Dorothy Rosby
Contributing columnist
This is a story about the importance of being flexible. Or maybe it’s about the dangers of vanity. Or being overly cautious or just plain foolish. It’s about one of those.
I was preparing to go for a hike on a recent sunny morning. I put on my sunscreen and sunglasses and went to find my sunhat, or as I call it, my dork hat, and for good reason.
That’s the part about being cautious. I’m fair skinned. Also clumsy. As I reached into the closet where I keep the hat on those rare occasions when I remember to put it away, I bumped a plastic tub on the top shelf. It fell, hitting me in the face on the way down and spewing mittens, gloves, scarves and stocking caps. My hallway looked like there’d been an explosion in lost and found.
On the bright side, as I picked things up, I discovered a second dork hat I’d forgotten about. And for some reason, at that moment, it looked less dorky than the one I usually wear. This is the part of the story about the dangers of vanity. I headed to the bathroom mirror to check it out. But as I put on the hat, I somehow managed to bump my sunglasses hard enough to send them sailing directly into the…toilet.
For the second time in mere minutes, I may or may not have said something I can’t repeat in this newspaper.
There was no way I was going to flush a perfectly good pair of sunglasses, even a completely bad pair of sunglasses. That wouldn’t be good for the toilet or the sunglasses.
I gingerly plucked the glasses out of the toilet and flung them into the sink like you’d toss a grenade if you suddenly found yourself holding one. Then I ran water as hot as I could stand it, poured half a bottle of liquid soap on my hands and the other half on the glasses and proceeded to scrub like I’d just been exposed to coronavirus. I might have scrubbed a little too enthusiastically because I somehow managed to scrub one lens right out of the frames.
This is the part of the story about being flexible. Not that I am. I was determined to go for my hike and I was determined to do it wearing sunglasses. So with soapy water pouring over my glasses, I tried cramming the lens back into the frames. They were having none of it.
When I turned off the water I could see why. Maybe they’d been weakened by the tub that hit me in the face, or the angle at which they’d landed in the toilet, or the force with which I’d tossed them into the sink. Whatever the case, the frames were cracked. I’ve been known to live on the wild side, throw caution to the wind and go out without sunglasses on cloudy days. But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun was getting higher as the drama went on.
Here’s something you might not know about me. I can’t close my right eye unless I close my left one too. No one has ever been able to explain to me why that is, probably because I’ve never asked anyone.  But as luck would have it, it was the left lens that had been knocked out. Hmmm, I thought. Why not just close my left eye on my walk? With my other major accessory being a dork hat, broken sunglasses might complete the outfit.
No, I didn’t think that. Remember this might be a story about vanity.  Or about being flexible. I gave up on the hike, tossed the sunglasses in the trash and put my hat back on the top shelf of the closet—very carefully.  (Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books including Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About, Humorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time. Contact [email protected])