My husband and I were on our way home from visiting my brother and sister-in-law this weekend when I asked my husband if he had remembered the items my brother left for us on the dresser.
“Yes, I put them in the blue bag.”
“Blue bag?” I asked. “What blue bag?”
“You know. The bag we put our clothes in.”
“Do you mean the lavender bag?” I shook my head.
“Is that what you call that color?”
No, my husband is not colorblind. Not in the traditional sense of the word. But he is limited by his maleness to knowing only the simplest names of colors.
I know this narrow color vocabulary is not true of all men. However, I’m willing to bet it describes the majority. Things are either blue, green, red, yellow, brown, black, or white. How many times have you heard a man use the words mauve or teal? My husband says he also knows gray.
Last weekend we finished painting our living room. If you ask me what color it is, I will tell you it is an extremely light shade of celadon or cucumber. My husband will tell you it’s green.
When we were at my brother’s, I had the pleasure of playing with my two-year-old grandnephew. I asked him what color his pajamas were.
“Gween,” he said.
“What color is Grandpa’s shirt?”
“What color is Uncle George’s shirt?”
If I don’t intervene soon, this little guy will be as colorblind as his great uncle. But if I get to spend enough time with him, I expect this to be his response to my questions in a year:
“What color are your jammies?”
“They are Kelly green, Aunt Toosie (his name for me), with a touch of cyan. And Grandpa’s shirt is a lovely shade of citrine with cadmium overtones on the collar.”
I have a lot of work to do.