Did you know that Seattleites buy the most sunglasses per capita of residents of any US city? The prevailing theory of explanation, perpetrated by outsiders, is that we don’t need them here all that often. So we’re constantly misplacing them. And cursing ourselves for losing them. Especially when the sun suddenly breaks through the rain while we’re driving, taking us by surprise, and making wet pavement a blinding glare.
But, believe it or not, there are some shades of sunglasses that actually increase visibility in rainstorms, too, cutting down on peripheral sheen and allowing you to see through road mist better. And hazy, high overcast days create their own kind of brightness that sunglasses combat. Yeah, we know all about the applications of sunglasses for every kind of weather here. Sunglasses aren’t just for sunny days, you know. Not in the Emerald City, anyway.
I’m a typical Seattleite. I have many, many pairs of sunglasses that run the gamut from rain and haze sunglasses to bifocal sunglasses. Fashion sunglasses. Cheap, disposable beach sunglasses. And more expensive driving sunglasses. And recently, I got another, really cool kind of sunglasses—rearview spy sunglasses similar to the ones I feature in The Spy Who Left Me and my upcoming May release Diamonds Are Truly Forever.
Rearview spy sunglasses have a reflective coating on the inside of the lenses. When you’re wearing them, you can see behind you by looking at the edges of the glasses where the area behind you is reflected. They’re great for bicyclists and moms who need eyes in the backs of their heads. And spies, of course.
I have two pairs—a cheap, kid’s novelty kind that I got for about $3.99, and a more serious pair. Both of them work as advertised. One piece of advice when wearing them—people with long hair should pull it back in a ponytail or bun to get the best rearview out of your glasses. Otherwise you run the risk of merely seeing the sides of your hair reflected. Very disappointing whether you’re on a covert mission or you need to keep an eye on the kid.