Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Here's Looking at You, Kid

Mom and Dad had green eyes; so have my five older siblings. When I was a kid, I thought that was boring.

My best friend was a girl called Lori who lived across the street. Lori had brown eyes. That's what I wanted.

My mom told me that when I was older, my blue eyes would turn darker -- but they probably wouldn't be brown.

I remember being 5 or 6 and staring into my mom's full-length mirror on the back of my parents' bedroom door, looking at my eyes and watching for any fleck of color change.

Sometime after I stopped looking, my eyes did turn a darker bluish green. I always considered myself to have green eyes, but most people will say they're blue. That always made me mad. "What are you, an idiot?!" I'd think. "EVERYONE in my family has green eyes. Duh!"

An article I read in the Boston Globe today made me feel better about my eye color: Blue eyes are increasingly rare, it seems.

The article reads in part:

Once a hallmark of the boy and girl next door, blue eyes have become increasingly rare among American children. Immigration patterns, intermarriage, and genetics all play a part in their steady decline. While the drop-off has been a century in the making, the plunge in the past few decades has taken place at a remarkable rate.

About half of Americans born at the turn of the 20th century had blue eyes, according to a 2002 Loyola University study in Chicago. By mid-century that number had dropped to a third. Today only about one 1 of every 6 Americans
has blue eyes, said Mark Grant, the epidemiologist who conducted the study.

"Mark Grant," strangely enough, was the name of my first love -- a high school dropout, a smoker with wild red hair and blue eyes who, as it happens, always told me that he thought my eyes were beautiful.


Friend Vic said...

I love this posting! A few years ago, my mom asked me "Do you think there are more blue-eyed or brown-eyed people in the world." I remember just looking at her like duh: and saying something to the effect of "Ever hear of China?"

Everyone in my family has had blue eyes for god knows how many generations. My mom pleaded with my sister and me to please marry men with brown eyes (presumably, that's before it because painfully clear to her that she'd never get any grandchildren so our husbands' eye color mattered not). Alas, I married a man who has two of the bluest eyes I've ever seen. They are so pretty, that even though I vastly prefer brown eyes, I still find myself gazing into his, thinking that they are beautiful and amazing.

Ms. Armsweat said...

There are a lot of things I have wished I could change about myself over the years, ranging from as trivial as weight to as serious as clinical depression, but the one thing that's been consistently on my own "OK" list are my brown eyes. I was born with blue, apparently, and they changed over before my first birthday. Thanks for posting this intriguing story about the proliference of brown eyes!

I, too, am marrying a blue-eyed man in three weeks' time. And as it turns out, every single serious boyfriend in my life has had blue eyes, even though I am totally attracted to brown. Isn't that odd? I think it is.

BTW, my blue-eyed man is gorgeous, so I have no complaints. :)

Thanks for the great post. And cute picture, too!

Chebbles' Mama said...

Well THIS explains everything. I always wondered by my child has those blue eyes, when no one in my family has them... you were the "witness" to her birth... yeah right. Mom.