This originally appeared as a note on my Facebook page but I decided to re-post it on my blog because it really does capture a lot of my experiences as a person with albinism. I’m also posting this because some pigmentos in my life don’t get the whole “low vision” thing. 😉 When I say, “I can’t see” I am not lying to you. TRUST ME. Enjoy!
I LOVE the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” because it’s incredibly witty and well…awkward! I am inspired to offer my own awkward moments being a Black woman with albinism. It can be both frustrating and comical at times. It’s all in your mindset—you can choose to take everything seriously or you can embrace it while finding the humor in it. In the meantime, enjoy the top 10 awkward moments of being a black woman with albinism from my point of view. They are scenarios that I find myself in quite often.
I hope my friends in the albinism community can relate. For the pigmentos, I hope you can be enlightened about my experience.
10. That awkward moment when I walk into something and try to play it off like I really didn’t just do that. It happens sometimes. *Kanye shrug*
9. That awkward moment when I’m standing at the corner and a car is trying to turn and I can’t see the person gesturing with their hands for me to walk across the street. So I just stand there for several moments wondering when to cross. Now we’re engaged in an awkward dance where I’ll move and then he/she will move and so on until he/she will either make the turn or I literally step out on faith to cross the street.
8. That awkward moment when I see somebody and they ask me why I’m “acting funny” because I didn’t wave back at them. Real talk: I can’t see when you wave at me.
7. That awkward moment when I am being mistaken for another person with albinism. NOTE: We don’t all look alike. I am not your cousin’s sister baby’s mother.
6. That awkward moment of hearing a car honk and then walking toward the car and almost getting in and then realizing that I don’t know that person. Let me explain. When I was younger, my mother conditioned me to listen for her horn as a signal to let me know she was there (because I couldn’t see). I’ve carried that into my adult life and now I ask people to honk their horn when they pick me up. It gets tricky when I hear horns and think it’s my signal to go the car.
5. That awkward moment when I hold up something close to read it and people ask me why I am holding it so close. They assume just because I wear glasses that my vision is 20/20. If they only had a clue about how low vision works.
4. That awkward moment when somebody asks if I are you biracial. No, unless you count being BLACK and BLACK as biracial. Besides, we’re all “mixed” with something or the other but I consider myself to be Black/African American.
3. That awkward moment when some random dude tells me that his friend’s girlfriend is an albino. *blank stare* OK, and…what is the point of you telling me that dude? Do you think you and your friend are going to have “matching girlfriends”? Have a seat sir!
2. That awkward moment when I’m talking to somebody and they ask “are you looking at me” or better yet when you say something and a person looks back because they think I not talking to them. Yes, my eyes dance around and no I can’t control it. Now that we got that out of the way—if my comments are directed toward you then I’m talking to you. I’m just saying.
1. That awkward moment when somebody asks me to look at something and I can’t see it but I act like I can just to make it less awkward. I do it ALL the time. The lesson here is to not ask a person with albinism if we see something because unless we’re very close to it—then we’re not able to see it.