My pair of sunglasses is a source of joy in my life. It has been with me for the last thirty-two years. It has a perfect tint to soothe my eyes; its lenses are scratch-free, anti-glaze and progressive. It is light; rests gently on my nose and never gets out of style. Above all, it’s very faithful to me. I have lost the pair several times, sometimes for months, but it has always found a way to return to me.
I remember, it was the summer of 1987 when I accidently dropped it from the inside pocket of my jacket in the plane while removing the jacket from the overhead compartment on my arrival at New York. It was quite an expensive pair considering my income at that time. I felt distraught and miserable without it. I always missed it especially when driving.
It so happened that I visited New York again on a business trip a month later. On my way back at the LaGuardia airport, I had more than an hour at my disposal. I decided to go to ‘lost and found’ since I had nothing better to do at the time. Cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist then. Reaching the desk, I asked the attendant if he had seen my sunglasses. The gentleman just went inside without saying a word to me and returned with two boxes full of blinkers and said to me, “Choose one!”
Lo and behold, my pair was sitting right on the top of one of the boxes looking at my bare eyes and screaming, “Where have you been? Take me with you now.” At least, that’s how it appeared to me.
The joy that I felt from our reunion can’t be described in words. That was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Later I lost the same glasses for a year in a company car that I was driving. When the car was sold to a dealership as a company owned vehicle, the dealer found it underneath the seat. After tracing the origin of the car, they sent the glasses back to me. It was certainly a pow-ow moment.
I lost it once again in India in a jewelry shop. The jeweler sent the glasses back to me COD (cash on delivery). Though it cost me a lot in postage, it was worth “like an endless fountain of immortal drink.” (Keats).
One time a friend invited me to dinner and asked if I knew someone who might be looking for a pair of sunglasses that was left at his home last year. Of course, it was none other than my own pair of specs that I had lost earlier. As usual, getting it back was like finding a long lost friend.
If I wanted I could have found reasons to hate my sunglasses too. First of all, it gets lost so often. Secondly, I have poured a lot of money to keep the pair- $2,000 (U.S.) to be exact after the allowable insurance amount. I initially bought it (including lenses and frame) for $800. In the last 32 years, the lenses have been changed three times due to new prescriptions costing me additional $1,350 (approximately $450 each time) on top of my vision insurance eligibility.
Tomorrow I’ll spend another $450 on my favorite pair as my prescription changed again last October. I waited six months for my insurance to kick in again in April. I have lived without my dear friend long enough.
I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow morning when I’ll go to the optometrist to get my glasses back. After all, there is something to look forward to in life, to love and be loved.