Rose Colored Glasses

Airport Sky
Airport Sky


My rose colored glasses broke last week. I was talking with a coworker and pressed my hand to my chest to emphasize a centric statement, I don't remember what, and the sunglasses that were hooked into my shirt came apart at the middle and fell to the ground in two separate pieces. I always knew the day would come. Yet it was still unexpected, and anti-climactic

Broken Glasses
Broken Glasses

Worst of Times

These glasses got me through the worst of times. At my job, there are many things to make you want to pull your hair out. Although the work is easy, (fueling private jets), the internal politics are surreal and resemble the Dilbert comic cubicle landscape we love to hate. Rules are extremely flexible, and it is easy to find oneself on the wrong side of company policy and not even know it. Before I got near the top of the totem pole, it wasn't unusual to have my manager in my face, accusing me of disobeying company policy when I actually had no idea that it had changed, or even when doing something that I had been told to do.

One particular coworker left "nasty notes" on an almost daily basis for me to find when I came in to work in the morning. I wonder if he knew how discouraging it was to be greeted by such hatred even though I knew he was wrong. It gets to you. One day, I found these rose colored glasses lying on the ramp. After a week, no one had claimed them, and as often is the case, the owner never called for them. Aviation people are a busy bunch, and when flying million dollar aircraft, buying thousands of dollars worth of fuel, a simple set of sunglasses are easily forgotten.


A Changed Outlook

So I put them on, and from that point forward, my outlook on life at work permanently changed. The whole world transformed to an orangy-red cast. My eyes are very sensitive to the sun, and in fact, I prefer cloudy, rainy weather in every sense, but especially for my eyes. Sunlight usually depresses me unless I am on or in the water, or biking on the river trail. Although I didn't think that the red tinted light would appeal to me, it completely did the trick. I suppose it brought color to what appears washed out to me on a sunny day. Almost as good as green grass under an overcast sky, so my new sunglasses brought life back, and cooled down the harsh light coming in to my retinas.

One day I forgot to put them on because it was a busy day and I ran outside to fuel a Cessna Citation jet. It's a small jet, and it's completely white, including the tops of the wings. The sun blasted down from the sky relentlessly and the heat was oppressive. I opened the fuel cap, started fueling and blinked at the reflected glare from the wing. I blinked more and more and finally started turning my face away from the awful light bouncing off the too-white wing. I couldn't take it anymore. Nearly blinded, I set the fuel nozzle carefully down onto the ground, placing the end on the hose to keep dirt out, ran inside and snatched the glasses out of my locker. I didn't care if it took my a few minutes longer to fuel the owner's jet, they would just have to wait. The relief I felt made it much easier to deal with the heat too, and I had no problems fueling after that.

Reduce the Glare
Reduce the Glare

A Deeper Change

But they didn't just cool the colors down for me, they also allowed me to see in a different spectrum of light as clouds became defined, and the colors that shone past them from the sun appeared that I could never have seen without them. In fact, on an apparently cloudless day, I could see clouds hovering in the sky that I couldn't see with my bare eyes. These glasses changed my perspective in a very real and physical sense.

The effect on my nerves was less pronounced to my mind, but had an even more important impact on me. It was like these glasses became a center point or a focus for relaxing and funneling all my thoughts through. I think it was because I could see better and the harshness of light was muted to a pleasant and dim brightness, a disconnect or a wall was built up between the world and me. I no longer needed to take everything personally. I no longer internalized every offense, but felt able to observe the situation separate from my soul. From the first day I put them on, not believing that they would last long on my head, I started to relax and put my concerns and worries on an objective platform.

Old Hawker in the Hot Sun
Old Hawker in the Hot Sun

What Now?

I think I have had them for 4 years now, and they have served me well all the way to the last day. I don't know if I need them anymore, but I probably do. I was wearing my other pair of glasses yesterday, and I thought they were working out pretty well. I stood before another brilliantly white private jet to marshal them out from their parking position and waited for them to flash their lights to signal they were ready to taxi. As I waited and kept my eyes on the Hawker jet, I could feel a strain creeping up in the back of my head, a little something that tapped me on the shoulder and let me know that some of those harsh rays were coming through, and the colors were still too bland and washed out. I know I am going to have to go online and find a new pair just like the rose colored glasses. I hope they're not expensive, but they probably are. I'll deal with it though, right now I can't afford to move to Oregon or Washington where it rains and it's cloudy even in the summer, I want to finish school first. It's a tough slog, but I can make it. That cloudy weather will still be waiting for me a few years down the road. In the meantime, I'm going to find another pair of Kaenon glasses. Thankfully the name is printed into the top right corner so I know what brand they are and I can order another pair. Feel free to accuse me of wearing rose colored glasses. I do, and because I wear them, I don’t care.

A Dark Sunny Cloudy Sky
A Dark Sunny Cloudy Sky

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Comments 30 comments

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Oh, Alexander, that is a lovely description and you had us out on the ramp with you. Strangely enough I bought a pair just like that at the thrift shop and they had the same effect. As I was always extolling their virtues, others always wanted to try them on and would um and err at the enhanced scene. Sadly some one walked off wearing them and I'm back to black and white. I always pick up sun glasses at the thrift shop for a quick peek to see if they are the same. Sadly I am still reduced to black ad white, but I know exactly where you are coming from! Sweet hub GW

Utrecht 11 7 years ago

You tell 'em. Enjoyed your description and especially loved the last two sentences. Another good hub.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Gypsy, I'm glad my writing had the intended effect and you understand about the colors :-) I checked and found out these particular glasses retail for 260 - 300! It may be a while before we find another pair that will suit us! Thanks for commenting.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Utrecht, thanks for the compliment. The last two sentences are my favorite too, glad you caught that.

Zollstock profile image

Zollstock 7 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

Love the personality and the perseverance you convey here. I think in many work environments nowadays, we have to develop survival methods, and these glasses apparently have been through quite a bit with you! Sounds like they are polarized. It's probably a little difficult to consider replacing them with something different, but if they are beyond repair, local opticians might have a decent selection of polarized sunglasses that aren't too insanely expensive.

For me, rose is a little too close to pink, and I am just not woman enough to wear that ;-). My lenses have built in gray (!) transitions, with means I rarely ever take them off. They do the adjusting for me automatically and also manage to let me see more of the color spectrum than I would without them.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Zollstock. I have never taken the time to try and understand the commercialism about polarized sunglasses and usually stick with dollar store sets. I have seen too many 10 dollar glasses state they are polarized and they are no better than the dollar store ones. I figure it's a matter of money, and I don't trust that either. Obviously your brand and mine actually do work. What kind do you wear?

Believe me, I didn't think they would work for me because they were so rose colored, but when I put them on I was an immediate convert.

I like what you said about yours letting you see more of the color spectrum, perhaps this is common for good sunglasses? I know it doesn't make my experience any less of course because I am physically very sensitive. I was once compared to a princess who complained about her bed being uncomfortable and upon investigation, a pea was discovered underneath.

Guess I'm a princess then :-)

Ande Moore profile image

Ande Moore 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

Well done. I feel your pain, I've broken many pair of my hippy glasses as were so often called. Being a stoner at heart and mind ( and body whenever possible ) I had the round rose colored glasses. Mine were sat on while on a set. I put them down so I wouldn't break or lose them. The irony was actually funny at the time. No problem I thought, but now it's hard to find new ones. Get you another pair and enjoy the view and the mood. It sounds like you have a very stressful working environment and peace of mind is a must. A friend of mine had a solution to a problem he had with a note writer. He burned the notes then sprinkled them into the locker of the jerk. This guy apparently wrote nasty notes to so many they couldn't figure out who it was and no one wanted to say anything because of that guys attitude. Hopefully you won't have to deal with that one again. Good hub and have fun. Peace, man.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for the funny stories, that is a sad irony and a painful loss for your "stoner" glasses :-) I love the solution to the nasty note writer, unfortunately he put them on the dry eraser board. I complained to my boss so much that finally, he took action, but it was a long road, I complained many times more before it calmed down. The funny thing is that this particular coworker is now a manager and we get along somewhat. But thank God I don't work directly for him. I am either going to get another pair of Kaenons or try to repair this one. Thanks for coming by.

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Visited the thrift store today specifically to check out the sunglasses, there were four pairs in stock but none the right shade sadly. I did find a Bill Bryson book I hadn't read, swimming goggles for my son, a pretty little sewing box, a Ralph Lauren baby dress for the Grandchild (due 26th Aug.) a tennis racket for my Grandson all for $13. I love thrift shopping. I'll check for sunnies later in the week again. You never know what you will find

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Hi Gypsy, it's funny you mention how much you spent at the thrift store, that does happen doesn't it? When I go to the dollar store to look for things I need, I end up spending virtually the same amount. Sounds like an excellent business strategy for a small business that sells mass quantities. 

I think I'm going to take the glasses in to an optician, they may be able to piece it back together and smooth out the scratches giving them a second life and saving me 260 bucks! These glasses are special. If I find a pair like that again, I'll let you know.

Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

Well done! You have a gift for drawing your audience into the experience. I was right there with you all the way.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Smireles, your poetry is very thoughtful and elegant, so I appreciate the compliment.

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

I forgot to tell you that my rose colored glasses turned up as I was packing for my trip to Wales!!! Hurray!!! I've had good weather and a rosy outlook. couldn't be better! Hurray! hurray! hurray!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 7 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

That's great news. I also found a replacement pair at the airport that had been left behind. I figure after a month it's mine! They're not as nice as the rose colored glasses and I will either fix or buy a new pair someday, but for now I can save my money. The new ones work just as well, but I miss the rose hue :-)

agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia

Alexander Mark this is a great story and I did enjoy reading it very much. It does bring back to my memory of a program I heard that was running of testing 'rose colored' glasses on kids who were autistic? According to the program it had a very calming effect on them and they were able to concentrate better on their studies!

Great Hub :-)

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading my hub, I'm glad you liked it. That's very interesting about the autistic children. I wonder sometimes if I have some form of very very mild autism, so maybe that's why they worked! I'll have to look into that, the human brain is amazing.

Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Odd how the seemingly small things can affect us. I know what you mean. Thanks for writing this!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

I'm grateful you liked it Silver Poet, thanks for taking the time to read this and other hubs.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks cancermonkey68 (okay, I have to know how you came up with a name like that!). Unfortunately, I am stuck on the Keanon brand. I was almost able to wrangle a 20 dollar pair out of a coworker who sells them, but it didn't work out. Waaaaaaaaaaah!

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Funny how a "thing" can come to mean so much. I have a special pair that my son brought home to me out of the blue one day. They were my taste-large Jackie-O square lens with black frame, Bolle' brand, and perfectly fit my needs in this southern sun. They're old now, and a little scratched. Do you think I care? My son gave them to me!

That's some cat you have.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Ha ha, that's not my cat, it's me! Thanks for your story RTalloni, wish my glasses had lasted that long, but alas, I used them at work. You look like you have a friendly kitty, is it a Maine Coon? I like cats but don't want one unless it is a Siamese or a Maine Coon, or a Bobcat :-D

profile image

stessily 5 years ago

Alexander Mark: This is such a wonderful story, and to think that it is true! I once looked at the world through sunglasses which cast everything with a golden honey hue; it was soothing and mellow. But your rose-colored sunglasses sound so enchanting that I am adding Kaenons to my intention list. I hope that you've been able to have them repaired.

I noticed your cat comments above, and I adore Maine Coon cats. My sister was adopted by a Maine Coon who now lives with her. I could extol Gusty forever for her generosity, intelligence, compassion, grace, etc. She's a keeper.

I'm in agreement with all your other comments: the last two sentences are perfect. I'm going to pretend that I'm wearing my rose-colored Kaenons from here on out.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Your comment is timely, I bought a pair of good UV blocking - rose colored glasses that work pretty well, but they aren't as good as the Keanons. There are shades of darkness when the sunlight is partially dimmed (but not enough for me) and at twilight so that I can't see either way, and now one of the the screws fell out. I will replace the stupid screw but only because I can't afford a pair of 300 dollar glasses :-)

It's great to meet another Maine Coon lover, I think we are both wishing we were your sister!

I hope you get a chance to wear a pair of my favorite sunglasses, the world is more beautiful with them.

I enjoyed your comment, thanks for reading.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

What a story! I never knew rose colored glasses could make such a profound difference. I am going to try to get a prescription pair the next time I go to the eye doctor. Great Hub Man!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 5 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

You don't need a prescription for Keanon glasses brother, just 300 bucks :-)

I'm glad you liked it, thanks for checking it out. Maybe now you know why I have such a soft head lol!

Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I enjoyed this hub so much. It made me think of how life can be difficult but that we can use a different perspective to change how we see things.

I tend to think of my faith as rose colored glasses. Because I believe we are all brothers and sisters it makes caring for and loving others easier.

Also, I have vision problems and the sun can be killer. Living in Phoenix does not help! I can identify with you as you describe the brightness of the sun. You took me there with you and it was great!

I voted this up and shared.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 23 months ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Before your comment, I only saw the benefits of outward physical change, but you made a good point about changing our perspective. I wonder if there is a way to create change mentally that is as dramatic as putting on those glasses was for me.

We are of different faiths, but we both believe in loving others, even the enemy.

I would really recommend you get yourself one of these sunglasses, I've been to Phoenix several times and I wouldn't be able to live without them!

Thanks for your great comment and sharing, I am working hard to make time for writing again, and I will be visiting your hubs first when I do. People like you make life brighter (in a good way ha ha).

Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 19 months ago

This was such a profound masterpiece of writing! One could interrupt your story as "life is how we wish to live it, as we see it"!

This was truly moving. And I hope you will one day no longer need the Rose colored glasses. Because what you see without them, will be the creativity and soulful expression coming radiating through your heart.

And what a sight it will be, I am sure.

Shared, voted up.

This was truly beautiful, interesting and so wonderfully connected to real life with real people !

And those who feel from time to time those raw emotions.

Thank you for the read and my over winded expression of thanks and well done!

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 19 months ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon Author

Wow, with such praise, I feel I should make a speech :-) Thanks so much.

I still want another pair of those same glasses because I can see greater detail in everything, especially the clouds, but I am also sensitive to bright light. But the good news is that I have moved to Portland (Oregon) and it's often cloudy and beautiful here, so I often don't need sun glasses these days.

Your description of life: "life is how we wish to live it, as we see it" is a profound one and not something I have fully embraced yet, but I am working on it. Life often gives back what you put into it, and sometimes it doesn't, but it's what you do with those times that it doesn't that matters, do we turn tail and run and hide, or do we learn and try again?

In the mean time, I really miss those glasses, but 250 dollars is a lot of money, and it sure is beautiful up here in Oregon :-)

Thanks for reminding me to change my "from" city in my profile and thanks also for reminding me that these kinds of hubs are worth writing. I very much appreciate your visit and comment.

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