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Sunglasses Indoors
It's not just the province of fashion, although the piece that inspired the confession below is a Slate "investigation" of why fashionistas wear shades where the sun don't shine.

Living in Los Angeles, I do my best to avoid the Hollyweasels, but it's sometimes impossible. At a dinner party at my friend Neville's last year, it was pretty dimly lit, yet some Mr. Important down at the end of the table was still wearing sunglasses indoors. Not being the wiltingest of wilting violets, I made some cheeky crack (can't remember exactly what), connecting his sunglasses indoors-wearing with Hollywood asshole-hood.

"Actually," he said, "I'm blind."

Actually, I'd like to evaporate.

Posted by aalkon at September 14, 2006 10:23 AM

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Oh, dear.
Good old Hoof-In-Mouth disease.
The earth's crust cannot open quickly enough to swallow us up when something like this happens.

My Emapthy, my friend.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at September 14, 2006 5:01 AM

This reminds me of Bush's cracks to a Los Angeles Times reporter who was wearing shades during an outdoor Rose Garden press conference. Instead of answering the question that the reporter asked, Bush started needling him about his shades. The reporter has a congenital eye disorder, is blind, and must wear sunglasses to protect his eyes.
I confess....I wear sunglasses (big, black sunglasses) even during the rainiest of days and in the subway, particularly in the horribly brightly lit subway cars. I have halovision, and because the orb of my eye is much larger and more oval (as opposed to round) than average, it affects the way I see things with a lot of light. Contrast is sharper for me with shades on, and even an overcast day has enough light to give me a headache.
Feel free to call me an asshole, though. Most people wouldn't argue with you.

Posted by: amh18057 at September 14, 2006 6:40 AM

Yes, empathy. We've all been there. I actually own property there.

But this was a Hollywood party, where pretense is so rampant even the blind can see it. I'd bet you were forgiven long before dessert.

Posted by: Crid at September 14, 2006 7:11 AM

I have stopped assuming someone was pregnant and congratulating them just because they look like they are. Awwwwkward....

Posted by: eric at September 14, 2006 7:37 AM

"I made some cheeky crack"

Lena's mind veers, as always, toward the nearest gutter...

Posted by: Lena at September 14, 2006 8:32 AM

Actually, it was a Los Angeles party, but not a Hollywood party. My friend Neville is a musician-slash- lawyer (he's been on the cover of Editor & Publisher, actually; I think for his Food Lion vs. ABC case)...but he's very unpretentious and doesn't hang with the Hollywood asshole crowd. I shoulda known better. I think I cracked a tooth on the toe of my imitation Jimmy Choos.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 14, 2006 8:48 AM

Another war story from the frontlines of hoof-in-mouth disease:

I was at a research conference in Boston struggling to put up a large, unwieldy poster all by myself. A woman watching from several feet away said something like, "Oh, you're having a hard time over there, aren't you?" Barely concealing my disgust at her cheerful PBS-style British accent, I rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah. Would you mind coming over here and giving me a hand?" So she walked over and tried to help, but she soon pointed out, "You see, I don't actually HAVE a hand." She was missing her fucking right hand. I thanked her for letting me know.

Posted by: Lena Cuisina, Graceless Bitch of Academia at September 14, 2006 10:33 AM

Posted by: Doobie at September 14, 2006 7:54 PM

Barely concealing my disgust at her cheerful PBS-style British accent,. . . . .but she soon pointed out, "You see, I don't actually HAVE a hand." She was missing her fucking right hand.

Goddam socialized medicine.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at September 15, 2006 5:27 AM

Yeah! And I bet she had to wait months and months to have her hand amputated by mistake!

Posted by: Lena at September 15, 2006 8:56 AM

i love this blog

Posted by: Crid at September 15, 2006 10:38 AM

You're in with the In Crowd, babe.

Posted by: Lena at September 15, 2006 10:43 AM

It loves you, Crid.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 15, 2006 11:07 AM

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