Longtime YOMYOMF readers — particularly those with larger hat sizes — know well of fellow offender Justin’s obsessive proclivity toward noggin immensity. And while Justin postulates that dome bulk equates to cute, cuddly and welcoming, I admittedly conclude that “big head” meant “big laughs” likely due to my own inclination to the disproportionate cartoon and comic strip characters that entertained me throughout most of my latchkey kid youth.
Now, as far as I can remember, I’ve always been a sunglasses dude. I liked the way they shielded my sensitive, quick-to-dry eyes from the elements and I liked the way they kept my eyes stealthful when they surveyed or even pried. And they made me look cool too. But, things began to shift sometime between my frosh and sophomore years of college when I noticed that the Vuarnet Cat Eyes and Rayban Wayfarers I favored since high school felt a tad snugger than before and, quite frankly, looked a tad smaller on my face.
With little fanfare, I quietly switched to the larger Wayfarer II hoping folks wouldn’t spot the increase in optical and facial real estate. I loved those Wayfarer IIs but, after a long while, I noticed increasing impression marks on my temples where before there were none. And again I switched, this time to fanciful, clear-framed and expensive Stüssys. Truth be told, they were equally as snug but, who gave a shit: They looked cool. When oversized, metallic sporty frames became vogue, I rocked three pair (no, not all at once for the smartasses reading this) of Italian made Mossimos and received a bit of reprieve. Privately, big heads weren’t as funny to me anymore. Surely this was karma for all that laughter at the expense of those with cranium volume: I was becoming the very thing I laughed at.
Things came to a literal head a few years ago, when at a gathering of a handful of my college rugby teammates, old pix of our playing days surfaced. The expanse in waistlines was to be expected. After all none, save for one, of us were still active in the sport. But, the shock came at the now pronounced disparity in our head sizes from then to now and none more so than mine. It was the sole negative in an otherwise great time. I was facing a future as one of those guys who cheat up their eyeglass stems so as not to cut off circulation and leave permanent marks in the temple area.
But my optical style salvation came in the form of a friend’s niece. More specifically, the niece’s boyfriend who is a Pro X-Games biker sponsored by Oakley.
“Interested in a pair of Oakleys?” she asked optimistically. “My boyfriend gets them below cost even.”
Oakley was among the worst offenders in terms of snug eye wear. I know. I tried them at a few stores. Rapidly. So as to avoid embarrassment.
“Sure. Why not?” I fired back, my propensity for a bargain defeating all else.
“Just let me know what model and what color,” she said. “Oh, if you want them Asian Fit, let me know, too. It’s no extra charge but, it has to be special ordered.”
“Asian f — what?”
We Googled and she showed me. And there on the company site was this magical phrase: “If sunglasses tend to sit too low on your face or slide down your nose, touch at your temples or cheeks, or feel narrow at the sides of your head, try our Asian Fit. The tabs below show all the technology we put into making these frames fit with perfection.”
My memory afterward is a slight bit fuzzy but, I believe I may have cried. How thoughtful, how ingenious, how bloody, moneymaking visionary of Oakley to include me – us — with our own customized fit! Heck, I would have paid retail at that stage, I was so hyped.
I ordered my pair the next day and weeks later, practically ripped the box open when it arrived. I was actually a bit apprehensive but, after some minor tweaks, I put them on. The stems never touched my temples; the back of my ears were fine and the frames stood firmly and comfortably planted on my big ass face. Again, the memory is somewhat fuzzy after but, I don’t recall taking them off the rest of the day. Or that day being any brighter.