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What color are your eyes?

By Robin Dearing
When Margaret was about 2 we had her at the doctor's office for a routine visit. I asked the doctor, "What color are her eyes?" Our doctor gave me that look — you know the one, it was full of disbelief and concern that the asker might just not be right in the head. Why couldn't I just look for myself? I had, of course, but I still couldn't determine exactly what color they were. There are three basic eye colors: blue, brown and green. Margaret didn't appear to have any of these colors. It was at this point that I realized that eye color was a sorely neglected category and needed more research, but the frenzy of having a toddler relegated my interest into eye color to the back burning ... until now. I was looking at pictures of my husband and daughter and the question of eye color variety piqued my interest again. So I asked Mr. Google what he knew about eye color. He knows a lot about the genetics of eye color and how to rule out potential father's in paternity cases, but I only found one site that discussed the actual color of eyes. But it's a Wikipedia page and while I'm happy to have some resource, it's not definitive. I'm going to have to conduct a study of my own, it seems. Look at my family's eye colors: Robin eye.jpg My eye color is easy. They're blue ... but they are a super pale color of blue. There are other blue eyes out there, but they are still pretty easy to distinguish as blue. Here's Bill's: Bill eye.jpg If you ask Bill, he'll say that his eyes are brown. I don't agree and according to the Wikipedia page, they are hazel. Then there's Margaret's eyes of mystery: Mar eye.jpg Um, it seems that they are green? I guess. Maybe hazel. Knowing what color one's eyes are is a pretty basic thing. You have to list it on applications for a driver's licence and passport. But I think the three basic categories we've been forced into is woefully inadequate. I mean just look through the pages of an L.L. Bean catalog and tell me there aren't numerous different types of greens and browns and blues. As I told my husband last night as he was trying to fall asleep, since there is no definitive eye color chart that I can find, I'm just going to have to make one myself.