I started what seems like a promising story yesterday. It was stymied when I, Erin, a sovereign adult, chose to describe a character as having "dark blue eyes." I must have known when I was doing it it was a stupid thing to do. Stupid, thoughtless, downright irresponsible. If I could take it back, I would.
"Wait a minute," I asked myself, "are dark blue eyes even real?"
No character of mine will have a fake eye color, I'll tell you that.
Off to Google. This lead to an exploration on the subject of the exact definition of "hazel." I'd like to say my brown eyes lean toward amber, but they're probably closer to plain old hazel. Some twenty years ago, after concluding the word hazel was Insecure Person for brown, I began defiantly referring to my eyes as brown, and never looked back. But now....amber, or hazel? Hazel, or amber? How can a person write fiction with such an important question looming? I don't even know my own eye color!
What are all the eye colors? Did you know people with blue eyes have, on average, a higher alcohol tolerance? That explains why I can't hold my liquor! There's even a fake syndrome called Alexandria's Genesis that causes purple eyes.
I won't be calculating how much time I spent on eye color over the last 24 hours. Why can't I be a type-A? One of those, "How does she do it?" ladies? Instead of someone who needs hours and hours just to...squirrel!
Years ago, the line by someone else I related to the most came from Nico's These Days.
Please don't confront me with my failures
I have not forgotten them
Luckily, I was old enough not to go telling people I related to that. Because dignity.
Now, I think Jeanne Darst captures it better in Fiction Ruined My Family (which, by the way, I recommend highly).
I'm lazy. I'm forgetful. I go too far. I don't know when to stop. I need to grow up. I'm not a people person. Nor am I organized or highly organized, enthuiastic or responsible. I'm not a self-starter or a problem-solver. I don't have good phone or computer skills. I can't multitask or work well with others. And yet, I maintain, I am not an idiote.
Yes, it's true. Like Darst, despite all evidence to the contrary, I believe in my heart that I am not an idiote. How does she do it?