x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Man versus sunglasses

Losing and/or breaking sunglasses may not be a hobby as such, but it is an activity that happens regularly.

I haven't touched my CV for some time, but should that day ever come I'm probably going to have to tweak the "hobbies" section. Obviously, I'm keeping the classics: listening to music, reading and socialising with friends, they're set in stone. But I think I might have to add another: losing and/or breaking sunglasses.

Now, losing and/or breaking sunglasses isn't exactly a hobby as such. It's not really something I actually enjoy doing. But it's certainly an activity I manage to accomplish regularly and with a fair degree of skill. I can't put a figure on the number of sunglasses I've either lost and/or broken over the past few years, but it sailed merrily past the double-digit marker some time back and now - I think - rests somewhere in the 20s.

My most recent breakages occurred less than 48-hours apart from one another. Having received a shiny new pair of sunnies for Christmas from my ladyfriend's brother, I was required to e-mail him photos of them on my happy face, showing my delight at finally being able to leave the flat during the day without going blind for the first time since the last pair were lost several months earlier. Unfortunately, by the time we reached for the camera, somebody (definitely not me) had sat on them.

The next day, still in need of the all-important Christmas Present Photo Thank You, I popped to the shops and picked up another pair (thankfully, he'd selected a rather inexpensive option). Easy peasy. Photo taken. Everyone's happy. Alas, these replacements lasted a grand total of 12 hours, for the following morning I found them in pieces in the bottom of my work bag, crushed by a combination of books, random bits of scrap paper and a banana.

Many might suggest that my situation is simply the result of purchasing cheap, shoddily made sunglasses. I wish this were the case. Having seen several "budget" (although I don't consider anything over Dh30 to be particularly "budget") sunglasses fall by the wayside (crushed, snapped, scratched to death, etc), I embarked on what turned out to be a foolish and costly campaign some years ago, splashing out on a pricey pair in the mistaken belief that the vast expense meant I was more likely to look after them. Well, I didn't sit on them, and their sturdy cases prevented any bag-based crushings. No, this time I lost them. In fact, I lost a total of three pairs of ludicrously expensive sunglasses over the span of one year, mainly in taxis. I could have a sworn I saw a driver last week wearing my tortoiseshell wayfarers last week but didn't have nerve to ask.

I'm not sure where the solution lies. Maybe I'm just destined to never own a pair of sunglasses, which could mean living in a rather sunny place could get tricky, or somewhat expensive.