My wife told me this was coming. And THIS was going to be my job.
He no longer lets mommy pick out his clothes.
He’s VERY particular about his looks.
He’s incredibly good looking, tall and lean with mysteriously colored eyes and the long fingers of an artist and/or musician type. The “conversation” was inevitable, and as a dedicated dad I knew I was on the verge, and what I was going to impart had better be wise, world-yet-wild and filled with legit experiences, well-honed qualifications and a fine sense of what was right for him in this world of rapid change and sometimes cruel relationship dialog.
My son Gram was ready. The task is at hand. The time is ripe. He was ready to chat it through.
“Hey Dad. I think I need new glasses. Any thoughts on that?”
For basically his whole life this poor kid has been bombarded by “thoughts” on eyewear. His journey through vision therapy (virtually life-saving, thankyou-thankyou Dr. Michele Bessler!) was documented by Mom Kristen Spina in 20/20 a few years ago. The early spec’ed Gram sported preppy-go-round metal frames from Flexon but that ended when the kids started calling him Harry Potter. He then moved on to a series of Nike and Calvin Klein zyl frames, always black, in that elongated rectangular shape usually signaling a guy not particularly interested in screaming style or status (although Gram loves both of those brands).
Gram circa RIGHT NOW is a 16-year-old deeply steeped in a world of car culture (specifically Hot Rods and customized Street Rods) with a depth of classic rock knowledge (and an ability to mash it up as well on his Gibson Flying V!) that astounds even me. His talent as a photographer grows by leaps and seems bound to edge on his future career choices. And I’m thinking he’s ready for something a bit bold for eyewear with an edge that notes his respect for any and all things Americana.
That said I’m leaning toward those Made-in-America master-crafters, State Optical. I’m loving their new Fulton style (as designed by dear friend Blake Kuwahara) and I’m thinking it would look grand on Gram in crystal blue. Post Expo I’m on the verge of getting my son’s impressions. I’m sure he’ll have plenty of opinions (just like his old man) although he does admire my eyewear from State. Let the frames begin.
• James J. Spina