Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"Is that the Absinthe? She could totally rock the Manx!"

Someone actually said that about me today. Any guesses? Seriously, I don't think I've rocked anything but a baby since the 90s.

Sometimes you feel out of your element. Today was my time.

I was in Outer Banks Boarding Company, a groovy surf shop where they sell several forms of cool -- for water, for snow, for sand.

The sunglasses display glowed in the middle of the store like a late night gas station. I peered in awe at the sunglasses through locked glass doors, as if admiring the Hope diamond -- if the hope diamond had a logo.

Under duress, I might have come up with sunglasses brands RayBan and Oakley. But these? Electric. Von Zipper. Never heard of them. People have probably been being cool all around me. I've been clueless.

"How much do I have to spend to get polarized?" I asked.

"Over a hundred," replied my groovy friend Sam.

"How much just to look cool?" I asked, foolishly thinking that might be cheaper.

"Even more," he said.

Plastic or glass? Polarized or not? Sam patiently explained the pros and cons. Glass costs more and is heavier but doesn't scratch as easily. Polarized lenses block the glare but cost almost 50% more.

Style. Have you ever seen an ultra magnified photo of a fly? That's what some of these frames looked like -- or what I looked like with them on. It was like standing behind two of those concave security mirrors. Weird.

"Humor me," Sam said handing me some supersized white sunglasses, square frames with gold at each corner. Garish. Loud. Hot. I can't afford the wardrobe to support them. Or the manicure. Or the car.

I wanted Von Zippers so I could keep saying "Von Zipper."

I tried pair after pair after pair. We took a vote. The winner: Electric Crossover in tortoise shell. Polarized, of course.

$120 later, I rock the Crossover. Dude. See for yourself:

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