Saturday, 26 April 2014

Looking at life through brown-coloured glasses

I found out I was colour-vision-impaired when i was about 5, and back in the insensitive days it was simply called being 'colour blind'. It wasn't exactly shattering news - I still saw things the way I’d always seen them, just with a new nagging doubt that I was possibly wearing pink pants instead of red and that I’d be disappointed if I ever wanted to be an electrician or bomb disposal expert.

Ignorance is bliss some of the time, but when you look back over your life and recall instances where you (now) realise you must have looked pretty silly – it can be a little unsettling. The time delay probably makes it worse as I sit, shake my head and think "I must have looked like a bloody tool".

Just a few that I remember:
  • The pink/red pants thing actually happened, or perhaps some dickhead was just messing with me. Either way, it was a traumatic day at primary school.
  • That fluro green polo shirt I wore to high school wasn't as cool looking as I thought it was. Kids stopping in their tracks and faking blindness was the giveaway.
  • Thinking the ‘skin tone’ pimple cream actually blended in with my skin tone and didn't stand out like dog's balls. I used that shit for years.
  • Buying a lilac work shirt online, only to be told when it arrived in the mail,  that lilac looked a hell of a lot like pink.
  • Telling people that I own a purple car and then finding out years later it was green.
Hardly life changing tragic events, I know, but I'm guessing there are many more, and I remain blissfully unaware. My wife still asks me if I’ve seen her ‘red’ dress, knowing full well that I have previously thought her red dress to be brown or grey. But that probably says more about female logic than anything else.

My kids are slightly less argumentative and know not to ask me about colours - just because I know the words to the Rainbow song, doesn't mean I know which stripe is purple and which is blue.

As far as genetic afflictions go, it's not really up there with Spina bifida or Bloom syndrome, and a lot more common, but i can attest to it being bloody annoying. I don’t imagine you’d tell someone with cerebral palsy to cheer up because they weren't born with Down ’s syndrome. So telling me I’m whinging about nothing and that I could be totally blind is not really helpful.

apparently there is a "74" in there somewhere
I see a vague "21" in that dot thingy, I only know which traffic light is the stop light due to it being at the top and the tiny little red/yellow/orange lights on anything electrical are completely pointless. Looking at my chilli trees and trying to pick the red from the green gives me a headache. Put them next to each other and it's easy, but in a sea of green leaves it is a total head-truck.

If you say the words turquoise, violet or magenta, you might as well be speaking Japanese, because I have no idea what you're talking about. Some shades of colour are obvious, others are not and depends on the lighting or my immediate care factor as to whether I can tell what colour your eyes are.

Genetically, all this annoyance is my Mum's fault - she gave me the dodgy X chromosome, the selfish bitch. Seriously though, that I wasn't destined to be an interior designer isn't a crushing weight on my mind or outlook on life. I see things a little different to the average person, and the older I get, the less I care whether my socks match my sandals*. 
I can see that this tiger is the colour: "awesome with black stripes"
 *I haven't reached the sock and sandal wearing stage, but it seems it's only a matter of time.