This is the second of two responses to our call for readers' stories. Nick from the UK was kind enough to send in his story.
I imagine some people may be interested in wearing pince nez, but are nervous about sticking out. When sitting side by side with a pair of modern glasses, they are certainly different. Even when worn, the lack of temples and whatever mechanism grips the bridge of the nose set pince nez apart from spectacles. But how noticeable are they really? After several years of wearing pince nez for sunglasses and for reading, I’ve started to wonder.
When I first started wearing pince nez, I only had sunglasses, since I didn’t need them for my eyesight. I spent some time talking to a friend outdoors one day, and had them on due to the glare from the snow. She saw me again a couple days later (I was wearing them again), and asked, ‘Your glasses don’t have temples, do they?’ She hadn’t noticed the first time. Now, a few years later, I need reading glasses, and have a fingerpiece pince nez. I had been wearing them for a few weeks, when in one class I took them off. The person sitting next to me, who I often sat by, noticed that my glasses were ‘missing bits!’ And as a last example, I spent over an hour talking with my advisor about a proposal I was writing, wearing them all the while. She didn’t mention anything about them, but a couple weeks later, I talked with her again. I took them off and set them down on my notebook, and she suddenly noticed the lack of temples.
Of course, sometimes people notice right away, and they will almost invariably be interested in how they stay on. They may even ask if they can try them on. Chalk up another advantage for pince nez, they’re an excellent conversation starter!