Bill Gates’ glasses


While on the campaign trail, Abraham Lincoln was asked by a reporter if his unique looking face would keep him from getting elected. Lincoln replied, “If I had another face, do you think I’d wear this one?”

A quick look at the picture above and some might say honest Abe and Yours Truly have something in common, not the most handsomest faces in the world. Luckily I’m not running for public office anytime soon. Still, it’s the face I was born with, and there’s not a whole lot I can do to make it better. I know; I’ve tried. But there is something I’ve recently done to make my appearance worse.

The only thing I lose more frequently than car keys are glasses. I’ve been known to search for hours until finally finding my keys … in my pocket. Likewise, I’ve been known to search for my glasses … only to finally find them resting on top of my head. Unfortunately, last month I searched everywhere, even on top of my head, and my glasses were nowhere in sight. So it was off to the eye doctor for an exam and a new pair.

Who knew my selection of eyewear would be so controversial and the topic of conversation for weeks to come? After all, glasses are just glasses, right?

I couldn’t be more wrong. The glasses I’d chosen had a silver double bridge frame, large lenses, fit my face, and most importantly, were the maximum amount allotted by our vision insurance. While in the optometrist office, I knew I’d made a good choice. While driving home, I knew I’d made a good choice. And while wearing them when I started writing this column, I knew I’d made a good choice. Simply said, I couldn’t have been happier with my new glasses.

Right up to the point I went upstairs to say hello to our granddaughters as they got home from school. That was over two weeks ago. The sound of laughter is still ringing in my ears. The girls exclaimed, “Big Papa, those are really big glasses!” and “I wanna wear them next!”

But the comment I remember most came from their mom. “Wow, you just aged twenty years. You look so old. It’s not Big Papa anymore. It’s Great, Great Big Papa.” Funny, very funny.

Who knew the wrong choice of eyeglasses could change the way you look so much? Guess that’s why they were so inexpensive. Dejected, I slumped back down to the basement to rewrite this now sad story. The story turned even gloomier when The Wife got home.

Is a comment cruel if it’s true? That evening, The Wife asked to see my new glasses. With great apprehension, I put them on. Her response was immediate, “Those are Bill Gates’ glasses!” I assured her they were not. I just bought them and still had the receipt.

She then went to the computer and searched for pictures of Bill Gates. Sure enough, without knowing, I’d picked out the exact same silver, double-bridged, metal frames and lenses the famous computer genius wore in all his pictures.

Trying to salvage something from my purchase (like my dignity), I agreed to only wear my large Bill Gates glasses while on vacation. When she heard this The Wife smiled and replied, “That’ll be fine … as long as it’s not a vacation with me. You’re too good-looking to wear those.”

And that’s when I made another appointment to get new glasses. You see, we quickly decided I was too young to be wearing Bill Gates glasses out in public. I bought a pair of small, lightweight stylish glasses two days later.

Now I have three pairs of new glasses. Two that I can wear anywhere, anytime and one very large pair that I can wear only when no one is around … except perhaps, Bill Gates.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog:]