Comedy //

For 2000s Novelty Glasses Enthusiasts, NYE Now Just “A Stark Reminder Of Better Times”

Ann Ding and Aidan Molins examine a problem that looks to be here to stay.

A glimpse of the golden past of novelty New Years' glasses

For most of us, New Year’s Eve festivities will be a fun, fanciful, end of year celebration. However, for enthusiasts of goofy novelty sunglasses, today will be a painful event, prompting memories of a golden age gone by when New Year’s glasses were made for years with two zeroes in them. This, according to goofy eyewear advocate Phoebe Stullman, “made the design and manufacture of silly sunglasses simpler and easier”.

“Ever since 2011,” remembers Stullman, “the novelty glasses have never been the same. In the 2000s we used to just have two zeroes right in the middle of the number. Boy, those were the days. Nowadays New Year’s Eve is just a stark reminder of better times.”

The ensuing crisis in the community has fractured fans of the glasses, with different members of the community favouring different designs. Some, say Stullman, favour a design where eyeholes are “carelessly placed in the middle of numbers which are clearly not zeroes”.

2011 was a difficult year for the novelty glasses community.
2011 was a difficult year for the novelty glasses community.

Meanwhile, others have tended towards glasses designs which “don’t resemble the years which the glasses are meant to depict at all.”

Stullman refers to this as the “highest heresy that can be committed by novelty glasses.
Stullman refers to this as the “highest heresy that can be committed by novelty glasses.”

Stullman has little hope for the coming years. “Things were so good for so long. I don’t think we truly appreciated how good we had it. If you think about the 1990s—even the 1980s— we were all unified by the middle two numbers having suitable lens-bearing shapes. At least you could slot a lens in the circular shapes of an 8 or a 9. Now it’s just chaos.”

Stullman’ partner, Robert Choudhury, shares her pain, seeing some respite in the not-so-distant future, but ultimately feeling defeated in the face of an uncompromising era. “If you think about 2020, we might have a good year then. 2020 could be fun. But what then? 2021? We’ll just be facing the same sad problem again.” Choudhury also notes that some purists are deeply uncomfortable with the lopsided nature of 2020’s hypothetical design.

Still other members of their support group have suggested that the 2030s may bring relief, with the curved bottom half of the ‘3’ offering a viable lens-carrying aperture. The two novelty glasses diehards aren’t convinced.

Choudhury offers one last flimsy piece of consolation. “At least we weren’t born after 2110.”