Color Me Gray

Everywhere I look I see color.  The vivid green of the spring grass, the deep oranges of fall leaves, the icy blue of the glacier fed lakes as we drive through the mountains.

But what if all you saw was life as a black and white movie?  Complete absence of color.

My husband, Bil, is that person.  Life is presented to him in hues of gray.

Being with him has made me realize I take what I see for granted.

Me: “Follow the red car”

Him: “*sigh*   Which car?”


Me: “It’s the green house here on the left”

Him: “*sigh*  What’s the house number?”


Me: “They’re in a yellow bag on the shelf”

Him: “*sigh* Which shelf and what does the bag look like?”

 Color Me Gray

Ishihara Color Test

Yeah, as you can tell, I forget about his color blindness… a lot.

It’s easy to forget something we never really think about.  Do you ever really consider what color the building you just passed is?  Or what color the crayon is that you just handed your kid?   Yeah.  Imagine not being able to teach your child their colors because you can’t see them.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

It’s at weird times, though, when I’m reminded of this fact.  Last night Bil was playing the new ‘Scene It’ game he just got for the Xbox.  Part of the game, they’ll show a movie clip and then ask questions about it.  He had to ask for my help after many of the questions were the “what color was the….” variety.  So I’d sit and watch the clip and describe all the colors to him “The actress is wearing a pink shirt and blue pants.  Her scarf is blue too. ”

Think about that.  What comes to mind when I say ‘pink’ and ‘blue’?  What if all it conjured were different hues of nothingness?

It’s not all doom and gloom, though.

This lack of color can make for some pretty funny situations sometimes.  Take for example this conversation Bil and I had when V was younger:

Bil: “Jenn, come quick. V’s cut herself on something.”

Me: “What? Cut her self on what?”

Bil: “I don’t know but she’s got a smear of blood on her cheek and some on her hand”

Me (after looking at V): *snicker* “ummmm…hon…that’s not blood… It’s chocolate. “*

It’s easy to take things in life for granted.  Seeing colors… seeing at all.  But maybe it’s time we stopped and appreciated things now and then.

*In old black-and-white movies they used to use chocolate syrup as blood, because when converted to gray, it has a similar hue to red and a similar consistency to blood.  ~ Useless fact courtesy of my husband.

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15 Responses to Color Me Gray

  • My husband is color blind as well, but not in the same way Bil is. Jim basically sees all dark colors as one. He can’t distinguish dark blues, purples, maroon, greens and black from on another. I can’t imagine not being able to see color at all.

    It for sure does make you think!
    .-= ali (adil320)´s last blog ..Give In Girl! =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    It’s surprising how many different types of color blindness there are out there.

    The other thing we’ve had to consider is the fact that Vista’s probably a carrier of the color blindness gene. We’ve talked to our geneticist about it and we’ll give her the option when she’s older to be tested and see if she is. It’s something *I* would want to know before having kids, but that’s just me.

  • Kate says:

    I can’t imagine my life not in colour. I LIVE for it. Rarely will you see me in neutral colours.

    My house is lime green. My living room? Is yellow, purple and orange (trust me, it works).

    I guess, though, if you’ve never known the difference… Do you tell him if his clothes don’t match?
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Babies Can Teach You Stuff =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Yellow, purple, and orange?!?! Ummm…. need pictures of this because I totally can’t visualize it. And if it really does work, then I’m totally flying you out here to pick out colors for my house (Bil’s no help at all)

    We usually buy him all neutral clothes. Khaki’s, tans, blues, greens, that will all go together. I do have to go shopping with him, though, so I can tell him what the colors of the clothes are.

  • Lu says:

    I really can’t imagine that no. That is something that you def. take for granted. I always swear Mike is color blind because we fought for 6 years over the color of a chair. Turns out he’s not color blind, just a dumbass.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..The days after the funeral and cleaning out my parent’s house. =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Bwahahahahahaha!!! OMG you are hysterical.
    I think, in general, women are better able to discern colors. I wonder why that is?

    Lu Reply:

    @Jenn, Probably because men carry the dumbass trait. I am no geneticist but I would put money on it.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..The days after the funeral and cleaning out my parent’s house. =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    *snort* I think it’s the same gene that gives them a penis. It also seems to affect their ability to take out the garbage.

  • Colleen says:

    I know one person who is color blind. I found out when he ran a red light once while I was in the car with him. He shrugged and said “Oh I can’t tell red and green apart and on sunny days and it’s hard to see the glow of the light then I can’t always tell what the light is. I made him let me drive after that.

    I am such a visual person I would have a hard time seeing only shades of grey. My husband calls me “Crayola Girl” because I am so descriptive with my colors.

    Do you know if V is color blind too? If not, when do you test for that?
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Smelling Things =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    Wow… ummm… that would be scary. Thank goodness Bil doesn’t have that problem with stop lights.

    V is not color blind (she has had her vision tested). She is, however, probably a carrier. So chances are, if she had a son, he would be color blind.

    Colleen Reply:

    Genetics fascinate me. She’s a carrier but it’s not dominant in her. Interesting, no? I am brown eyed but I carry a blue gene. Hubs is blue eyed so he carries two blue. So we had a 50% chance of blue eyed children and they both are brown. Seriously this stuff is cool (not that I’d want to spend hours in lab figuring it all out or anything!)

    How do they test children for being color blind? The image you put in is contingent on us knowing numbers. Do they use shapes and animals and things like that instead and ask her to point to the shape? Or something like that?
    .-= Colleen´s last blog ..Smelling Things =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    I know, we’ve learned a ton about genetics since having V. It really is beyond fascinating. It’s amazing what is attributed to genetic traits. The types of toes we have, if our earlobes are attached at the bottom or not, our hair lines. It goes on and on.

    I guess there are several things that skip generations and where the female becomes the carrier of that trait. Certain types of color blindness is one of those things.

    Sight testing in kids her age is fascinating. It’s very different from the way they do it for adults. Like you guessed, it involves a lot of shape recognition and watching where the kids point on a page. I wish my eye tests were that much fun rather than listening to “which looks better… #1 or #2″ over and over again. lol

  • Issa says:

    I can’t imagine it, but I live with it too. My husband is color blind as well. He unfortunately tries to argue with me about what color things are, instead of just admitting her had NO FREAKING IDEA.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..Guest Post: Mommy Myths #2 =-.

  • becky says:

    oh man i can’t imagine living this way. seems like you’re patient about it though. you’re so sweet :)
    .-= becky´s last blog ..Reclaiming my sanity =-.

  • melissa says:

    I couldn’t imagine. There are many things people take for granted, this is one of those. so when he’s driving , does he see which traffic light is lit up? stupid question, but curiuos

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