My cones are not normal. I had no idea. My husband pointed out my flaw. Look, Phyllis. I looked.
That day standing in the bathroom, he said, I like them but you do realize they don’t match. What do you mean they don’t match? I took a closer look. I pulled the blind open and stood in the natural light. Are you sure? He laughed. Phyllis, it doesn’t matter to me but I thought you should know.
I suppose I always knew but never stopped to think about it. Never wanted to admit it. My face flamed in embarrassment.
I snatched the shower curtain off the rod. After all, I had only draped it there so I could show my husband how coordinated everything looked. The grey towels−the grey shower curtain. Only the curtain wasn’t grey, was it. No, it was brown. In the store it looked grey. The same as the valance across the window. It wasn’t grey either. It was somewhat blue-ish.
Recently I decided to do a makeover in our open concept bungalow. I painted the bathroom when my husband refused to get involved. When he saw my shaky paint line along the ceiling and the wavy baseboards, he took on the task of doing the mammoth kitchen project and the guest bedroom. Whew!
From the guest room my husband called out to me, anything but green. Okay, I shouted back as I left for the paint store.
There it was. The proof was on the wall in broad strokes. It was grey in the store, I muttered. His silent accusation brought me to a higher pitched defence. I know it looks green now but I’m sure...My voice trailed off.
I always acknowledged my problem with dark colours. I came home with a pair of black dress pants for my husband that the tag defiantly sku’d as navy. Of course, everyone knows that dark brown, black, and navy are nearly indistinguishable anyway.
It was more than that now. I no longer trusted myself when it came to choosing colours. I thought of the living room curtains I brought home last spring. They looked a perfect match for the sea green accessories. At home they transformed to a brilliant turquoise.
Marv prepped the kitchen for painting. Pick up some paint Phyllis, he said. Gritting my teeth and grumbling under my breath, I swung the door closed behind me.
This isn’t green is it, I asked the young recruit at the paint shop. The ring in his lower lip quivered but he kept a straight face. You see, I floundered, I have a little problem with certain shades. Nah, this is yellow, he said. No, I certainly don’t want yellow. Is this one yellow, too, I asked, peering at a paint chip? No, that’s peach. Frustration was mounting. I wondered how he would describe me to his friends. A dizzy old broad came in for paint today and kept asking me the colours.....
Exasperated, I left the store only to return the next day. This time I brought home paint chips for the kitchen. My husband eyed them. Yes, the top portion will be a medium grey, and below the white chair rail will be espresso brown. He nodded his approval.
It was a relief to find a person at the paint store to help me with the colour selection. He understood when I explained my affliction to him. No, it’s not the young person with the lip ring. He seemed to avoid me.
Unable to shake my frustration, I turned to my trusty laptop and Googled! The first thing I discovered is that colour blindness is rare in women. Only .5% of women are born colour blind to 8% of men. Various web sites confirm that my condition is not colour blindness, though it sure feels like it.
Further research resulted in a believable explanation. Here it is folks. I have Protanomoly. Self-diagnosed, of course. But it fits. I have a problem, not with most primary vivid colours, but with the saturation of colour in various shades. The way I understand it, the retina is made up of rods and cones; rods being responsible for night vision and the cells responsible for colour perception are the cones. Cones are located in the centre of the retina. People with normal cones are able to see all different colours and subtle mixtures. Aha!
Now I know for sure. I don’t have the write cones.