Who’s that crying behind those Foster Grants?

If the Foster Grant sunglass company was looking to update their 1970s ad campaign, they could have easily filmed me the other day, along with the modified tagline, “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants? And why is he crying?”

The incident behind this unfortunate predicament started the other day when I went to put on my sunglasses and the left lens jumped out of the glasses. Sunglasses are pretty much an on or off option. Half sunglasses just don’t work.

I reached down and picked up the lens and went to put it back in. That’s when I noticed a small crack around the frame of the glasses. My daughter said, “Don’t worry, Dad. You can get a new pair.”

For all of my kids’ lives, they have heard me talk about the fact that I do not buy expensive glasses, because I invariably lose or break them. If I have a pair of sunglasses for more than about a month, it’s pretty good for me. Which is why breaking this pair was tough on me.

I have had these glasses for more than a year. I have grown fond of them. I found them at a store near my house, when I went to replace the previous pair, which had one of the arms inexplicably fall off for no reason other than to spite me.

Oftentimes, the amount of time it takes me to find a pair of sunglasses is longer than I will actually have the sunglasses. I am very particular about how they fit and how they feel on my face. And I think it should be a federal crime to make sunglasses in which your eyelashes can touch the lens.

I found this pair of Foster Grants, and they were just perfect in every way. I have no idea if Foster Grants are cool glasses or not. I’m a 42-year-old dad. Cool went out the window long ago. I just want comfortable. And these fit that bill.

Since I had grown attached to these glasses, I decided I would repair them. I would make them bigger, faster, stronger. Or, at least try and glue them back together so the lens would stay in place. I dropped my family off at our destination, which was with our inlaws at a hotel pool. I headed off to the store to begin my repair.

I got some Super Glue and drove back to the hotel. I sat in my car to repair my glasses and did the first thing everyone does when they use Super Glue, which was to say, “ACK!!” as the first drop went to my skin and fused two fingers together.

Eventually, I got a drop on the eyeglass frame. I held the frame together for a few seconds. Since it fused skin instantaneously, it stood to reason that plastic shouldn’t take that much longer.

I examined the frame. Solid work, Mike. Solid work.

I stepped out of my car, which was parked in a garage, and approached the pool area. As I neared the pool, I popped my glasses on, ready to walk out into the sunlight, my Foster Grants solidly doing their job.

Just as I stepped into the sunlight, my eye began burning. Bad. Tears started streaming down my check. I blinked and blinked and it got worse and worse. It was at that point the smart part of my brain, which had apparently been on a coffee break, said, “Hey, genius — you know those Super Glue fumes are right by your eye still, right?”

I began frantically trying to remove the glasses from my face, lest I be inflicted with a case of Super Glue Eye, a medical term that should not exist.

In the process of freeing the glasses, I also managed to undo the bond on the frame, causing the lens to again tumble out of my glasses.

When I got home, I went back to repair mode. This time, I did the smart(er) thing, which was to glue the glasses back together, hold them together tightly for about a minute, and then go take a nap, lest I feel the urge to immediately put them on again.

After my nap, I was pleased to find the glasses solidly intact, and all noxious fumes had since dissipated.

Yes, I could have just gone and bought another pair. But as I said, these glasses and I have developed a special bond. One that can only be rivaled by the bond between two fingers you Super Glue together.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Charleston. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.

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