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Differences can be fascinating

14 Mar

Anything that makes us different fascinates me. For example, color blindness, or color vision deficiency, as some prefer. Have you ever stop to think about it? I find it fascinating that someone can look at a color I’m looking at and see it in a different way, under a different set of lights.

Yesterday I was talking about my friend who likes purple. I find her intriguing. She looks at purple and sees something different than what I see. She sees all colors in a different way, and I find that to be very interesting.

Did you know there are different kinds of color blindness? Apparently, and when I say this I mean that I found this information on Wikipedia, color blindness can be total or partial, with total being much less common than partial. There are two major types: those who have difficulty distinguishing between red and green, and those who have difficulty distinguishing between blue and yellow.

While I didn’t know there were so many, I did know about the red-green color blindness. This causes a person to have difficulty distinguishing a red from a green apple, seeing both as yellowish. Apparently more men than women have it, and it appears to be linked to the X chromosome, so a girl would have to have two X chromosomes with the deficiency to be color blind. Something like that.

Growing up as an only child can be a burden or a blessing. And although I’d wish for a sister to play with from time to time, I also loved being alone sometimes. I think I was always meant to be an only child. I loved my pretend games and loved the freedom of doing whatever I wanted. I did have cousins to play with, friends I saw almost daily (or so it felt like), and half-siblings from my dad’s second marriage (although I didn’t see them all the time, they were there). But I often needed my alone time, my me-time. And I still do. If I spend too many days in the company of others, I often feel like I need an escape. I need time with myself.

Anyway, as a child, I used my alone time to play pretend. I’d pretend I was a character from a movie, swimming under rocks into a cave with a hidden treasure, or being locked in a room with only a sandwich and a never-ending book. Silly games, but I loved to play them. And one other thing I liked to play was to pretend I could see the world in a different way.

I think it started when I hurt my right arm and had to keep it immobilized for a few days. It was the first time I was experiencing doing things without an arm, and it just inspired me to do others things. SO when I saw someone who couldn’t see, I tried walking around the house with my eyes closed, touching the furniture around me to have a sense of where I was going. I sat in my room and tried to remember where everything in the room was. Then I started thinking that maybe those things, those objects I knew so well, would not be the same, had I never seen them before.

I loved experiencing the world in different ways. I tried looking at black and white pictures, trying to imagine what the colors were like, pretending I was color blind. Of course that was frustrating, since there was no way I could know if I was right or wrong, but I still loved to pretend. I also tried to move around the house without using my legs. When I couldn’t reach the jar of cookies I decided it was time to play something different.

I guess I was an odd child, but it did give me a new perspective on things. And I still find anything that makes us different to be fascinating, and try to learn from those things every day. My color blind friend and I often exchange information about how each of us see the colors around us. Now I understand she can see that my hair is red, because it’s a very strong red, but she can’t tell if my car is blue or green. This reminds me of a grey suitcase my mom insists on calling blue. I always say “I have no idea where your blue suitcase is, but your grey one is right there.” We both know we’re talking about the same object, though, so I guess it’s okay.

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