30 June 2014

Blogging While Color-blind

Around about a decade ago, I bought a book called 40 Over 40, a book of advice about getting dressed after age 40.

I was bored with what amounted to the uniform I was wearing -- chinos, turtlenecks and blazers for work, jeans and T shirts the rest of the time.

My sense of embodiment and my gender identity were also shifting pretty significantly as the result of an unexpected pregnancy after ten years of infertility, and after that an even more unexpected live birth, and then raising a baby and a toddler and eventually a child, and eventually shedding a deeply felt sense of unreality about it all. Mostly.

The book has a lot of good advice, actually, about dressing for your actual body, keeping your closets organized, only buying -- and wearing -- clothing you love.

There's also a fair amount in the book about color, including the advice to wear clothing to match your hair and eye color. So, over the years, I bought a few items in greens and browns to pick up my eye and hair color.

Ready for the kicker? At some point, I somehow found out that a "brown" blazer I'd bought wasn't actually brown, but plum colored. It took a while, but eventually it occurred to me to ask people about the colors of the other brown clothes I'd bought. It turned out several of them were not brown, but one or another shade of purple.

I do have this vague childhood memory of being tested for color-blindness, and having trouble in the brown-purple range.  But I had no idea that I was, in fact, color-blind: I can distinguish greens and blues and reds and oranges just fine. Yet it appears there's significantly more purple in the world than I can see.

It's a funny thing to learn about yourself after half a century.