Friday, July 22, 2011

Over the Quasi-Rainbow

This morning, I awakened and immediately began house work. Before having coffee (blasphemous, I know), I washed dishes in the sink, unloaded the dishwasher, put a load of wash in, and folded clothes that were in the dryer. Even now as I sit, I am only one-third of the way into my first cup, a 16oz Disney mug that shows Tinkerbell in hair rollers and a nightie, holding her own mug with her left hand while her right hand is resting on her hip, appearing as I feel prior to coffee. On the back of the mug, it reads, "Mornings aren't Magical," hm, precisely.

However, something else is magical: Color.

There's time to get personal later, but for now I'll ask the reader to gloss over the fact that I'm about to tell you that I live with my ex-husband, but that I also have a long-standing boyfriend- right, anyway... I digress and now, one may observe how important coffee is for my brain... ramble, ramble... This has nothing to do with anything, but it sort of does, and I'm certainly in an odd mood this morning.

So (echem), the ex (one of my best friends) was looking for a shirt and I said, "Your little, green t-shirt is folded on the sofa, if you want it."

"What green t-shirt?" he asked.

"You know, your soft, green one... it's over there," I said, pointing from the kitchen.

Walking into the living room, he moved to the sofa and bent over to pick-up the shirt. As he lifted it, his face scrunched and he moved the shirt to arms length in a scrutinizing fashion. "This shirt isn't green."

"What? Yes it is."

"Well, if I were to say, I'd say it was colorless. It's grey," he said, confounded.

"Dude, that shirt is green. Hey babe...," I said to my boyfriend, "what color is this shirt?" I said with a bit of an attitude in my tone.

"Definitely not green, it looks grey to me." he said.

"You're both fucking nuts!" I yelled, in disbelief. It was like some bad dream or crime story where one is blamed for a murder and must prove one's innocence.

"No, we're both color blind."

"It's all you other, crazy people just making colors all over the place that are confusing things," said the ex.

Ha! Now there's a twist!

Burnt sienna, cerulean, magenta, mulberry, forest green, maize, peach, apricot, tangerine... while the absurdity of his statement was clear, so too was his logic. He was right!

It reminded me of the movie, Pleasantville, where a brother and sister in modern times are given a special remote control that thrusts them into a 1960s family sitcom where the world is black and white, and shades of grey. The world gradually becomes color-filled as the teens' influence and "new" ways of thought spread through the minds of the colorless.

Certainly, this is all metaphor for spreading the concept that free-thinking and creativity, unbound, are perceivably positive characteristics- the tell-tale signs of a healthy, societal constitution. So, I wonder whether there is some sort of real, psychological effect on those individuals whom many colors escape? Does the world judge the 10% of people who are considered "color blind" as being narrow-minded?

It's not logical to say that this judgment is consciously directed; rather, it may be unconscious. What I have noticed is that those afflicted with the inability to physiologically see all the colors that exist in the world feel a sense of inferiority to some degree.

"Hey, your socks don't match."

"They don't? Well, it doesn't matter, I'm colorblind. I'm like the comedian, Steven Wright, who says that he doesn't match socks by color, he matches them by thickness. If they feel the same, that's all that matters."

Yeah, okay, make excuses for the fact that you're wearing one army green sock and one beige sock if that makes you feel better...

Or, maybe they've got it right and life is just simpler where one so bedeviled just let's it all go and says, "Screw it! I'm wearing this shirt because it feels soft and these pants, because they're comfy. I know in my heart that the shirt is lilac and the bottoms, orange, but my color confusion matters not, and you colorful folks can all hang!"

Have we color-seeing folks complicated the world, or is not such a Wonderful World for the color blind?

I see trees of green, red roses too  (No, you really don't... and I'm not sure you can see this either! hahahahaha, just kidding)
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

The Rainbow Connection by Kermit The Frog
True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
Color My World by Chicago
Silver, Blue and Gold by Bad Company
Rainbow in the Dark by Dio
Rose Colored Times by Lisa Loeb
Rose Colored Glasses by John Conlee
Karma Chameleon by Culture Club

The list goes on. In fact, here's an entire webpage dedicated to providing names of songs that have a color in their titles.

You color blind people, I hope this article doesn't make you see red, with your blue eyes cryin' in the rain, by the light of the silvery moon...


  1. That is funny. I remember loooong ago playing a video game with your boyfriend and I was telling him about the yellow thing on the side of the screen and he keeps saying "I don't see any yellow thing". So I yell at him "What are you fucking color blind?"...

  2. Hahahahahaha!! That's so funny! He thought I was personally attacking and making fun of him in this, btw... LOL

  3. (Normal) humans possess three light receptors in their retinas, each with a different spectral response. Thus the color experience for most of us can be mapped into a 3D region called the "color solid".

    On the other hand (I have been told) that goldfish retinas possess 16 (sixteen) different light receptors. So what's it feel like to experience color in a sixteen-dimensional space?

    And how big is a baby goldfish's Crayola box?

  4. Nick, I love that you say "normal humans"!

    It definitely puts a twist on matters; I mean, how arrogant of me, a mere three light receptor person mocking anyone, especially now that I know a friggin' goldfish has 16. That's just amazing- no kidding about the baby goldfish's crayon box. I love the many realities that exist or may at any one moment. It's quite humbling.

  5. I'm red green colorblind. I was talking to this hot Martian chick and I said squaw and she started ranting, "you think I'm a goddamed redskin! Whatcha fucking colorblind?!?!?!"

    So I whipped it out slammed it in and said, "You." I thought there was a comma in her question.