What if I could see...

What if I wake up one day and realize that I'm not really as smart as I think I am, I'm just older and I wear glasses...

There is no gauge for smarts; no real comparative tool; no badge-to-wear.  A degree doesn't count. A job doesn't count.  I would like to think good grammar and spelling help but I've been told otherwise by those younger, bare-faced and, according to them, smarter.

When I was a kid, if you read books beyond what was assigned in class, books that were all words, you were smart. I figured I had to get glasses because of all the dimly-lit marathon reading sessions at bedtime.  I'm one of those people who can stay awake for hours with a good book, but who will fall asleep watching a movie.

And I love movies!  I work in the movie business, where a lot of people without degrees have had a lot of success, some by talent, some by smarts, some by sheer will and luck combined.  Does the Executive Producer go to bed at night thinking, hey, I'm pretty smart?  Maybe, maybe not.  Probably, if he or she wears glasses...

Glasses are lovely to hide behind; not just the wrinkles but the inherent reputation.  They are a fantastic prop, a crutch, to keep the wearer a half-inch or so removed from reality, with two tiny windows of security that allow for just enough distance to create that illusion of mystery.

But when we take them off...oh, how we can change.  Prettier? Less sarcastic? More aware of our appearance?  There is a shift of awareness from the inside (the brain) to the outside (the appearance).  Those who have never worn glasses have never had a prop with such an inherent meaning, so never have the feeling of turning "smart" on and off.  

I'll keep my glasses.  I like the surprise on people's faces when I show up without them.  I still like to wear my glasses for reading, in dim light, until its late at night, 'cause books are smart, right?

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