It’s not easy being green

Me (on the left) with my friend Kary, 20-some years ago, under a painting we thought was SO hilarious because we'd never ever look like that. Of course.

Me (on the left) with my friend Kary, 20-some years ago, under a painting we thought was SO hilarious because we’d never EVER look like that. Of course. Yet today we find ourselves edging ever closer. Time is a damn rocketship set to light-speed.

Next month I am going to be 49 years old, an astronomical age when you remember back to childhood and Grandma and all the little old church ladies with tightly-permed hair and stockings rolled up over blue-veined legs, but not so old these days. These days, women like Michelle Pfeiffer, Julianne Moore, and Angela Bassett are in their 50s and remain stunning. No, I don’t mind being one year from the Big 5-0. Not these days.

But one thing I DO mind? Finding out, after nearly 49 years of bein’ alive–give or take a few barely sentient years there at the beginning–that my eyes are blue instead of green.


Blue. sigh.

I was at my sis-in-law Sherrie’s house, and we were doing an online quiz to find out our Ayurvedic body types. One of the questions was about eye color. It asked:

Are your eyes: 1) small, black, active; 2) gray, bright, green, yellow; or 3) large, calm, blue, peaceful

Easy! I thought. I clicked number two.

“What answer did you give?” Sherrie asked. We had already done her quiz and she was eager to know how mine was going.

“Number two,” I replied. “Since my eyes are bright, and green.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Your eyes are blue.”

“What?” I squawked, incredulously. “No, they’re not! They’re green!”

She laughed. “Your eyes are blue!”

I was aghast. I really was. “My Eyes. Are. GREEN. Look at them!” I thrust my face two inches from hers and widened my bright, green eyes at her. “SEE?”

“Uh, no. They are totally, 100% blue. You remember that picture of you and Daniel, when we were at the Thai restaurant? You’re standing next to each other and your eyes are the exact same color.”

Now, my brother’s eyes are undeniably blue, yes they are. But mine, the same color? I couldn’t wrap my mind around what she was telling me and so I argued my point, increasingly weakly, for another few minutes. Finally, she conceded that the very, very itty-bitty center of my irises could be construed as green, but the vast majority of them, nearly the whole freaking diameter, was ringed in blue.

You know the feeling you get when you discover that your mother gave birth to another, secret child before you came along and by the way you were born with a penis and also, you may or may not be Canadian, nobody really knows? Well, me neither, but I imagine it’s the same kind of feeling. My world, she was rocked.

When I got home, I was talking to my daughter Torie and noticed her beautiful green eyes. And remembered.

“Torie, what color would you say my eyes are?”

She peered closely at me, considering. “They look blue in this light.”

“In this light?” I had to grasp at any straw. “You mean, in any other light they look green?”

“Well, mmaybe.”

The next morning, as I was getting dressed, I attacked Scott with the same question.

“Hmm,” he said carefully. To be honest, he looked a little scared. “I would have to say they look blue. But then, with that shirt you’re wearing (which was light green), they definitely look… greener.”

I was sunk. Even my husband, who had seen more of my eyes than anybody else, thought they were blue. I did appreciate his diplomatic vagueness, though. Torie’s, too. My family is incredibly intelligent that way.

On the Fourth of July, we spent the day with my parents. I was in the kitchen with my mom, watching her assemble hamburger patties. “Mom,” I began. You know where this is going.

“They’re kind of green in the middle,” she answered, not even looking up. “But I think mostly blue.”


My dad walked in from the back yard. “Dad!” I cried, wheeling to face him. Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope. “What color are my eyes?” I steeled myself for the wrong answer.

“Green,” he said, without hesitation.

Ha! And Ha! That, my friends, is how it’s done. Vive le vert!

Happy Sunday to you. Love.


Filed under Beloveds, Fambly, Folderol

6 responses to “It’s not easy being green

  1. Lorraine

    This post brought me a happy smile. Loved it.

  2. Oh, you know how it is~ redheads, green eyes, Liz Taylor, violet eyes. We just go there immediately, even when they don’t REALLY have red hair (what IS your natural hair color?), and Liz is purported to have had grey eyes!
    Mine change with the light and my mood~ anywhere from dark blue to vivid blue to silvery grey. Maybe your eyes do the same kind of thing.

    • When I was little, I was a California towhead, and my hair got progressively darker until, in adulthood, it had developed a distinct reddish-hue to its mousy-blondness. I’ve always thought my eyes were green! And I still do, I guess because when I look at them I focus on the middle part of the irises instead of the outer ring. I’m sure they change in different lights, though I’ve never thought of them changing with my mood! Like a mood ring. :) That’s an interesting idea.

      • My haircolor changed as I got older, too~ started out a tawny brownish-blonde, and it just darkened every year till it became a sort of Ash Black, a soft black. Maybe there is a connection between changing hair shades and changing eye colors? If your eyes have more than one color to it, they’re bound to be changing, depending on what colors are around you/on you, the light and probably your mood, as well.

  3. That makes sense… It would be interesting to research the connection between eye color and hair color–if there is one, and if so, to what degree they affect each other. If our cells regenerate completely every seven years, then why wouldn’t our eyes change with the years as well? Though eye color is determined by DNA… hmm… However, I think pigmentation can change, for different reasons, so that could be why. Maybe our pigments are just doing the cha-cha with their little old selves!

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