Ali Brill had (real) Doc Martens. Anne Linder had (Super) Nintendo. Laura Goldberg had (her own) set of house keys. Amanda Staiano got (professional) manicures. Danna Weber had an older sister (who knew about sex). I had plenty of things but none of those things. I always wanted what I didn’t have. (To a degree, I still want what I don’t have.) We are who we are. I have a funny story to tell. (And I’m probably paying the price for it today, I’ll never know.) And it’s about wanting something I didn’t have. (Glasses.) I was 9 and I wanted glasses. I wanted glasses because my dentist told me I couldn’t have braces. I couldn’t have braces because I didn’t need braces. (What did he know?) I was on to the next best man in a white coat: my optometrist. Just a normal day getting my eyes checked is how I played it. I lied frequently as a kid so lying about letters I saw during the visual acuity test was going to be a breeze. But I jumped the gun and called As Ws and Ps Ks when I should have been calling Ds Os and Es Bs. I was given a prescription for glasses but I was also given a pirate’s eye patch to wear with them. The patch would help my one (ridiculously) weak eye get stronger. If I recall correctly, my mom paid a whopping $100 for my (fake) glasses. I hated wearing that eye patch, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her I had faked the eye test. She’d be mad and I’d get punished. And I was still banking on (real) Doc Martens. I had to wear the patch. I wore it over my left eye. I remember watching Wheel of Fortune one night and thinking: If only I could see the letters! If only I could see the letters! I couldn’t see the letters with that damn eye patch. As if 4th grade life wasn’t hard enough (with Lenny Soberman stealing my hat), now I had to sit through class wearing an eye patch. No one said: “Hey, nice glasses.” My 4th grade class picture has me sitting front row, wearing (way too) circular blue frames, high-tops, and a black vest with pink rosebuds right where the nipples go. (Anne Linder loves this picture.) I really thought I fared a chance at looking cool when the glasses rolled around, but it’s never what you think is cool that makes you cool. Ali Brill wasn’t cool because she had (real) Doc Martens. She was cool because she watched movies like Back to the Beach. Anne Linder wasn’t cool because she had (Super) Nintendo. She was cool because she loved drinking milk. Laura Goldberg wasn’t cool because she had (her own) set of house keys. She was cool because she had freckles. Amanda Staiano wasn’t cool because she got (professional) manicures. She was cool because she was Italian. And Danna Weber wasn’t cool because she had an older sister (who knew about sex). She was cool because she was the first one to think of freezing lemon Ssips juice packs to eat with a spoon. Or so I still think. Who knows what cool is anymore?