I’m Colour Blind — Here are my 7 Most Hated Questions
Allow me to set the scene…
A 4 year old boy, playing with a Lite-Brite in his grandparent’s basement.
Exploring a whole new world of light based art. Pushing coloured plastic pegs through black craft paper to create barely-discernible outlines of fish and ducks.
He lifts the hot metal light box to show mom proudly. But something was wrong. Her reaction was not the face of a proud art-school parent.
Mom came down to sit next to him on the floor. “Adam”, she said. “Show me one of the blue pegs.”
That’s an easy one, there’s so many! In “fact”, a third of the pegs he had to work with were blue. He proudly displayed one of his blue pegs.
Again, her reaction didn’t reflect that of someone impressed by artistic prowess.
“How about a green peg?” She asked.
It sunk in for her. Like many relatives before her, her son was… colour blind.
Of course — I’ve made most of this up. I was four. I don’t remember those kinds of details. All I know is that my mom was there and I was using a Lite-Brite wrong. She made the connection.
My colour blindness has led to a lifetime of the same questions over and over again. So here we go. These are the top seven questions I’m faced with when people find out I’m colour blind.
1. What colour is that?
2. What’s it like growing up colour blind?
Growing up colour blind was pretty great. Sure, I’d never get to fly a fighter jet, but I always had something interesting to say about myself in ice-breaker games. To this day, it’s my go-to.
3. What do you see? (Do you see in black and white?)
I have a pretty severe form of colour blindness. It’s identified by a series of numbers and letters I never care to memorize.
I often mistake green and brown. Or brown and red. And shades of blue and purple look the same. Oh, and purple and pink of course. And obviously there are some shades of orange that look red. Yellow and green are pretty much the same colour. And don’t get me started on beige.
I hear there are some colours in between that I don’t give a shit about as well. Chartreuse? Teal? Indigo? I’ll take your word for it.
4. How do you match your clothes?
This is actually a good question. I don’t really. I wear a lot of black and grey. Generally I’m wearing black or grey on either the top or bottom part of my body. From what I hear, black and grey go with pretty much everything, except blue in some cases.
I also ask other people. I get opinions from employees at the store, and wake my fiancee up in the morning to make sure I’m not breaking any major fashion rules.
5. How do you know what colour your tattoos are?
I’ll be writing another blog later that outlines the most annoying questions people with tattoos get asked… I’m not sure this will make the list.
I trust my tattoo artists, that’s how.
6. How do you know that your poops are healthy?
I take a picture of every bowel movement, and send it to my fiancee. No, not actually. I suppose I just rely more heavily on the other qualities of my shit to tell me if I’m unhealthy.
7. How do you know that what you see isn’t right and what the rest of us see isn’t wrong?
We perceive colours. And perception is a strange thing to attempt to describe. From what I understand, we perceive colours through photoreceptors on our retinas. Photoreceptors have cones and rods.
Cones allow us to see colour. In colour blind folks, our cones, or the pathways between our cones and our brains, suck. So really, you non-colour blinders are seeing more colours, not different colours. So what you’re seeing is definitely more right than what I’m seeing.
Bonus Fun Fact!
I can’t play some video games because the graphics’ colours are too close together. Sadly, Donkey Kong is a major pain.
Are you colour blind? Let me know how you answer these questions!
Have questions that I haven’t addressed? Ask away in the comments!