The spectacle conspiracy


Someone stole Grandma’s glasses and replaced them with an eerily similar pair. In broad daylight! And don’t think she’s going to forget about it!


Name the first three conspiracy theories that come to mind:

Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone

Was Diana really killed by the paparazzi  …

Why did Flight 93 crash on 9/11 …

Chances are Who took Grandma’s glasses–and why? isn’t among your top 10. But around my house it’s the stuff of pure legend.

The Incident

Last February Grandma made her long overdue appointment to have her eyes checked and get new glasses. She came home with new glasses all right–they just weren’t hers.

When I got home and checked in with her, she had worked herself into a tizzy over the counterfeit glasses. When I told her they didn’t look any different, she swore up and down she watched the doctor’s assistant lay hers down and hand a different pair back.

Thinking I could reason with her, I questioned why the doctor happened to have a pair of used glasses that looked just like hers. Instead of backing down she repeated her story with even more conviction. These frames were metal; hers were plastic. They kept sliding down her nose due to the poor fit. And by god she couldn’t see a damn thing!

Eye-Witness Reports

According to Grandma, her driver also witnessed the glasses swap, though the poor woman was so bewildered after spending four hours at the optometrist she had no recollection of events. I also called the next day and talked to the assistant who was in the room with Grandma, but she calmly denied any switcheroo took place and stuck to her story about returning the same glasses she was given. Suspiciously, the doctor could not be reached for questioning.

Timeline of Events

Grandma’s appointment was at 1:30 that day. She returned at 5:30. Minus travel time, three and a half hours passed between Grandma removing her glasses for the exam and the assistant handing them back. Her eyes were dilated from 2:30 on, giving the perpetrator a two-and-a-half-hour window in which to make the switch.

Lingering Questions

What really happened during that foggy window when Grandma’s eyes were dilated and her driver was “checking in at the office?”

Why did she spend all day at the optometrist and leave without a prescription?

Why do pictures of Grandma for the last five years show her wearing glasses that look exactly like the imposters she has today?

And how on Earth does anyone expect an old woman to go for three and a half hours without a drink of water?

We’ll never fully understand the mysterious circumstances under which Grandma’s glasses disappeared. And once her eyes recover from cataract surgery, she’ll get a new pair anyway. Oh sure, she’ll be able to see better, but in the back of her mind she’ll still curse the day her beloved pink plastic frames were swept away. She’ll never forget them. And she’ll never stop searching for the truth.


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