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Monday, 11 June 2012

Speccy Four Eyes - Sharing Memories

Lorine McGinnis Schulze at http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/p/sharing-memories.html has begun a new series of Sharing Memories .  Here the theme is Wearing Glasses.

"Speccy four eyes" was a popular call at my primary school for those of us unfortunate enough to have to wear glasses.   I was a quiet,  shy child, but funnily enough I cannot recall being upset by the taunt - it was just part and parcel of playground culture. 

My mother was emphatic that I was not going to wear the hideous national health service wire glasses  with pale pink frames and was prepared to pay for a slightly more flattering pair.  I always made sure, though,   I took my glasses off when having a picture taken then.
Fast forward to my teens, and it was time to get my passport for a school trip to Germany.   Here I am being brave in highlighting publicly this dreadful passport photograph.This was the 1960's era of the Cold War and I look like the archetypal Russian spy - the hair style did not help either!

After five years, you could get a passport photograph updated, and I could not wait to do this, working hard on a new look - only to be further mortified when, instead of replacing the photograph, the new one was just stuck beneath - to more family hilarity and more quizzical looks from passport control.

By the late 1960's,  I was in the fashion with these heavy frames (right)   Vanity prompted me to try contact lenses and they proved a great source of stories with friends as we recalled  tales of losing them.  I remember one occasion where I was scrambling around on the floor of a pew at church, (not praying) but  trying to find this miniscule lens.

Pregnancy and being an "at home" Mum meant I lost the incentive to bother with inserting, cleaning, and removing contact lens - I had trouble getting used to them again and I reckoned I had better things to do with my time, so it was back to spectacles.  

We were now at the time on TV of Dallas, Dynasty and Charlie's Angels, with big hair, big shoulder pads and big glasses - hence this rare look for me taken for a work Annual Report. Less glamorously, I was also likened to Deidre Barlow of "Coronation Street" soap opera fame, known for her huge specs!

Fashion has come full circle and here I am (right) wearing specatcles remarkably like those I wore in my teens. 

Copyright © 2012 · Susan Donaldson.All Rights Reserve


  1. Susan, This post was a hoot. I thought I was listening to my daughter and her tales of woe wearing glasses as a teenager. She too has returned to wearing glasses rather similar to her first glasses as a little girl -- and with a certain amount of grace too.

  2. Kids are little monsters with their taunts but you're right, in many ways they were just part of life. I like your modern look -suits you to a T.

  3. Thank you, Joan and Pauleen, for such kind comments. I am pleased you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing the post.

  4. How wild...I have done the very same thing.

    I still wear contacts occasionally, but most days rely on my glasses. The irony is that when I wear my contacts (for distance), I need my reading glasses on top of them...

    Loved this post.

    Dee at Shakin' the Family Tree

    1. Many thanks, Dee, for your comment. I am glad the posting struck a chord.

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