Because I feel like revealing something embarrassing today (hoping it will take my mind off the other crap going on today), I’d like to talk about the mid-80s, Members Only-style jackets and sunglasses.
When I was in seventh grade – 1987-ish – Members Only jackets were still in, not quite as big as they were, but still all over the place. I was no slave to fashion in my youth, but there were some things I really wanted. This style jacket was one. I didn’t care about brand name though. I finally got one. It was lightweight and gray, a cheap knockoff of the light leather jackets seen everywhere at the time. I loved the hell out of that thing though. I wore it like every freaking day. With the sleeves pushed up to my elbows. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking, but I sure felt good about it so what the hey?
Now, so you get a complete picture here, take a socially inept, chubby 12-year-old with moderate acne and bad hair. Throw this jacket on him and you have me, although the picture is not quite complete. I also wore glasses.
Most of my youth was spent wearing the standard kid glasses – big frames that could withstand the pressures of being a young boy. However this year was a tad different. When I went in to get my annual eye exam and prescription filled, I decided I wanted to get a darker shade put on my glasses. I had up until this point put a light gray shade on them that was barely noticeable. Heck, my parents were having to pay for these (though at the cool, discounted military rates) so their should be some noticeable shade if they’re having to fork out the bucks, right? I pointed to the second- or third-to-the-last darkest gray shade when they asked if I wanted them to put a tint on the glasses. I distinctly remember the guy at the eye glasses shop warning me, “Are you sure?” he said. “The tint is actually going to come out a bit darker than it looks here.” I couldn’t be dissuaded. “Billy, are you sure,” my mom asked me (the fact that I grew up as a Billy is exactly why I am now Cullen). I was sure. Rock solid certainty.
What a naïve dork I was. The glasses came out as dark as a pair of Ray Bans.
Add to the picture mentioned above these glasses. Then add to this the fact that I refused to take that jacket off for class pictures that year. If I can find a photo I promise I’ll post it.
Tell me something embarrassing. It’s good for the soul.