A day in my life
As I have mentioned before, I am partially colour blind. I have talked about how this affects my life as a teacher as well as a learner ( I am currently taking painting lessons). I have never posted anything about how this affects my life in general, though. I know that if you read my blog, you are probably used to posts that are about teaching and other ELT-ish topics. Today, I want to write about being colour blind and try to give a glimpse of what this is like. I would also like to raise awareness.
According to the colourblindawareness.org 1 out of 12 males and 1 out of 200 females are colour blind. They also believe that there is probably one colour blind student in every classroom (#1ineveryclassroom). Being colour blind does not mean you cannot see colours (seeing black and white is really rare), it just means you may not be able to see some colours and shades. I am not going to go into medical details though because
a. I am not a doctor and
b. that’s not what this post is about.
Two paragraphs later, I am going to dig into the purpose of today’s post. Is it a big deal not to be able to see colours? Let’s see.
Walk in my red (?) pumps , will ya?
As a 39 year old gal, this is something that really bothers me. I am unable to shop 90% of the time!!
I have no idea what colour the clothes I buy are. I always ask a sales assistant for help or I choose to shop from stores that have the colour written on the tag (for example, M&S and Next- even their websites have accurate descriptions of colours). Worst case scenario though is me buying something that turns out to be a random colour and then going back to the store and return it.
Makeup is an ordeal. I luv makeup, but I have no idea why cosmetics companies choose to give weird names to their eye shadows, nail varnish and lip sticks. Why does a pink lip stick need to be called “A day in the park” or “love me do” (names chosen randomly) and not just say: Pink/ light pink/ dark pink/ fuschia etc. ? You may ask, ” Yes, but you do not see it’s pink, so what you going on about woman?” Well, yeah, I don’t see it’s pink but I know what pink goes with!! The same goes for nail varnish. Once again, I ask for help, or buy egg yellow eye shadows and end up returning them.
It is very difficult to go grocery shopping cause I cannot distinguish if the fruit or vegetable is too ripe. I have bought loads of green bananas. I never know if potatoes have turned poisonous or not (you are not supposed to eat them when they are green. It’s actually a miracle I haven’t had potato… poisoning yet).
Loads of magazines, newspapers and even books choose to write a text on a background that clashes, making it extremely or almost impossible for me to read. Black on red is the worst!
Going to the bank
You know the electronic display that shows priority in banks? I cannot read that. I take a ticket, wait in a line and then ask a person to help me and tell me what number is next. Do you know how many times I missed my turn back in the days when I felt embarrassed to ask for help?
I don’t drive. I think I will have a problem with road signs more than actual traffic lights. I have never tried to learn to drive. Never will ( I don’t think this is cause I am colour blind. I think this one is more cause I am too scared cause of general eye sight problems).
Following any type of instructions that is based on colours is hard. Take out the lilac book, follow the green line, open the pink door (which is the ladies room). And then there’s the tube. I never travel on the London tube alone. So many colours mixed up on a little map. OMG.
Pie charts/ graphs
Yeah…. um… nope.
Now this is very interesting. There are different types of reactions.
- They ask, “Really?” Nah, not really, I am just pulling your leg cause being colour blind is haha funny (sorry for the sarcasm but arghhhh). There are actually some people who when I tell them I cannot tell the difference between colours, their first response is, ” Really? So you can’t see this is red? What do you think it is?” Then they start showing you stuff saying, “And this? What colour do you see? What about this?” : (
- Yellers. I don’t know why, but I have come across people who start speaking louder to me when I say that I can’t see colours. I was buying eye shadow the other day and when I told the makeup artist I needed help with the colours she immediately raised her voice. I think that she thought I could not hear well, as well. This has happened many times. It’s weird. Dunno why it happens. : O
- The helpers. These people are my favourite. What would I do without the? These are the people who take the time to give details about colours, if they suit me, if it’s a nice colour or not. Sometimes this can become a bit overwhelming cause they go into details about whether it’s a navy or royal blue (that is never an issue for me. If it’s blue, it’s blue). I am really thankful to all the people who throughout the years have given me help!! : D
For 39 years I have lived without ‘seeing’ colours. I manage fine. Does it make my life difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. I ask people for help and they help. If no one can help me, I admit, I give up. I just don’t care. I don’t see any harm in knowing your limits and being OK with that. Being colour blind does not hold me back. I would like it if people/companies/organisations were a bit more considerate though. I have purchased goods that had the colour printed on it, just for the sake of it, as a way to show my support to their support!
As far as teaching is concerned, I have found ways around it. I will be back with a post that will focus on education and colours.
Feel free to comment in the section below. If you, too, are colour blind, please share your story with me. All comments are welcome : D Thanks for reading!!
Till next time…..