My First Love – My Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Sunglasses

My Ray-Ban Sunglasses

While I certainly love to be a part of the Cherished Blogfest, the biggest challenge for me is to pick that one particular thing that I cherish the most. Most people divide history into B.C. and A.D., for me on a personal level my life history is divided into W.P (With Parents) and A.P. (After Parents). For me, life before 1994-95 was completely different and then everything changed drastically when my parents passed away. I’m not trying to gain an emotional mileage here, but gradually you’ll see my point. I completely understand that all people have to go through this life cycle, so let me quickly jump out of this on to the actual topic.

Ray-Ban with Warranty Card

Ray-Ban with Warranty Card

The reason I started this way is because last time at the Cherished Blogfest I talked about my wrist watch that my mother gifted me, so that was in the W.P. (with parents) time. This time, I am talking about my first ever Ray-Ban sunglasses that falls in the A.P. (after parents) era. Now, you must be thinking what’s so special about these particular Ray-Ban sunglasses? Are they a collectors’ series? Were they worn by some celebrity? Well, there’s nothing special about these Ray-Ban sunglasses, except that these sunglasses were my first Ray-Ban aviators I bought from my salary savings. I’m sure many of you have products that you bought from your first salary or something like that, so by now you know the feeling.

Not many people know that I am crazy and possessive about sunglasses, especially Ray-Ban aviators. I first fell in love with aviators when I saw Tom Cruise wearing it in Top Gun. During my college days, I used to work at various restaurants but the salary was way too low for me to buy a Ray-Ban. So, I used to buy knockoffs that would satisfy my passion for having sunglasses and would go easy on my low-income budget. I had a knockoff version of the Terminator 2-style sunglasses and I would wear them and recite those iconic lines “Hasta la vista Baby” or “I’ll be back‘. However, when I graduated I moved on to call center jobs working night shifts. The pay was better than what I earned at the restaurants, but still not good enough to buy me a Ray-Ban. A major chunk of my salary would go into paying utility bills, buying regular household products and other miscellaneous expenses. You know how these minor expenses eventually pile up and suck up a large portion of the income.

One fine day while I was strolling around the city with my friends, I happen to see these particular Ray-Ban sunglasses in the store and I knew it then and there that I wanted it. However, they were too expensive for my minuscule budget. I could have loaned the money from my friends, but I thought it would be wrong to borrow money for a luxury item. So, I started saving a part of my salary every month. It took me around 2-3 months to reach my goal, but I eventually bought it.

Mahabaleshwar Sharukh Bamboat

In Mahabaleshwar with my Ray-Ban – Never Hide

While it just looks like an ordinary Ray-Ban aviator, it’s special to me because I waited more than five years to buy my first Ray-Ban sunglasses. It was a long wait, but the sense of joy I had on that day is hard to explain in words. I really cherish these Ray-Ban sunglasses and they are with me since I bought them in 2005.

Hope you liked the story. It’s simple, but that’s how my life is.

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72 comments

  1. Sharukh, when I saw the title of your post in the Linky List, I knew it was you! The Ray-Ban sunglasses suit you very well…does Sarah know that she’s married to a movie star? It’s great that your sunglasses have special meaning because of how hard you worked to purchase them.

    I don’t remember what I bought with my first first few dollars from my first job…it was probably clothes as I was pretty focused on that when in my teens and 20’s.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. I’m more focused about my clothes after marriage. Earlier, it never bothered me because hardly any girl would look at me. The sunglasses not only helped me improve my average looks, but also protect my eyes ( I suffer from sinusitis) from harsh sunlight. The movie star comment is appreciated, but I want to know the reason behind it. Do you mean I look like a movie star in those sunglasses, or you know about Shah Rukh Khan who is one of the biggest movie stars in India and we both share the same name?

      1. Sharukh, I meant that you look like a movie star in the sunglasses. I don’t follow India movie stars, so didn’t know about the other Sharukh.

  2. I like the notion of “with parents” and “After parents” – My mother is still alive, but I can clearly divide my life at the time when my father died. I don’t remember any single item, that I purchased, but I remember the thrill of having money that I earned and being able to decide what to buy. Those sunglasses look good on you, especially as you sit in one of your signature destinations, with the amazing scenery behind you.

    1. Thank you, Dan. I love your cap. I earlier had few caps in my collection, but eventually I moved on to sunglasses. Currently, I have one military-style cap which often puts me in a tricky situation.

      1. Thanks Sharukh. I have lots of caps but this is one of my favorite ones. I lost it several years ago (blew off during a boat ride) but I was recently able to replace it.

  3. Yep, Sharukh, you do look like a movie star, or a successful travel blog author! Interesting shared mountain scenery in the background. Loved the meaningful AP history of buying the Sun Rays! Nice writing, made me smile! 💛 Christine (Elizabeth)

  4. My first Cherish read! Yes, I agree with bikerchick — you look like a movie star in the ray bans! Coming from a poor background, I do remember the first things I bought with my first salary (outside of college things I had to buy — I had scholarships but had to work full time to get through school.) I had to buy two suits for work and a raincoat and a suitcase. I had to travel for work and opened up a charge account for these things because I had a good job out of college. It was a huge deal, and another woman I worked with helped me find the items at a decent (meaning affordable) cost, and it was frightening and thrilling to be stepping into that life.

    1. Thanks Kate for your kind words and appreciation. I actually did my entire college through scholarships. My parents had passed away so I had no one to pay my college fees. I had applied to a charity trust to help me with my college fees which they agreed to if I would clear exams with good grades. I had no choice but to give them good grades in exchange of my college fees. I was pretty excited to go to work while I was in the college because many of my college buddies were working at McDonalds. I cleared my interview at McDonalds, but then I got an offer from a 3-star hotel so I chose that over Mac.

  5. There’s nothing like a good pair of sunglasses. I don’t have RayBans, but I do have some Maui Jim’s that I cherish. No glare. Lightweight. And they lend a certain panache.

    I suppose our lives can be divided into two distinct parts when it comes to parents–with and without them. I know that I look at life so differently now that mine are gone. It seems as if they’re with me more now than when I could talk to them. The memories are strong.

    1. I can’t find Maui Jims here, but I will continue my search and see if I can get one of those in my collection as well. Yes, parents can offer you so much support and strength when you need it the most. I was very close to my mother and when she passed away I was completely shattered. However, the good thing is that I have her teachings and morals alive in me and will probably pass it on to someone, or use that to make this world a better place in my own tiny ways.

  6. I used to have a pair of Ray-Ban aviators, but when I needed to replace them, I foolishly went with another style, just because I thought it might be time to try something different. I’ve regretted that decision ever since! Next pair will be aviators for sure! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I do feel the urge to try different brands and styles, but since I’m spending my hard earned money, I want to spend it wisely and therefore I stick to aviators. I don’t want to take chances spending thousands of rupees on sunglasses that don’t suit my face.

  7. I just love you Sahrukh. You are such a genuine, earthy and sincere soul. Yes, I know that feeling of your first item that was bought with your own hard earned money. For me it was a pair of BB low rise blue jeans which were popular when I was in high school. My Mom did the best she could but my clothes usually fell short of what was cool or popluar. And you have love for the Mac Daddy of all sunglasses. As someone who has spent an entire adult career in either eyeglass productiin and sales or eyecare, I still consider them the best sunglasses ever made. And you make that pair look really cool. Great pist my friend!

    1. I love you too Cheryl. In terms of styling, I was awful during my childhood days. At times, I would wear clothes that other people would discard and I was happy with it. I knew my parents couldn’t afford too much, so I was not much into clothes. Thanks to Tom Cruise, Arnold, Brad Pitt, and Michael Jackson for introducing me to Ray-Ban brand. Since you’re in eyecare industry – How’s Carrera? ever heard of this brand?

      1. Carrera is a good brand as well but my favorite has been Oakley for a long time. Here the rage is Costa del Mar but I am not so wild about them. More fashion than finction for my liking. BTW my prescription eyeglasses are traditional plastic Rayban style,only the children’s version cuz my face is so small. It is a Wayfarer. I used to own a pair of kids Aviator. They were perfect for me but at some point I passed them on to one of my boys and who knows what happened after that. 🤔

  8. Great story and I agree that you are justifiably proud of your first real purchase. Congratulations and I hope you can pass them to your child someday. (or send them to me)

  9. I lost and broken so many pairs of sunglasses over the years that I’ve long thought buying an expensive pair would be foolish … but then I’ve wondered if I would treat the expensive pair differently. I’ve still not tested that theory, but it certainly helped me enjoy your post. Sharp-looking shades, I must say!

    1. Paul- See my comment about my own sunglasses disability (as in I break or lose two or more pairs each year). Maybe you would have a different outcome owning an expensive pair than I did. My husband and I both believed I would show more care to a name brand investment. Alas…no. Although they did live for much longer than most other pairs I’ve owned.

    2. I don’t think it’s about having an expensive brand name. I care about it because I have really earned it. I waited for many years to get these. I have been raised that way. I had few of my nursery toys until I was 14. I play and keep them safely. No breakage.

      1. Exactly. It’s not the price tag that matters so much as how we feel about and treat the object in question. I have no doubt these will last you many years.

  10. I love aviators — was sporting a pair of mirrored ones just today, in fact! And I’m definitely familiar with marking time “before and after” regarding a particular person. This was a wonderful post. Sometimes the simplest stories are the best!

    1. Thank you, Wendy. My wife Sarah and I were discussing that the post seems very simple and that people might not like it, but I was betting on the fact that people usually like simple stories that they can relate with. I guess I was right.

  11. Those ray ban sunglasses look very cool. You know what? If we had got everything exactly when we wanted, there would have been no charm of owning things. There is a pleasure in thinking about a thing we want to buy, then planning and saving for it and finally having it. Yes, we may not keep up with times, but who does. And purchases from first salary are always so special. Thank you for sharing that story with us. Enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thanks Parul for commenting. Yes, for me this sunglasses and even the wrist watch I wrote about last year are like Olympic medals because I worked for it. There is a sense of achievement and I love the fact that I can get things on my own.

  12. Those glasses are awesome. I love glasses myself. But I love dark ones that hide my eyes. (I’m a shy one.) One time in 2008 I had eleven pairs. These days I keep just two.
    Anyway, it’s great to read about your passion. Thanks for co-hosting #CBF2016

    1. 11 pairs? If you would have said that to me earlier I would have sneaked into your home to try out all. Don’t worry I won’t steal. Ha ha. I had many knockoffs but I have only 2 genuine Ray Bans, both aviators.

  13. What a great post! I have been wearing glasses since high school and one of my first pair of glasses were Ray Ban aviators. Now, all these many years later, having been through numerous prescription changes, I am wearing Ray Ban aviators. I love them!

      1. Well, I can say as far as I am concerned the patience thing was inculcated in me by my mother. So credit to her for giving me morals and values which make me what I am today.

  14. Losing one’s parents is inevitable but always sad. My sympathies to you!

    I can imagine your joy at finally obtaining those coveted Ray-Ban sunglasses. Five years is a long time to wait. They do look good.

  15. I lose or break two or more pairs of sunglasses every year. I did invest in some Angel sunglasses that I had for three years until I wore them on a horseback ride through the woods. Shoved them on the top of my head and off they went. Not that I even noticed until the ride was over.
    The most classic example of my sunglasses disability: I took a group of teenage girls to the beach. My sunglasses broke. We stopped in a drugstore so I could pick up a new pair. Less than an hour later, I took them off in the restroom and walked away. We go outside and I’m looking everywhere for my sunglasses. The girls are staring at me like, “Really? You just bought those.”
    The thing is I don’t have this problem with anything else. Reading glasses-fine and dandy. Keys-never misplace them. I’m not sure what it is about sunglasses…but I’ve learned that investing a large sum of money in them is like running the bills through a shredder.

    1. Well, I completely understand that. However, I’m very particular about my sunglasses. In fact, I broke these very sunglasses when they accidentally fell on the railway track, but I got it repaired from an experienced guy working in an optical store. I bet you can’t tell the sunglasses are damaged when you see the picture.

  16. Sharukh love this post and your fascination for Aviator Sunglasses. I cannot wear one for I am on my specs, though would love to:)
    Dad passed away in 2007 and it was quite tough times. I can sense the pain where parents passing away left a void in one’s life. Stay blessed.

  17. I love this post (as well as last year’s post on your wristwatch). My husband and I are now retired, so we are more careful with money now than when we worked. Still, my husband refuses to go without good quality sunglasses and even built them into our retirement budget (he has a tendency to both lose and break things like glasses). Your post made me smile. I love your writing style!
    Donna

    1. Thank you, Donna. I’m glad to know that my post made you smile. Well, someday I’ll also add my sunglasses in my retirement budget. Thank you for appreciating my writing style.

    1. Why did you bought it if you didn’t like it? I mean was it an impulsive shopping? I do that some times, but usually I’m very clear about what I want in advance. Like if I want something for Christmas I decide it by October and research for the best options throughout November and buy it in December.

  18. The feeling of joy, satisfaction laced with pride on buying something that’s on your wish list from your own savings is simply amazing! And this made for a lovely story too!

  19. This post is so meaningful because of how symbolic it is. I can only imagine how hard it is to lose a parent. My sister has a pair of Ray Ban aviators that are so reflective I call them her cop shades!

  20. That’s a great and heart-warming story. Such devotion, intent and determination, no wonder these sunglasses are cherished. I would constantly worry I would lose them, though. But, I am glad to see that you wore (and are still?) wearing them! And, you are so right, most of our money is spent on just “surviving” (buying food, renting, …), so it is nice to have a precious thing to cherish!

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