Friday, April 15, 2016

Empowerment Challenge: Colorblind, Not Clueless

Being gifted with my father's hereditary Kjer's Disease at conception isn't my fine idea of an easy life. I can't drive or color coordinate. Statistically, what should have been passed to my brother was generously gifted to me instead and was devastatingly unwrapped at twenty-two with a diagnosis some ten years ago by a neuro-opthamologist. I was told that day that the probability of total blindness was on my horizon and, while I wait, I would be playing a lovely game of "Color Match." Not only am I considered low-vision, but I'm rare, as colorblind females are harder to come by. So, no, I can't taste the rainbow or see the silver lining, but I'm getting better at not wearing black eyeshadow to cover the shitty liner job I seem to rock when makeup and I first met. You know, perspective.

The constant questions people ask that I could really live without:

"What color is this cat?"
"What color is my hair?"
"What color is my … whatever?"

I can't tell you what color it is because you and I don't see that color the same way. And, no, shining a flashlight on it won't help anymore than screaming English louder at a foreigner may help them to understand you need a bathroom. In school you're taught that this circle is blue or that star is red, and those will always be blue and red, but integrate them into a pattern or blend them and shit gets complicated. Hell, I'm just glad no one's asked me if I pay my light bill - because maybe I missed the mark one day and looked like a prostituting clown. It gives me hope that I did something well enough that my friends haven't staged an intervention.

There are things that do help, but the names on beauty products ain't one of them. Nail polish, for example. Who names this shit? Ugh! If you name a nail polish Plum Passion and I take it to produce and pull out five plums that all look different (and nothing like this bottle), were the plums just not passionate today? Should I change markets? There's no comparative consistency. I bought Beatnik nail polish today. I didn't know until a friend told me my nails were blue. Are all beatniks blue or just the one mixing this paint? The movie Steel Magnolias was confusing to me. Blush and Bashful, really? I stayed confused until they mentioned Pepto, because who hasn't questioned life at 3 a.m. with a bottle of rancid chewing gum tasting hope clutched in one hand praising the porcelain gods? Finally, they mention something I can relate it to. Whew! But why a Pepto wedding? Did I still miss something?

And, please, if you know me, forgive me for always rocking jeans or black slacks. Everything will always match either jeans or black slacks. I can wear a Pepto flavored shirt and that shit will still fly easy! I'm not lazy; I'm practical. And if it ain't broke then I'm not gonna wreck it by trying to fix it.
Some makeup companies have makeup that are labeled to compliment your eye color. But what color are my eyes? And what if the dude at the DMV can't see my eye color either? I bet he said they were hazel just to guess because he's colorblind too. He has brown eyes he might be full of shit, hence, the brown eyes. Wait, they're brown right?

I get it. Not everyone understands that doesn't know the struggle personally. I imagine it to be easier to be male and colorblind than to be female and struggling to find the right shade of "gray" for a new interview. But I do appreciate those that make an effort to understand my plight.

Easter egg colors are never in the right cups to dye eggs when I set things up. I can never see the yellow highlighter on my son's school work that his teacher sends home. And I stand corrected on a constant basis by my eight-year-old who has Autism and color coordinates everything.

And while I might bitch and complain, there is still something profound to be said of all this: None of it matters - not a damn bit of it. Why doesn't it matter, you ask? Because the most important thing you will ever wear will be the perfect Cuisinart of your attitude, personality, and pizzazz. Your confidence and the way you carry yourself will paint you more so than any mismatched outfit or bad hair color or questionable makeup palette you may don. And it doesn't matter what you wear; no one looks ridiculous or silly if they exude confidence. So go for it! Go all in or go home, but go wherever you choose and with a smile. Your soul is a beautiful rainbow and matters more than matching socks. Hell, just wear flip flops and skip the sock drama. Better yet, go barefoot!


  1. Trisha, I had no idea this was bothering you so much. I will do my best to make it simpler for you to use colors and keep my mouth shut (at least until you and I are away from others) about the colors you wear. Let me know if I can help you in any way possible. I think your article was beyond wonderful concerning your problem with color. I love you, Mom.

    1. Patricia DequeantApril 10, 2016 at 6:09 AM never said anything to me out of the way about any such thing. You've always been really supportive actually. This was an article I'd written out of interest and empowerment. You're awesome Mom always have been. You and my pantyhose have always been great supporters. I thank you for that! Love you too!