Playing With Iris Hues

In the mid-1980s colored contact lenses made it possible to change one's eye color for the first time in the history of humanity. The brown-eyed girl could have blue eyes, the blue-eyed girl could have green, and so on for all the eye colors. Everyone could experience how it was to be a different color, if only in their eyes. I have always thought that it would be delightful to be able to change one's skin color at will, like a chameleon or octopus, morphing to skin that is rich black or brilliant white, then rippling with rainbows or swirling into creamy pastels...

Twenty-some years later I was living in San Diego, where people tend to dress upscale, and I thought that sporting differently hued irises would give me some pizzazz. My eye doctor showed me a fantastic assortment of eye colors, including Goth totally black eyes which was going too dark and too far. I chose usual colors of gray, blue, brown, green, and hazel. Then I saw the price tags, hundred of dollars for each jewel case of contacts! Oh, I was so disappointed. I had wanted very much to see how I looked with the eye colors that I saw on other people. I pushed the little jewel cases away. But the eye doctor was kindly and said there was a trial way to let me play with eye color and see what I liked. Usually the doctor only gave out one trial pair at a time, but for me selected half a dozen disposable colored lens (from the ones that did not sell, and were due to expire), cautioning me that I could only use each set once or twice. I was to come back for permanent lenses if I found a color that I liked enough to spend hundreds of dollars for it. I doubted that would happen as I always live quite frugally but I took the doctor's random assortment of colored lenses for a modest trial fee. Later I found that the doctor had given me the usual human assortment of colors; and had added one reptilian lens, a freaky red iris with a vertical slit-pupil! Oh, that was so not me, not even on Halloween.


I wore the colored lens to work, even wearing one green and one blue to see how people liked it, but not one person commented. ? As for my own response, I realized that I could quite happily have been born with any color of eye. I enjoy all the hues.

Playing With Iris Hues

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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