On Wearing Red Sunglasses

Sunglasses #2 (2)


I’ve been wearing red sunglasses for five years now. Off and on. Others have come and gone, brown and black and square and round, but somehow I always come back to red.

There have been two pairs. Two lovely pairs.

The first I bought in college at a thrift store just off campus. Wandering through the little shop after class, I tried them on and turned to show my friend.

“I love them,” he declared. They looked ridiculous, I thought, but I bought them anyway, assuming they’d collect dust on my vanity for months, unworn.

Things like this can surprise you, though, and I wore them constantly. Until one fateful day, I lost them.

Perhaps I left them on the bus or in the park or they fell out of my bag in a lecture hall. But I lost them and they are out in the world, maybe resting on the bridge of someone else’s nose. A little too big on someone else’s face, just as they were on mine. Too big. Bold. Flashy, even.

So for a while, I went red sunglass-less.

But this time last year, I was in Austin with some friends. And a boy.

I’d forgotten my sunglasses–or rather, I simply hadn’t replaced the old pair. So when we stopped at a gas station to stock up on drinks before a trip to Barton Springs, I spotted a display.

And there, glinting in the afternoon sun, was a red pair, nearly identical to my original.

All over again, I tried them on. Turned to my friend.

“Perfect. So you.”

I paid and skipped to the car.

But I haven’t worn this pair quite as often. A combination of rainy weather and a season of not feeling like a red-sunglasses kind of girl.

Because a certain kind of girl wears red sunglasses, I think.

And for a time, I didn’t feel like her. Not even close.




I found my red sunglasses in the bottom of an old purse last month.

Put them on and opened my sunroof and let the wind hopelessly tangle my hair and wore them to play my first softball game on Sunday, and I’m not saying they make me brave, but maybe they do.

I think maybe they do.




[image source: Emily Lauren Alleman]

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