french fry to dip in ketchup when you have purple ink on your fingers? Besides, I was a kid. Kids weren’t expected to change typewriter ribbon, right?
So, imagine how my jaw dropped when I saw one of the secretaries wearing cat eye glasses for the first time. Now, you have to understand that both of them were young and very pretty, so the cat eye glasses didn’t make them look like nerds or anything. On the contrary, it made them look smart and beautiful, which was a pretty great combination. As my mom repeatedly told me, “You have to be pretty on the inside before you can be pretty on the outside.” I thought that was a stupid comment, because I was pretty sure lungs and kidneys were not pretty. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
After staring at my dad’s secretary, I wanted a pair of cat eye glasses. I couldn’t wait to go home and ask my mom to take me to the eye doctor. I had to have these glasses.
“Vickie, you have perfect eyesight. You do not need glasses.”
“I really do, Mom. I can’t really see what is written on the board.”
Yes, I lied. I was, after all, a big fat liar, minus the fat part. So, off we went to the doctor. Looks like my left eye was perfect and my right eye was just a little weak, but not enough to need glasses. But, after my mom told him I had a hard time seeing the board, I got a pair of glasses “to use as needed.”
They didn’t have cat eye glasses for kids. What? Sure they do. You must be mistaken, Mr. Doctor.
I came home with a pair of brown glasses that looked an awful like my mom’s. I was not a happy liar. I think I wore those glasses a total of four times. My mom wrote a note to the teacher to make sure I wore those damn things, but I think it somehow got lost before I gave it to her.
So, it looked like I was back to wanting to be a smoking actress when I grew up. My hopes of being a secretary with cat eye glasses were dashed.
But, maybe my mom could get a little spiffy looking with a pair.
I wished my mom wore cat eye glasses because she had a pair of what she called “Ben Franklin” glasses and they just looked stupid on top of her mop of a hair-do. I couldn’t understand why there was a line running right through the middle of each lens.
She was about as stylish as my dad, who wore suits every day and looked dapper, but who could not coordinate casual clothes to save his soul. He wore stripes with plaids and couldn’t understand why he didn’t match, as long as the same color was in both pieces of clothing. He also had no problem wearing black socks with sandals.
I was surrounded by the misfits of Toy Land.
He was pinching her butt in this photo….
I have to admit I have never been back to the eye doctor. I know, my bad, especially since I’m pushing sixty. I do wear Dollar General or Walmart Foster Grant reading glasses, mostly on top of my head like a head band.
I don’t think I look like a secretary. I look like a pretend photographer.