Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
This is an issue of vanity and visibility. I am in my mid-60’s, generally
fit, reasonably social, and active in a variety of communities from my
bridge club to my synagogue. I also see the same people regularly
where I shop and schmooze, where I work out, and in social settings
from my book club to a monthly movie group. Usually when I buy new
glasses I borrow a handful of options, field test them on my closest
friends, and go with a consensus choice. I do this not because I cannot
see well enough without the prescription but because I’ve been doing
it this way my whole life.
A month ago I was in the optical shop to
have readers repaired and a pair of new frames literally called to me
from the rack on the wall. They were cool, modern, and much larger
than my existing frames. Also, amazingly, they’re in style, which I
rarely am! Since I have worn them almost no one—in any of the
aforementioned places– has commented, except a few friends who
game me a thumbs down gesture, or said they preferred the old ones.
I find this rude and deflating, but it has tempered my joy. I’m
restraining my desire to send you two selfies to get your opinion. How
should I handle their feedback, or lack of it?
We’ve all been socialized to look to others for feedback on our looks,
whether it’s glasses to shoes. My rules of fashion are relatively simple:
you should feel happy in clean attire that fits your body size, and dress
appropriately to the context in which you are meeting people. No prom
dress at the gym is an easy answer. But your face is defined not only
by what you adorn it with, like earrings, scarves, and glasses, but by
your eyes, mouth, and personality. It may be that people are simply
not noticing your glasses because they don’t see them. They are
relating to YOU, not to your attire.
I would not ask people to comment. It puts them on the spot and will
make you doubt polite answers like “Um, yes, they’re fine.” As you
should. Let people get used to them and learn to like them. Or don’t
care. It’s your face. If you love your new glasses and are happy, don’t
let the grinches get you down.