A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Geek Chic

I got my first pair of glasses in the 7th grade. I was 12. They were half-rimmed in silver, round, and rather big for my face, which was also round at that point. Although I picked the frame myself, I was too embarrassed to be seen wearing glasses, and spent the next two years trying to see with my constantly worsening eyesight, and heavily relying on those around me for descriptions of my surroundings; Mom would describe the street, my brothers would describe what’s on television, Moon would describe the hot guys, and my friends would let me copy their notes.

I kept the glasses in the drawer till I started the 9th grade, until one day I went to school in the morning with the glasses tucked into my shirt, and got back home without them, somehow displacing them during the day (yes, displaced, not intentionally left under the desk at school, and don’t even dream of pictures, cause I honestly don’t have any).

Worried that my eyesight will get worse (and against all my I-don’t-want-to-wear-glasses pleading), my mother immediately took me to what I will refer to at the Glasses Shop, where I left with a pair of glasses that were a hundred times worse than the first pair. Thanks to one of my “fashionable” whims and fancies, I left the shop with a perfectly round pair of blue plastic glasses, with dark blue-tinted lenses that were really too really too large for my facial frame. Just look at them (below). HIDEOUS!

They naturally spent most of their life in my drawer, until one day a little later in the 8th grade, my friend Nissy convinced me to start wearing them, at least in class (I guess she was tired of having me look over her notes or something, because she actually went far enough with her attempts to convince me that she wore them for a week!)

Then 9th grade came, and man was that year a good one! I don’t know if it was all the Arabic classes spent huffing white-out or the several times I fell smack on my head in some of the crazy parties we used to have, but that year was definitely happily spent discovering the inner freak in me. My hair went pink, I got enough piercings in my ears to (later) end up with a severe infection, and perfected the art of screaming. More “intense” reminders of that crazy year, such as the bright fuchsia wig which I wore as often as I could, lie lovingly in a drawer- and I have most definitely lost the guts to wear them in public (just ask Hal).

With that change of mentality, I most definitely needed a change of frames, and thus came the fantastic idea of buying red-tinted glasses to make the whole world look red. In fact, the idea was such a great success that my whole world was red for quite a while, thanks to what became my favorite EVER pair of glasses, a pair I often miss and a pair that I am still always trying to find another pair similar to them, 8 years on.

The glasses saw their doom when my cousin Basem, with his uncanny love for accidentally sitting on stuff, sat on them several times in the summer of 2001, breaking them into two perfectly symmetrical pieces. They were probably the only material object that I ever cried over in my life. I still have them in the drawer, broken but tucked carefully beside the pink wig; a reminder of a time when my life revolved around the next party, water spitting contests, and breaking as many things at school as possible.

Ironically enough, I slightly “grew up” around the same time the glasses died. I went back to school after that long summer vacation with a pair of frameless glasses very different from my signature red ones, with my short spikey pink hair replaced with longer  (and much duller) streaked blonde, and a much calmer persona. The change was so drastic that the first thing my English teacher told me that first-day of school was “ROBA! What happened? You look so boring!”

Boring. I think I was quite a different person during those last 2 years of highschool from the person I was before and the person I am now, as almost all of my time and energy were poured into trying to graduate with straight A’s, doing well on the SAT’s, Dabkeh, organizing bazaars, and other kinds of more responsible activities. That pair of untinted, clean cut glasses was really the perfect embodiment of the phase I went through, which lasted for about three years, till sometime well into my first year of college here in Jordan.

Sometime then, I decided that I had enough of being boring, and bought a pretty cool pair with a deconstructionist flair that I always got complimented on.

Then I started missing my old red pair tremendously, so when I went to Riyadh that year my main goal was simply- FIND RED FRAMES.

Unfortunately, the closest I got to red frames was the dark maroon “Geek Chic” pair that I wear now, and clear ones with red arms that met their death when I forgot them in my car in the scorching summer sun during the week I spent in Cairo (they melted out of shape). I suppose you could say that I like the maroon frame, as it goes in line with the geeky phase (?) I’m going through these years.

My last pair so far was what has been referred to as the grandmother pair, although I keenly disagree with that description and would rather think that they give off a slightly more geekish flair. I am getting tired of the fact that they are almost the same color as my skin and I’m starting to tremendously crave a bright red pair once more, which brings me to the whole point of this post: does anyone know where I can find a bright red pair of plastic rectangular frames in the smallest big city in the world?

But there you go, a personal history of glasses. I really try to portray my inner feelings with what I choose to wear, and this doesn’t only go for glasses.

I’m craving red. Again.

Whatever that might signify.


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On the importance of the “O”…


  1. Wow … that was something I didn’t know about you.
    I was the opposite, I always wanted to wear classes :( So badely that I went and baught glasses that looked like they’re used for vision when they were just glass1
    By the way, kul fooleh oo Elha kayyal. As in, some people dig chicks with glasses, not only that, some people prefer them over girls with none.

  2. Brilliant post, because I also need glasses, and I absolutely hate wearing them.

    I don’t mind the sight of glasses, and – kind of in reverse to what Qwaider said – I prefer men in glasses to their non-spectacled counterparts.

    But on *me*, glasses look ridiculous. It’s beyond vanity…they just don’t sit on my face right, and try as I might, I can’t find a decent pair in any colour/shape/size or price bracket.

    I had to start wearing glasses when I was 14, and prior to this time, I would’ve KILLED for a pair of glasses! They seemed so cool! I actually made myself shortsighted (although it was probably inevitable anyway…) by wearing plain-glass spectacles. The lenses had no prescription, but I wore them for every waking hour of a whole year and my eyes got used to looking through the distortion of glass – plain or not.

    But the final straw (a switch to contact lenses!) came for me when I started a new job which required wearing a hat and having good eyesight at the sime time, and the arms of my glasses wouldn’t stay put under the brim of my hat!

  3. anon

    consistently cute (over the years)

    i love chicks with glasses :D

  4. Ha!

    I so can relate to what you’re saying. I’m supposed to wear glasses as well, but I strongly detest wearing them. So I end up not greeting or waving to friends and acquaintances, which makes them mad, because they would assume I’m ignoring them.

    I realized that I must wear glasses during my tawjihi year, and until now I refuse to wear them (unless I’m watching a movie).

    Finally, a long post!

  5. bassel

    you just look cute…….

  6. nice post…brought me back so many memories , i wore glasses as i ever rememeber for 18 years striaght but mines where always those big light blue frame that always have to get broken on the summer vacation, maybe once as a little girl a had a red a white pair….and then i got rid of glasses for 7 years but now im wearing them again …..anyway reaching to what u are looking for..and sense i’ve searched for a pair of galsses 2 months ago i have not seen any red galsses at all, the brigtest i saw was orange n clear but didnt like if it was all oragne it would have been so cool, but nope no cool red frames

  7. nobody

    optikos shami, um utheina . tried the red glasses but ddnt fit my face ,ask for them.

  8. You should go to Toy’s R Us, i bet you the have some red glasses :D

  9. I think you are looking for something like this

  10. i dig chicks who wear classes.

  11. Congratulations! You’re normal. And you look good in whatever frames you wear :-)

  12. glasses took something from our eyes… :S i hate them.. but they look good on you. im thiinking to do operation and thats it :D

  13. Geeks R Us.

    You seriously need to cut your hair, you looked uber cool!

  14. Beautiful……….
    I just want you to know….
    you’re my favourite giiiiiirrrlll.

  15. gurl u look familiar??!!

  16. LOOOL @ Amino’s comment

  17. Hi Roba

    i am wearing frameless glasses with red arms, i got them from a place called Al-Jaber Optics in Dubai, he said he has a branch in Amman, i donno where exactly, but if you want something with full frame, i recall seeing such designs 3indo and they colorful of transperent plastic. check a brand called lindberg.

  18. I’ve got 2 pairs, a black plastic frame and a newer one, and it’s RED by Versace. It’s of similar shape as your so-called granny glasses but the granny glasses look good on you! I got mine here in Malaysia, since it’s visit Malaysia year, why don’t you come over & enjoy your stay in this part of town!

  19. Basem


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