Sunday, April 08, 2007

For Better Hallway Vision

For a couple of years, I had the best sunglasses in the whole world. I bought them in Big Pine Key, near Key West, on the advice of a kayak guide. (If you're ever in the area - I highly recommend his tours - he's a great guide and if a movie were made of his life, Kevin Costner would be a good likeness.) Bill recommended polarised lenses, since they would eliminate the glare off the water. They did that, but they also did some sort of light-filtering magic (Peter would know the technical term) that made colours look so much brigthter and better. It was as though the tornado had sucked me out of black and white Kansas and deposited me in Technicolor Oz.

I bought them regardless of how they looked - it was all about the lenses. As a side benefit - they didn't look too bad, although they were sort of a cross between the guy with the freaky eyes in X-men and Bono's glasses. (In fact, Peter delighted in calling me Bono for the first couple of weeks.) They were quite different to any glasses I had bought previously - I tended to favour wire rims and these frames were black plastic and sleek looking.

The best part - they were only $12. I never wanted to spend more than $20 on sunglasses because I know I have a tendency to treat them poorly. Despite the odds, those sunglasses lasted me for a few years, until I lost them in Berlin. Don't ask me how - I think it was when I was lying on a bench in Alexanderplatz, near the big TV tower. Although it could have been when I was lying on a bench, listening to a violinist busking, in Gendarmenmarkt. (It was that sort of gorgeous, lazy summer day.)

In any case, I've been without sunglasses for nearly 2 years. It wasn't for lack of trying - it's that polarised lenses at a decent price are very difficult to find over here. On Friday, I struck lucky - in my chemist in Macroom, they had a rack of sunglasses and I noticed a couple pairs had "Polarised" stickers. Jackpot. There were only 3 pairs with the magic lenses. I rejected the first pair because they were ugly, giant Paris-Hilton style glasses. The second pair I rejected because they had brown lenses and I am just fundamentally opposed to brown lenses. (Also to blue, yellow...basically any color that's not a shade of black.)

So I bought the third pair without even looking to see if they made me look like an eejit. I wanted to be able to drive without squinting and to see those glamourous, better-than-real-life colours again. Besides, although the frames were a grey-silver colour, they still bore more than a passing resemblence to my Florida Keys sunglasses. About my only complaint about the glasses is they cost 40 euro, which is way more than $20, but they did come with a nice soft purple carrying case.

When Peter drove down from Dublin Friday evening, I had my sunglasses on because I was leaving to go to camogie practise. Here's a recap of his reaction:

Him: "You got new sunglasses."
Me: "Yep."
Him: "Where did you get them?"
Me: "Matt Murphy's Pharmacy, in Macroom."
Him: "Are the lenses..." (he made a weird gesture with his head for reasons completely unknown to me)
Me: "Polarised? Yes, they are."
Him: "Did they have any nice ones?"
Me: "Nice ones? I paid 40 euro for these glasses. They better be really nice!"

So, just a hint, guys - greeting your wife's new sunglasses with a comment like "Did they have any nice ones" - even if you mean glasses that would suit yourself and you're not trying to malign your wife's choice - is not the best way to ensure harmonious marital relations.

Peter has taken every opportunity to tell me how good the glasses look on me. But here's the problem, you can't unring a bell and even though I know what he meant by what he said, it's still way too much fun to tease him about how it sounded.


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