I leap to attention at the refreshment table, where I’m snacking on lobster patties and chatting with Sabrina, quietly. I wasn’t expecting any hullabaloo at this ball, as I really honestly haven’t been doing anything to deserve it. My latest book came out this week–so I’ve been extraordinarily good. I’ve written blog posts and posted giveaways and tweeted and facebooked and traveled to Rhode Island, and I am quite certain that I haven’t caused any trouble at all. Not even the kind that Lady B always seems to pin on me.
“Yes, Lady B?” I say, popping another lobster patty into my mouth. After all, it’s release week. And these things are buttery and lovely. I deserve one. Or ten. Or more.
“Miss MacLean, it seems I have misplaced my lorgnettes.”
I hesitate, knowing that I can’t say, So?, and instead settle on, “Oh, that does sound dreary. How can I help?”
“Miss Neville thought you might have access to another set.”
I tilt my head and consider the lady. “You are aware that I am not an eye doctor.”
“I am. But Miss Neville suggested that someone might have left a pair of spectacles somewhere in or around your current festivities.” She pauses. “Festivities to which I am told all your fellow authoresses were invited and somehow…I was not.”
I clear my throat. “Festivites?”
Sabrina coughs and excuses herself. I look after her longingly. Traitor.
Lady B looks irritated. “Do not play coy with me. Some kind of bespectacled bonanza.”
Bonanza? How does Lady B know that word?! “Oh! You mean Girls Who Wear Glasses Month!”
“I am quite sure I don’t understand that descriptor, but it does sound as though you might be able to help me with replacing my lorgnette for the evening.”
“Of course!” I say. “I’ve got dozens of ladies in lenses all month long — and lots of awesome giveaways of books! You should come join us!”
Lady B looks at me as though I am vermin. “I haven’t need of books, silly girl. I’ve need of spectacles!”
I nod once and head to a nearby table, where I shoved my bag when I came in. I bypass the laptop case, the iphone, the iPad and other things before arriving at what I am looking for. A large box of back up eyeglasses.
I know. You’re saying, that’s crazy! Why would she have that? Well let me tell you–when you’re doing a book tour that requires multiple cities, having a few pairs of eyeglasses to ensure that you can absolutely see everytime there’s something *to* see is critical.
I offer Lady B a pair of cats’ eye glasses. You know the ones. Bedazzled and bedazzling.
“Dear God. You cannot expect me to affix those to my face.”
I consider the frames. “Why not?”
“Because they look ridiculous.”
“Oh, but lorgnettes are very stylish.”
Lady B’s back goes up. “I beg your pardon, Miss MacLean, but they *are* quite stylish.”
“Lady B,” I begin carefully, knowing that I must tread lightly, “I think you ought to reconsider the lorgnette, honestly.”
“They’re getting a bad rap. The lorgnettes.”
“What kind of bad rap?” (Again, I’m impressed she understands the word.)
“Well,” I say, pointing across the room. “Not many of these women stand up for the cause of spectacles. Take her, for example.” I point across the room to a sad looking brunette with a lorgnette draped down her bosom.
“She looks miserable.”
“She’s probably deciding which is worse, wearing those glasses or being blind.”
“It looks like she’s chosen blind.”
“Yes. My point exactly. You should try something new. Fresh.”
She casts a strange gaze at the cats’ eyes. “Something like these?”
“They’re very posh.” I nod, assuring her. If Sabrina hadn’t left ten minutes earlier, she would have agreed. I’m certain of it.
She seems skeptical, but leaves the lenswear on. “It is helpful to have them perch on the ears.”
“Right?” I say, “They keep your hands free. For other things!”
Lady B narros her gaze on mine. “For example?”
“For example,” I reply, producing a copy of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover from my diaphanous skirts, “Reading.”
Do you wear glasses? Did you always want to? Either way…who is your favorite lady in lenses? Share in comments for a chance to win One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (US Only)! And be sure to join me at macleanspace.com all February long to win books & prizes as we pay homage to bespectabled beauties!