Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One of These Things is Not Like The Other: Heterochromia and You

(Warning – High Snark Level)
Dear check out person at the grocery store / random mom at my kid’s school / anyone who doesn’t know me that well,
I’m very impressed that you know the word heterochromia. It’s a big word that means two different colored eyes and it applies to me. Until recently, I think the only people who knew that word were people who have it and people who study it for whatever reason.
It’s like everyone in the world is experiencing the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon at once, where you learn something new and then see it everywhere, only now it’s with my eyes and a fancy scientific name that makes you feel like you know something that others don’t. They do.
But it’s not really that you know the word and want to make sure others know that you know it, it’s the follow up comments that are questionable, if not insulting.
Would you like it if someone said to you, “Oh, my dog has eyes like yours.” Probably not. Also, I am not blind in one eye, and yes, I know that David Bowie / Kate Bosworth / other random celebrity I don’t care about also has different colored eyes. How interesting!
Thank you for suggesting that I could wear contacts to make my eyes the same. I appreciate your celebration of homogeny. Well done.
My eyes are not weird, they are just different. I wish I had super powers or magic, but my eyes are not a sign of a witch. They are pretty. I like them.
Truthfully, I like it when you point out that I’m different. We can just leave at that can’t we? Just say, “Cool!” and move on. If you don’t think it’s cool, there’s no need to share. Kthx.
Otherwise, I’ll go back to my old standbys:
You: Your eyes are two different colors. I’ve seen cats like that.
Me: *touches face* What? Are you serious? Call a doctor!
You: You have heterochromia!
Me: Why yes, I sure do.
You: Can you see out of both eyes?
Me: Yes, for now, but it’s highly contagious. Be careful. *sneezes*
In summation, let’s point out our differences as compliments and be careful where we go from there. M’kay?
Best wishes,
P.S. The eye color on my driver’s license is blue. Now we have that one out of the way, too. Yay.


  1. This whole thing made me laugh! From one 'heterochromian' to another, I say well played young lady! :-)

  2. OMG! (Have been waiting to use that). This is the funniest thing because as your mother, I have had to endure this your whole childhood - even comments as stupid as "Did you know she has 2 different colored eyes?" Uh no, I never looked at her eyes before! The best response ever was from Grandma Haas (Lois). We are in a thrift store and the lady remarked "Oh my, aren't you concerned about her eyes?" With a straight face she said, "Well, actually no since it's a sign of extremely high intelligence" and walked out of the store. I skipped behind her wishing I'd been the one to say it!

  3. I am so happy to know that word now. And now I shall use it in a sentence: Your eyes are a wonderfully perfect example of Heterochromia. xo @LisaJey