What’s it like to look at the world through rich guy shades? I know because I spent a day wearing a pair of expensive sunglasses, styling and profiling and living the rose-colored high life.

First, here is my standard operating procedure for sunglasses: I buy them in bulk at the beginning of the summer, usually at a dollar store or a flea market if there’s a good deal, because I know I will lose them in the lake, at the bar, in the highway after being left on top of the truck or just about anywhere else I take a pair of sunglasses.

After once springing for a pair of moderately priced sunglasses — and I’m talking low two figures moderately — and losing them within 48 hours, I said no more.

Now, here’s how I came to wear a pair of rich guy sunglasses: A friend of mine works at a place where rich folks gather and sometimes spend the night and oftentimes leave things — like sunglasses — behind.

I assume my friend, a conscientious sort, meticulously tracked these expensive shades back to their rightful owner and called that person.

“Hello, is this a rich guy?”


“We found your sunglasses here at our gathering place and would like to return them to you.”

“How dare you interrupt my current gathering of rich folks with an insignificant occurrence from a past gathering of rich folks. Do not call her again. Good day.”

“But, we –”

“I said good day!”

After a month in lost and found, per gathering place policy, and no further inquiries, my friend laid claim.

“Look at these sunglasses,” she told me on day 31.

“Wow,” I said. “Those appear to be rich guy sunglasses.”

“Indubitably,” she said.

I looked them up on the internet. I was right. Unless the rich guy found them like my friend did or received them as a gift for a hefty campaign contribution, he paid $249 for those sunglasses, nonprescription and UV protection just like my dollar store shades but $248 more.

Could I wear them for a day?

Yes, as long as I did not lose, break or sell them.

When I slipped them on and looked in the mirror, I could swear I was slimmer and taller, my teeth whiter and my hair thicker.

I felt the pull of the nearest country club for a round of golf and a three-martini lunch.

But… what if I lose these like I lose all the others?

Stop it brain. Stop it, I say.

Two-hundred-and-forty-nine dollars. That’s a lot of money to leave on the bar or the top of the truck.

Stop it brain!

Your friend is gifted with a pair of $249 sunglasses and here you are, wearing them like a pair of dollar store specials, looking this way and that way, nodding up and down with no regard for their true value. You might as well drive down to the boat dock and chuck’em in the lake.

I said stop it brain!

I took them back to my friend, and I put on a pair of dollar store specials when I hit the road. After my brush with the rose-colored high life, did they still do the trick?


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Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C.

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