I was one of the few people on earth born with two different eye colors – one is blue like my father’s eyes, and the other one is brown, like my mother’s eyes. The reactions I’ve witnessed to this little conversation-starter have ranged…widely. I can tell when someone first notices by the way his or her face transforms from active engagement in conversation to that wondering smile, fixed stare…and then the first question. Someone once asked me, “Did you know…” (If I had been quick with my wit that day, I would have acted shocked and dumbfounded.) Typically, I have a little script that I give them: “My dad had blue eyes, my mom has brown eyes, and I got one of each!” Once in high school, someone noticed it while we were in the library. He ran out screaming “witch!” I didn’t have time to give him my schpiel.
The question under the whole exchange – on both sides, really – is “WHY do you have two different eye colors?” During my lifetime, the answer I first embraced without understanding was that my chromosomes for eye color slipped during my development. I’m glad it was eye color and not something else. It could have been something else. Today, there are conversations about something called “chimerism” – a condition whereby two sets of DNA are consumed into one person. That one’s way too weird for me to embrace.
A formal name for my particular kind of eye color is sectoral heterochromia, although that is not what is on my license. My license indicates “DIC”, which stands for dichromatic. There exists a Facebook group for people like me, but I’m not a member of that group. That would defeat my whole sense of uniqueness in that regard.