Waking Up Colorblind

By Anastazia Vanisko

Over winter break it’s always great to look outside and see the world covered in a white blanket of snow. Everything is dazzlingly white. And grey. Many, many, shades of grey, even more than 50.

Waking up to a world of white, grey and black is difficult. I don’t know how it happened, but one day I woke up and everything was monochromatic. The years of experiencing colors like burgundy, chartreuse and periwinkle were behind me.

Before I was colorblind, I had no idea how many hardships my new brethren faced. When I first found myself at a stoplight, I had a mini panic attack. I was the first car at the light and I was driving alone. I suddenly realized I never actually paid attention to which color the top, middle and bottom lights are. Nobody was around to tell me when to go. My only hint was a blaring glare coming from the stoplight itself.

Since no one around me was moving or honking, I figured out the top light was red and the bottom one must be green. That was lucky, since I would have sworn it was the other way around. One crisis averted.

After this experience, I began raising support for a statewide bill to have labels sticking out from the lights in order to save my fellow colorblind people from this horrific experience. I plan to add it on to an important bill, like an immigration reform one, so that it’s sure to pass. (Oh wait…)

Though the stoplights are a serious issue, there’s also the shopping problem. It’s hard enough to create a decent outfit with the ability to color coordinate. Now, it’s nearly impossible. I needed to hire someone to plan my outfits because I didn’t want to harass my roommate into doing it each night. Considering I live like every other poor college student—perpetually broke—this drains my bank account rather quickly.

My shopping handicap hurts other people, too. If I go shopping for gifts, I need to bring a partner. I usually end up dragging my roommate with me, especially when I’m shopping for my stylish cousins. All they want is clothes. I’ve taken to buying them nothing but black, which is okay since they live in a city.

Making my coffee just right was yet another hardship. I don’t drink it black, but the line between too much creamer and just enough is a thin one. I used to measure it by the color of my coffee—a nice milk chocolate color was perfect. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure what that meant in terms of grayness. After quite a bit of taste testing, I figured it out. Honestly, though, the process was brutal. I’ve never had so many bad cups of coffee in my life. I should have learned to drink it black. It would make this colorblind life just a little easier.

After discovering these numerous difficulties, I’ve decided to dedicate myself to creating an accurate color conversion scale. There are actually many types of colorblindness, so this’ll be a huge project.

Only the best minds will work on this pursuit to eradicate color blind prejudice from our society. I think I’ll put out an ad on Craigslist for colorblind people that would be willing to help with anything other than the monochromatic conversion scale.

Then again, Craigslist might not be the best way to find people for such a worthy endeavor.

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