Annie Vihtelic
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I wear my sunglasses at night

By - Jun 12th, 2010 04:00 am
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Courtesy Edo Finelight via Flickr

What is it about sunglasses? The simple application of this accessory exudes glamor and intrigue from whoever wears them. Of course their main purpose is to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but no one can help how cool they look … er, usually.

Sunglasses are an absolute must throughout the summer, but how necessary is it to continue to wear your specs indoors, or after the sun goes down?

There are a handful of people who can pull this off successfully. Celebrities are the first to come to mind. Their eyes are constantly shielded to protect from the glare of the paparazzi and the risk of recognition.

High stakes poker players wear sunglasses indoors to ensure their eyes don’t give anything away while in tournament. That’s all fine and well but from what I’ve seen, Milwaukee isn’t crawling with A – list celebrities and world class card sharks.

So what’s with people wearing shades indoors?

A few weeks ago I planned to meet some friends for dinner at a nearby tavern. I arrived before anyone else and was seated in a booth, which was a great opportunity to people watch. I scanned the crowd and I saw him —  a lone male eating a big tray of wings and drinking a beer. He wore a pair of wraparound silver sunglasses, the kind you see on the faces of extreme winter athletes.

Why?  Was he a cop? An actor in town filming a movie? Maybe a Milwaukee Brewer having dinner (wings are dinner, right?) who didn’t want to be recognized? I decided it was time to find out. Without giving it a second thought, I slid out of my booth and walked up to his table, determined to leave with an answer.

“Excuse me,” I said. He looked at me and I could see my reflection in his mirrored lenses. “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you wearing sunglasses indoors at night? I’m just curious.”

I waited patiently as he wiped his fingers and sipped his beer. He gave some  thought to what had just been asked.

“I like to be left alone. People don’t seem to bother me when I have my shades on.”

Despite his answer, I probed a little more.

“So wearing sunglasses indoors gives you a sense of security?”

“Yeah, I guess so. And another thing,” he lowered his voice and leaned in like he was letting me in on a secret, “I like that no one can tell where I’m looking. You think I’m looking at you right now, don’t you?”

He seemed to be looking at me directly in the eyes. “Yes,” I replied.

Courtesty Ugg Boy via Flickr

“I’m not. I’m looking at that blonde waitress across the room.”

I thought that was kind of a clever. It was a justifiable reason — albeit a little odd– to wear sunglasses indoors at night. Since then I’ve seen more men with shades on indoors –- at restaurants, the grocery store, even the library. I’ve approached as many as I could to put my question to rest.

Their answers mainly stemmed from privacy purposes, but a couple guys confessed to using the same wandering eye trick. Some guys told me they forgot they were wearing sunglasses at all.

This seems to be a male-dominated habit, but I did come across a couple girls who wore their own big sunglasses inside. Their reasoning was a little different. One girl was offended that I even asked and told me to mind my own business — I think she thought that I was making fun of her. Other women told me their stylish shades made them feel sort of like a celebrity. They enjoyed the extra attention. Some reasoned they thought their sunglasses looked good with their outfit, but never admitted to using them as a decoy for their eyes like the men.

So when it comes to wearing sunglasses indoors after the sun has set, I guess it’s just a matter of privacy or personal preference, and that’s totally fine. But if you’re a guy who wants a quiet night out alone, I would suggest leaving the shades at home unless you want to look like a creep. Sunglasses don’t make you invisible or less obvious.  If anything you’ll end up drawing more attention to yourself.

Ladies, if you feel the need to wear your shades to complete your look, go for it. But know you’ll pique the curiosity of onlookers, so it helps if you have the confidence to pull it off and really play the celebrity thing up.

Just don’t think you’ll go unnoticed.

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