This weekend, I purchased a retractible leash for our puppy, Duffy. There are places on walks where I want him to be able to roam more freely.
I was perplexed that the pet store had several different rows of the model I wanted, even though they all were labeled as medium. I read and reread the boxes, just to make sure that there were no subtle differences between them. Nope, they all said the same thing, so I picked one…
Yesterday, my wife and I walked Duffy together. I was kinda excited to show her how the new leash worked. She showed interest, but seemed somewhat less thrilled by it than I. Well… I like gadgets, and this was a sort of a gadget, so I assumed this was the reason for her lackluster response. One more thing to figure out.
Awhile into the walk, she casually said, clearly trying to inform without hurting my feelings, “Do you know that the leash is pink?”
You see… I’m almost totally colorblind.
I don’t consider retractable leashes to be fashion statements, so it had never occurred to me that the color of the handle might be a primary buying decision criterion. And I certainly hadn’t thought that this highly visible bit of plastic might be used as a convenient means for dog owners to avoid awkward “he or she” questions. Most transparent packaging does not label the color of what is inside… because… well… it’s obvious.
My choice now ensures that, unless I want to waste money on a replacement, Duffy will be consistently referred to as “she”. Obviously, he doesn’t care, but I will cringe each time I hear him referred to as “her”.
Of course, I could correct people, but then I wouldn’t be able to ignore their glance at my hand, or stifle imagining them thinking, “then why the heck did you buy a pink leash?”
Just another repetitive reminder of my invisible flaw. Not a big thing… just a whole bunch of small pokes.