Girls who wear glasses and nondesigner jeans |

Girls who wear glasses and nondesigner jeans

April in Glenwood
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

When I was a seventh-grader, I couldn’t read the chalkboard from behind my desk.

So my mom did the unthinkable.

She didn’t show up to my school the next day and take notes for me. But she once taught me an important life lesson without even planning on it.

Moms have a special way of doing that.

This was about the same time period when I discovered I couldn’t read the chalkboard. I was around 12 and thought I was too cool for middle school. Actually, I just always wanted to fit in, which wasn’t that cool in hindsight.

Why individuality is so hard to achieve in youth, I have no idea.

On this particular evening, circa 1984ish, we stopped in Kmart to pick up a Blue Light Special. Or maybe it was a pack of light bulbs. All I know is I was 12 and not happy to be in Kmart. My mom suggested I try on a pair of jeans. Of course I was selfishly opposed because I thought I should be wearing Guess jeans like all the cool kids. After a little coercion – Dian has amazing negotiation skills – I settled into a dressing room. I can’t remember if the jeans fit, but the rest of the experience I could easily forget.

Except it’s one of Dian’s favorite stories.

I’m actually pretty good at forgetting things – always have been and it doesn’t seem like aging is going to help my cause. In the dressing room at Kmart, I left behind my purse. So it subsequently ended up at the customer service desk. As worried as I was about shopping in Kmart, and being seen by a popular kid from school, it all came to a head when the cashier’s voice came over the store’s intercom.

“April Smith, April Smith, please come to the customer service desk to claim your lost purse,” she announced.

My mom still gets a kick out that part.

Karma if I’ve ever seen it.

These days, I’d be happy for a free new pair of jeans. Even if the price tag doesn’t rival a week’s worth of groceries or a month’s electric bill. Being picky has no place in this economy – at least that’s what my grandpa would say.

Life is easy when you’re not the one paying for stuff.

Back when I couldn’t read the chalkboard, my mom bought me glasses. Being 12, I, of course, did not appreciate this expenditure. I hated wearing these glasses, even though they came in a sweet blue case with a rainbow stripe. That whole “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” stigma was still hanging around from like 1950. Glasses weren’t exactly a fashion statement in my preteen years. Luckily they were corrective at the time, so I didn’t need vision help until I turned 30.

Years of staring at a computer can have that effect.

I was reminded of glasses, and the lack of boys’ passes, after seeing a cute little girl flashed on the TV screen during a Sunday night football game. She was all dressed up for the holidays, in red and white, with black-rimmed glasses. I wish glasses were that cute on me at 12.

I looked more like Estelle Getty.

Lucky for me, times seem to have changed about glasses. Spectacles aren’t such a spectacle. More and more, girls and women seem to be embracing the fashion possibilities. I can only thank our founding foremothers – Sally Jessy Raphael, Tina Fey, Velma from Scooby Doo – for blazing trails.

Who says boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses? Or Blue Light Special jeans?

April E. Clark thanks all the nice people in the community who have reached out to her about Jake. So sweet. She can be reached at

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