Someone asked me why I wear dark shades recently. Should be pretty simple, shouldn’t it? They make everything more comfortable. My eyes are sensitive, so bright lights hurt, whether that’s sunshine or bright flashing lights indoors. If it’s flashing lights indoors, they also make me dizzy. I live in Texas, so the sunshine can be really strong on some days. Believe me, that can be a really painful amount of light.
Apart of the eye comfort of blocking out too much light, there are other comfort features. One is simply that as it’s difficult to put on eye makeup, I prefer the shades. Put some comfortable facial cream, profume, a hint of tinted lip balm and shades of appropriate darkness. Much better. The comfort is also inseparable from social reasons, so typically when we’re somewhere… many unwritten social rules apply. Eye contact is a huge thing in the social settings, so that can be uncomfortable. You need the perfect amount, not too much, not too little. And keep the eyes open while listening to someone. Listening to people eyes closed, even when the reason is your eyes hurt, can easily anger people. Been there, kept my eyes closed, and got yelled “you are not even listening”. Uh, sorry – I’m a hearing person, so I don’t listen to things with my eyes. But it gets so old fast; keep the shades on and your eyes can be open or closed as you please. When I’m out with friends, I don’t occasionally mind taking the shades off, but when I’m out in places I don’t know or among people I don’t know well, yes, I do mind it very much. I don’t see people, other than a person shaped person over there, or a group of people over there, so insisting that I keep my eyes visible is just plain rude. I can’t tell if you’re black, white, purple or chinese, and even less do the facial recognition thing or see your expressions. As a result, I dislike being forced to show facial expressions or not being able to keep my eyes pointing whichever way they happen to be pointing. So, I wear dark shades, and a blankface expression (often apparently called RBF or resting bitch face in USA. Women here are supposed to often smile for just pleasing others), and my headphones on. I might have funny expressions when listening to something interesting, scary, or funny, but that’s none of the business of others around me either. Especially if I’m in a public place where everyone is in their own bubble, like in a restaurant or in a bus, I am well in my own space. I’m wherever the book or movie I’m listening takes me to, while the physical body occupies a bus seat. Fortunately the public transport is the best way to observe Texans somewhere slightly uncomfortable, for once not trying to smalltalk to random strangers. So they read a book, or reddit, or pretend to fidget with their phone or whatever else people do.
So they give eye comfort, provide a little bit of privacy, and allow me to easier pass or ignore people. I’ve told people I don’t say hi as I don’t recognize them. I don’t quite remember or can’t really estimate how much detail and what distance people see what from, so that can be awkward too. If in doubt, I didn’t see a thing. Other things that can be awkward in this same situation or category: inability to quite understand or follow fashion, or compliment people’s hairdos. I know there are things like a $300 hairdo, but I have no clue how common those are, and hopefully haven’t angered people for not noticing or commenting on their fancy haircut. Without being able to appreciate the details, surprise surprise I’m not likely to want to waste my money in something that expensive, and neither get similar things in fashion. Cat claws, coffee, Korean food… too many things get on the way.
There are also situations where a lighter shade will do. Which is when I’ll go with deep yellow blueblocker. Yellow on black allows some details and more eye comfort. There are also days when everything is plain dark. There, I admit it. While most days are incredibly bright here, there are those days, especially in winter, when everything is just dark, when trying to locate a giant building in front of you isn’t that easy. Foggy days, dark days, rainy or stormy days. They all have their charm, from details with other than eyes, and they might be more enjoyable with more detail and less dark. But that will be for some other time in the future. Now it’s just neutral dark for overall purpose, with neutral enough that I don’t constantly get asked to take them off. Time for a run, with them on…