“Look at you!” said my mom, holding a big smile on her face. Her name was Sandy, and her name always made me think of a beach. Get it? Sand…Sandy. Anyway, I’d only been to a beach once, when I was younger, but the thought of a beach on a sunny day always made me smile. The clear water; the sun reflecting off it; and the people there always seemed more happy than anyone else in the world. It was hard for me to frown when my mom was smiling like that—only this was different! This was a no smile situation. This was me getting glasses type-of-situation. And not a 2018 glasses situation; you know, where glasses are cool. No! This was 1997, when glasses meant the end of your life. Goodbye future friends, I thought. See you later future girlfriends. Hey, you want to sit at the cool table? Syke! Not with those glasses, loser! Yea, this was bad.
“They look terrible.” I said. Though, and I wouldn’t mention this to anyone, in fear of giving up my undercover emotions of being happy (I would go to extreme lengths to make people feel mad, if I had previously decided on it; which I had), but everything looked so. . .so—so good! The blurs I’d seen before were now crystal clear. P.S. have you ever wondered who Crystal was?
“Well, what do you think?” The nurse asked. Her mole hair was now curling for a third time. I ignored her. I was too busy exploring the room with curious eyes. I had been in that church lobby thousands of times, but it looked brand new.
“Holy smokes, Reggie G!” Mr. German, the principal, said. “You look really cool, man.” He was walking toward me. His Garfield tie was swaying from left-to-right. Behind the tie was a bright-yellow shirt, which matched his smile—the brightness of his smile, not the color. His smile was like a welcome sign that read: “Come Over: Talk a While.” And people would. All the time. And I knew this, all too well, because (and if you used context clues then you know what’s coming), not only was he the principal of my school, Maranatha Christian Academy, not only was he the pastor of the church that ran the school—he was also my dad.
“Thanks.” I said. “It looks stupid, though.” I was now looking into the hand-held mirror the nurse was shoving in my face.
“No”—he drew out the “o”—”you look like a rockstar!” My dad said, as he gave me a playful punch to the shoulder.
“Stop, daddy!” I pulled my arm away from the punch. “I look dumb.”
“Well, you need them, and you’re overreacting, Reggie.” said my mom. She was the authority around these parts. What she says, goes. And 99.99% of the time, she was right. She said what needed to be said. But at the time—I was only in second grade, after all—I didn’t want to listen.
As I nodded my head while my mom spoke, a tear formed in my eye. I have to wear these forever, I thought. “Okay,” I said to my mom, finally gathering myself enough to speak. And with that, I turned to the set of stairs I could now see was green and not puke color, pushed my giant glasses up the brim of my thin nose, and began to walk back to my classroom.
“We love you Reggie G!” My dad yelled from the top of the stairs.
I glanced back, and for the first time since I could remember (maybe ever), I saw my parents through clear eyes. “Love you two-hundred!” I said, and then I left to face the world—as a glasses kid!