Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Strange Condition

There’s something weird about me that few people know.

I associate every number with a color. I don’t know how or when I came up with this system of numbers = colors, but it’s been in my head for as long as I can remember.

For example:
1 = white or black
2 = blue
3 = pink
4 = red or orange
5 = brown
6 = pink or black
7 = orange, red, or yellow
8 = green
9 = pink or black
10 = black or white

I know, it’s weird. And even weirder, several years ago, I began picking out my clothes to wear based on what the date was. For example, if it was the 2nd, I wore blue. If it was the 13th, I’d wear pink. I’ve since outgrown that behavior. Probably a good thing.

I also associate letters with colors. For example, did you know that the letter C is yellow? It is in my world.

Recently, I discovered that there is an actual name for this "condition." It’s called synesthesia. Wikipedia defines synesthesia as:

A neurologically-based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

I was fascinated! There was a name for my weird thought process!

And apparently I’m not the weirdest one. I only associate colors with numbers and letters—I don’t actually physically see the colors—but apparently some people do! I was fascinated with this quote from a fellow synesthesiest (I wonder if that’s a word?):

"'Until one day,' I said to my father, 'I realized that to make an R all I had to do was first write a P and draw a line down from its loop. And I was so surprised that I could turn a yellow letter into an orange letter just by adding a line'."

Wow! People’s brains are fascinating, aren’t they?

I also discovered that there are those that experience colors in response to certain sounds…and then, the absolutely strangest ones to me, those who experience particular tastes in their mouths, when hearing or reading certain sounds! Can you imagine what that must be like?

But me? I’m just a regular ole’ number-letter-color associator.

And guess what? I’ve recently discovered that both Iwanski and Buck (see my blog links above, at right) experience a similar phenomenon! Iwanski associates a gender with each letter and number (yes, folks—the letter K is a female!), and Buck, like me, associates colors with numbers and letters.

I guess great minds think alike, huh?

Or maybe we’re just a bunch of mental patients.


sfoofie said...

ummm. just lovable freaks. we won't committ any of you. yet...

Lorraine said...

That. Is. Fascinating.

Iwanski said...

Perhaps we can get a group discount at the state nervous hospital.


Miss Healthypants said...

Wow, if I were to guess, I would say that c is female. Might have something to do with my name starting with a c. Anyway...

Ain't it just some interesting crap, Rainey? :)

murry said...

wow, an actual "condition"...I thought it just had to do with those preschool coloring pages where you had to color in the numbered shapes using the key code where 1=white, 2=blue, etc. From there it's in your brain forever. (Read Everything I learned, I learned in Kindergarten.) Now, is there a "condition" associated with grouping M&M's in color groups before you eat them...making sure that the groups are equal at (almost) all times? 'cause that's me!

Buck said...

Oh my God, three is SO not pink! It's yellow, silly. Three being pink? . . . You are the devil.

Sheki said...

OK... I'm freaked out. Not because my seester sees numbers as colors... but because my other sister is obsessed with eating M&M's in patterns. I do that. Holy Crap. I do that.

Daisy's Mom said...

I see subjects as colors. When I was in grade school, green was science, yellow was history, blue was math, orange was english, red was religion, and purple was art. I still think that they should organize the library this way. It would be so easy. You need a book about Hiroshima? That's over in the yellow section.

I also have a thing for prime numbers. I feel much more comfortable if things around me are grouped in primes. The problem comes with the volume control on the TV. 11 is too low, 13 is the only bad prime, and 17 is too loud.

I'm glad to have a weirdo married into our weird family.

Miss Healthypants said...

Murry, Buck, Sheki, and Daisy's Mom---you all make me laugh! :)

Here's what I've learned from your comments:

1. I have a couple of sisters who are just a wee bit crazy!--not to mention OCD! *hee hee*

2. Buck is hilarious. (Duh, like I didn't know that already! :) )

3. I also have a sister-in-law who is a wee bit crazy--not to mention OCD, too! (Duh, like I didn't also know that already! *hee hee*

Love you all!!