A tribute to all the sunglasses left behind

Kathy Hedberg

If you’re wandering around this summer and happen to find a pair of sunglasses lying in the parking lot, in the dust at the rodeo grounds, at the checkout counter of your favorite store, at the beach, in a cave or on a mountaintop, you can thank me later.

I’m currently going on my fourth pair of sunglasses since April after having lost three previous pairs, but as excessive as that may sound, it’s no record.

One summer, I lost seven pairs of sunglasses during what the Idaho State Police refer to as “the 100 deadliest days.” For me, those words refer to my incorrigible habit of losing sunglasses. I’ve been seeding the earth with perfectly good sunglasses I’ve laid down, misplaced or dropped out of my pocket accidentally for years. I am sort of the Johnny Appleseed of sunglasses.

Fortunately, I recognized my prodigal tendencies early on and never spent much money on sunglasses, because I knew I would probably lose them. Twelve bucks is my max — most of my sunglasses cost me $5 or less (some I got by finding somebody else’s lost sunglasses, which I figure is Mother Nature’s way of repaying me for all the sunglass seeding I’ve done over the years).

Cheap though they are, they’re still sunglasses and imperative to have, especially this time of year. It’s not that I try to lose my sunglasses — I hate it when I do. For one thing, I can’t believe I am so absent-minded, although considering my history with misplacing car keys and my regular reading glasses you’d think I would have resigned myself to that character flaw years ago.

A friend of mine once advised me that if I wanted to stop losing sunglasses I should spend money on a good pair.

Heck no, I responded. If I’m going to lose sunglasses, I only want to be out $5 to $12. If I lost a $200 pair of sunglasses, I’d have to be in therapy for years.

But, he assured me that if I spend good money on quality sunglasses, I would take care of them and make sure I didn’t lose them.

Well, I thought about this advice for some time, and finally I decided my friend might be right. Besides, cheap sunglasses often sit crooked on my face, or puncture my nose with faulty nose guards, or break just when I need them most. Maybe it would be worth my while to invest in a good pair of sunglasses.

So I bit the bullet and shelled out the dough. I got a good pair of sunglasses that fit well, looked great and served me amiably until I lost them earlier this summer.

Then, like a junkie trying to recoup my losses, I replaced them with two more cheap pairs of sunglasses, which I subsequently lost.

The best I can do now is squint. At least it doesn’t cost money.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.

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