To look at life through rose colored glasses is to adjust ones’ personal lens and perceptions to a positive tint. It means to see something in a positive way, even if it means seeing it better than it really is. Is this a strength or folly?
When I was around twelve or so, one of my step-mother’s biggest grievances against me was that I continuously “looked at life through rose-colored glasses” - a sure sign of my naivety, she declared. She even took it as a challenge, provoking me with bouts of cruelty now and then to gauge my reactions.
To be honest, I felt lucky to have glasses at all, in a literal sense. I have always had bad eyesight. When I was a student in grade school I couldn’t see the board even if I sat in the front row. I told my parents again and again, (as did my teachers) but my step-mother insisted, and I quote, “She’s just making it up to get attention.”
By the time I was in eighth grade I was so near-sighted that I frequently suffered horrible headaches from squinting. (Of which I was also accused of making up). One day, at the store where my step-mother worked, there were some Lion’s Club donation glasses in a jar on the counter. I idly began sifting through them, testing each pair for sight. I finally came across one pair that brought clarity to my fuzzy vision. Sure, things were a little yellow around the edges and they messed with my depth perception, but hey – I could see. Kind of.
“Let me see,” My step-mom said. I put them on for her and she stifled laughter, then cheerfully agreed that I should wear these as my glasses from then on. They were truly hideous; large and too heavy for my pre-teen face, leaving red irritated indentations on each side of the bridge of my nose. She supposed that I liked the frames’ color and the attention, and that humiliating myself with ugly glasses was my punishment for “lying.” I actually hated them, and could only wear them for twenty minute intervals before my eyes hurt too much to continue. They were also ugly, and after taking a volley ball to the face in P.E., they broke and sat crooked on my face. I wore them for a year.
I bore the negatives patiently – the ugliness of them, the teasing from peers at school, how much they hurt my nose with their heaviness and my eyes with the wrong prescription. Instead of focusing on all that ugly, I rejoiced in the fact that I could finally see. Is that so naive? Or is it simply a choice – a choice to endure and find some silver lining in the cruelty? After all, I was finally able to see the board and do my schoolwork correctly. I made the wrong prescription work for a year, got a proper prescription before starting high school and when I was twenty-five I got laser eye surgery and haven’t had a real migraine since!
In recognizing it as a choice to wear rose-colored glasses, it is important to know that I was always aware I was wearing them. It wasn’t in any naivety; it was a method of self-preservation. I think so long as one is aware that they are wearing the glasses and know that the glasses aren't the total truth, there is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping them on. Looking at life through the grim ever-gray eyes I was born into would not have done me any good.
I'll keep mine, thanks!