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National Editorials & Columns

Those rose-colored sunglasses

I bought a knock-off pair of Aviator sunglasses last week for five bucks. It wasn’t until I wore them around for half the day before my wife delivered me some unfortunate news: They were ladies sunglasses.

At first I shuddered, entirely flabbergasted at the accusation Christine had leveled toward my new pair of shades. This cannot be, I assured myself. I wondered if this was merely a cruel prank on the part of Christine.

She laughed so hard milk came out her nose, which was strange because she wasn’t even drinking milk at the time. “OMG, they are, too,” Christine said. “There’s a bunch of little, bejeweled and sparkly charms embedded in the silver band running across the top.”

Alarmed, I put out my cigarette and rushed to the closest mirror in an attempt to clear my name from my latest bout of buffoonery.

I’m almost afraid to admit this now but up until that moment I felt cool in my new pair of sunglasses, like a new man. Or would that be a new woman?

My new shades made me feel like Robert De Niro, so much so that I was even practicing lines from “Taxi Driver” in my rearview mirror on the commute home.

Turns out I looked more like Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

It wasn’t until I peered into my bathroom mirror that I realized I had bought a pair of women’s sunglasses. Adorning the upper rim of my glasses was a series of twinkling, mini fake diamonds. Christine’s visage was reflected behind me in the mirror, too, as she giggled with an “I told you so” grin.

“You know I have some nice shoes upstairs in my closet that might go good with your new pair of sunglasses,” she sarcastically whispered in my ear. She began laughing hysterically at this point. “Did you even look at these things before you bought them?”

Sure enough, the end pieces of the sunglasses were even more girly and less subtle than the bejeweled charms. Each end piece was imprinted with a tiny star pattern, which seemed to twinkle when light reflected off of it.

The irony I haven’t bothered pointing out yet is that I hate sunglasses. This was, literally, the first pair of sunglasses I ever bought, possessed or otherwise owned. I always felt they were an unnecessary facial encumbrance, just something else I would wind up breaking or losing. My whole life my tactic for driving in the sun was squinting, wearing my seatbelt and trying to avoid rising insurance premiums.

I don’t even like wearing my actual glasses, which is why I don’t. My prescription glasses make me look like a nerd.

Though, on second thought, I guess that’s better than looking like Lady Gaga.

I bought the sunglasses at SprawlMart. The sunglasses were kept in the jewelry department and about 98 percent of the sunglasses for sale were for women. The remaining 2 percent consisted of actual sunglasses for men and children.

I even got snotty with a clerk roaming near the jewelry counter. I said something like, “I’m looking for a pair of sunglasses. Where are the sunglasses for men? It would appear you are under some false belief that men don’t need sunglasses, which is incredibly insensitive to men.”

I regret saying this now, of course. She was the clerk who checked me out. I’m convinced she was well aware I was buying a $5 pair of ladies sunglasses.

The clerk even said, “Oh, these will look really good on you, sir.”

She was responsible for this humiliation, I am certain of it. I was gallivanting about town all day long striking up conversations with acquaintances like a fancy boy in my pair of uber-sexy girly glasses. Every single person I had encountered that day ran through my mind in horror like a Rolodex of embarrassing encounters.

I’m telling you, ignorance is bliss.

And since my sunglasses were more befitting toward her gender, I ended up giving them to Christine. She looks fantastic in them.

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