“…You got that hair slicked back, And those Wayfarers on, baby…” –Boys of Summer by Don Henley
I have a theory that goes like this: How long a pair of sunglasses lasts is directly inverse to how much they cost me. In other words, The more expensive they are, the more likely I am to lose or break them in short order; and the cheaper they are, the longer they will last.
I’ve bought some pretty pricey sunglasses only to sit or step on them or lose them in only a few months (some lasted only a couple of weeks). But I had one pair I received as a free giveaway at a Stockton Ports game (back when they played at Billy Hebert Field) that lasted for years.
My longest lasting pair still exists! About 20 years or so ago I was on an assignment. I don’t exactly remember what it was, but it was along a road amid some farmland in rural San Joaquin County. I wanted to shoot from a low angle but I just couldn’t get low enough. I decided to climb down into a dry roadside irrigation ditch. When I got to the bottom, at my feet were a pair of sunglasses caked in dried, crusty mud. I got my shots then picked up the shades and left.
When I got home I carefully washed them off with a little soap and water, which revealed that they were in perfect shape. They were rather expensive designer Vuarnet Wayfarers with black plastic frames and stylish large roundish lenses. I wore them for years without incident. But finally with fashion being what it is, I put away those found glasses and bought newer moderately priced (though not cheap) pairs of sunglasses. Each would last anywhere from a few months to a year before I lost or damaged them beyond repair.
My 17-year-old daughter recently found those old Vuarnets and commandeered them for herself (with my permission of course). My current glasses’ lenses are scratched nearly to the point of being a distraction to me. So I’m in the market for a new pair, preferably the cheaper the better.