Life Through Polarized Lenses: 10 Years of Ray-Ban

Sometimes I close my eyes and think back to 2010. I’m 20 years old, standing in the checkout line at Sunglass Hut.

A far drive from my hometown, trips to the ritzy mall near the city were only reserved for very special occasions. Today was such an occasion: in my hand was a pair of shiny black Ray-Ban New Wayfarer sunglasses.

A broke college student like myself really had no business buying expensive glasses like these. At the time, I was working nights at a failing restaurant – the kind of place where patrons frequently complained about the stained upholstery, burnt food, and leaking ceiling tiles when it rained.

The glasses were less than $200, which doesn’t seem quite so expensive now. But work had been slow then – I guess we’d served too many mediocre meals and even the most resilient of diners were now eating elsewhere. Mentally adding up my average tips and hourly rate, I realized this purchase would cost me a whole weekend of slinging drinks, clearing dishes, and feigning a sympathetic ear to customer complaints. I hesitated.

I should put them back, I thought. But they were just so cool. Classic and durable, they flattered my face shape and made me feel simultaneously edgy and stylish.

I paid for them and never looked back.

It’s 2020 and I’ve now spent 10 years of my life looking through these same polarized lenses.

In my Ray-Bans, I’ve seen the Statue of Liberty in all her glory. I’ve seen baseball games, both major league and minor league. I’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean, the Lincoln Memorial, and the breathtaking desert scenery of Scottsdale, Arizona. I even wore them on the bike ride date where I knew I’d marry my then-boyfriend (now husband).

Even after so much wear, they look exactly the same as they did back then – no scratches, no broken lenses, no missing screws. I have taken good care of them, but a big part of their resiliency is due to how well they’re made. When you buy a pair of Ray-Bans, you know they’re designed to last.

Now, at 30, I might be ready for a second pair. I will never retire my Wayfarers, but I’m considering trying a new style that can take me through the next decade. But what should I get? Aviators? The Clubmaster? I haven’t quite decided, but there are plenty to choose from.

Looking back, I’m so glad I bought these glasses. Instead of buying a new pair every summer, I’ve carried these with me for 10 solid years, soaking up each moment and looking good while doing it.

If you’re on the fence about buying something you know you’ll love, here’s my advice. Life is short. Savor it, enjoy it. And buy the glasses.

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