20 Problems Only Women Who Wear Glasses Will Understand

Photo: Tamara Velazquez, coffeekai | Canva
woman feeling around in a blurry world to find her glasses

When I was in second grade, my teacher read from big, oversized books and we'd each stand up, one at a time, and read a sentence. One day, I stood up, looked at the page, and realized I couldn't read a word; it was all a blur.

I didn't understand what was happening, and as a shy 7-year-old and the "new girl in school," I already didn't want to be standing in front of the class. So, I froze.

I shrugged my shoulders. I kept saying, "I don't know, I don't know," and my teacher thought I just couldn't read. I sat down, humiliated.

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The next thing I remember, I was sitting in an ophthalmologist's office picking out a pair of glasses. Glasses? I imagined kids would call me "four eyes" (they didn't). I imagined being picked on, and being called ugly (I wasn't).

But you know what did happen? I COULD SEE! I will never forget the drive home in my new specs, looking up at the street lights, and the stars, seeing more clearly than I ever remember seeing.

"This is the real world?" I thought to myself. "Is this how everyone sees? Look how much I've been missing."

All that to say, I've been wearing glasses for a long, long time. I've had pairs I've loved, pairs I've hated, and pairs that have been run over, rolled over, and snapped. When kids couldn't remember my name, I was "the girl in glasses" by default. It's my thing.

So, as the woman in glasses, allow me to shed some light on ordinary and consistent problems we bad-sighted gals deal with.

Here are 20 problems only women who wear glasses will understand:

1. When your glasses break, your empty wallet flashes before your eyes

It's not just an ordinary accessory. Either you drop hundreds of dollars on new frames and lenses immediately, rock some Urkel tape, or go through the Warby Parker try-on period and stay blind for a solid week.

2. Choosing the right frames requires at least a full day of indecision

The decisions! Sometimes we like the "look" of a frame, but it doesn't suit our face shape. Or, we worry that it's too trendy. Or, too flashy. Or, too boring.

These things are going to be on our faces, and I don't know a single person who can pick out frames without a mild mental struggle and a few selfie texts to friends.

3. Eye exams are comparable to Medieval torture

"Which one is clearer: number 1 *click*, number 2 *click*, or are they about the same?"

Ummm, the first one? No, definitely the second. Wait, can you go back again? Maybe they're the same? And no, I would NOT like you to puff air into my eyes and flip my eyelids.

Unfortunately, a prerequisite to getting new lenses are these uncomfortable appointments, reminding us we're slightly blinder each year.

4. You can't see anything when you're wearing sunglasses

We could get prescription sunglasses — meaning we a) switch frames back and forth as we go inside and out, which is annoying, or b) wear sunglasses indoors, which we've clearly labeled as "douche behavior."

Or, naturally, we wear contacts, which comes with its own list of grievances.

5. And you can't see anything when you're swimming, either

Let's just say I spent my childhood summers as "Marco."

6. Exercising is practically impossible

Try doing burpees in glasses; they'll fly right off your face. Or, run on the treadmill, sweating, as glasses slide down the rim of your nose. Downward dog? Down goes the glasses.

7. Rainstorms leave you with blurry vision

Bummer about your hair getting wet, but I can't see right now.

8. Going into someone's warm house when it's cold outside

Your glasses WILL fog up.

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9. Drinking a hot cup of tea or coffee

Your glasses will ALWAYS fog up.

10. Be prepared to lose your frames to infants who've hit their "grabbing" milestone

No baby can resist grabbing these puppies straight off my face as I gently wrestle them out of their fiercely tight fists.

11. The only way to put on makeup is to get super close to the mirror

My makeup always looks better when I see a slightly blurry version of myself in the mirror. And forget about false lashes or lengthening mascara. That won't happen without skidding your lenses with each blink.

12. Showering and shaving is done by memory

We basically learn to shave by feel, not sight. And is this shampoo or conditioner? *squints at the bottle*

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13. You're too familiar with the unsettling feeling of people asking to try on your glasses

Then you're momentarily blind as they say, "Oh my gosh; you're blind!" Yes, yes I am. Now stop stretching my frames.

14. You reach for your glasses in the morning and discover they're missing

Assume the position of crouching down and patting the rug.

15. Wearing glasses greatly outweighs getting that scary LASIK

Anyone who wears glasses has momentarily considered having their eyes taped wide open while a laser singes their eyeball, which probably won't blind them. A solution is in our reach ... but darn.

16. We fit into three stereotypes: nerdy geek, cute librarian, and well-read/smart

Sometimes this works in our favor (which is why people wear fake glasses on job interviews), but it's mostly irritating.

17. People constantly think you look exactly like someone else

Hi, Lisa Loeb; apparently we're twins. You too, Tina Fey. When you're a "girl who wears glasses," your specs become your identity.

18. Everyone has an opinion when you're debating getting contact lenses

"Oh, you look so different." "I didn't recognize you without glasses." "You're so much prettier without glasses."

I've actually had several people tell me I look better in glasses, which is a strange compliment because they're essentially saying I look better when plastic is partially covering my face.

19. You instinctively go to adjust your glasses mid-conversation and realize you're actually wearing contacts

Just itch your face and pretend you didn't just do that.

20. People who wear glasses strictly for fashion annoy you

You don't know the struggle and for that, we shun you.

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Michelle Horton is a freelance writer and social media specialist who founded the website Early Mama. She writes about advocacy, motherhood, and relationships.