Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Eye By Any Other Color

I just read another story about another hero who has gun metal gray eyes. Got me to thinking.

Science will tell you that there are only four eye colors available. Brown, hazel, green, and blue. That's it.

But romance authors say, "Pah! I spit on your unimaginitive science!"

I tried to remember all the different eye colors I've read about. There are variants of brown:

Whiskey: well, it's sort of brown.
Amber: not quite brown.
Sherry: besides the liquor fascination with brown eyes, umm...sherry's like red, right? Sign of demonic possession there.
Very Light Brown, but always described as cat-like and predatory: okay. Yellow feral cat eyes do nothing but creep me out. And if I read about the lemon end of the spectrum, all I can think of is A Christmas Story (yellow eyes, I swear to God, he had yellow eyes!) and then I'm totally out of the book.

Hazel isn't done often, but you hear about it for pages when it is.

Gold: here's where it breaks down. Metallics should never be used for eye colors unless it's a paranormal or sci-fi. Jayne Ann Krentz had a character from Gift of Gold that had eyes that were "not new, shiny, jeweler's gold, but the ancient gold of history, of Florentine coins." That takes more imagination than I currently possess.

Green eyes?

Emerald: Jewels are always welcome. But make sure you follow the handbook and have them shoot sparks and be lit with hot emerald fire. Whatever the heck that is.
Sea green: thousands of bridesmaids can't be wrong.

And finally, blue.

Light blue: careful, these eyes will practically colorless and clear by the end of the book.
Dark blue: storm ahead! Dark blue eyes are always stormy!
Violet: Get over it, people. Liz Taylor's eyes are plain old blue.
Light gray: You can bet the farm, at some point these will turn to silver. I happen to find that mondo creepy.
Gunmetal gray: I get the feeling these are supposed to scare the bejeebers out of the heroine. Notice, gun metal eyes are never used on girls. It's for those big tough guys whose eye color has to remind one of guns, which everyone knows is symbolic of...never mind.

12 Comments:

Blogger quirkychild said...

*wipes tears*

Oh how I love to read this blog...the ancient gold of history indeed...And if I saw someone with a hot emerald fire in their eyes...I would run the other way, fast.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

Will I get a black eye, if I mention black eyes?

2:41 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

lol my sister has grey eyes. And my dad hazel. Me, I've got dark blue ones that turn emerald green under artificial light. :-)

4:30 AM  
Blogger Jolene*Marie said...

My eyes change colors...haha guess I shouldnt bring that up. haha. Yea, I seriously have trouble with some eye colors. It's like.."Their wearing contacts right?" haha probably are. They need to start using those contacts that make it look like your hypnotized and stuff. You know, cuz "She had stars in her eyes...literally." will add a lot to romance. :)

Jo

5:43 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

My fave description of brown eyes are "his melted chocolate eyes met hers, and in them, she could read his thoughts."

Um, melted and eyes should not be in the same sentence. Brings to mind Halloweeny type ghouls.

"You cannot escape from me and my melted eyyyyyeeeeeesssss! Bwahahahahahahaha!"

and welcome to our blog, Nicole with your family of unusual eyes. :)

8:29 AM  
Anonymous nessili said...

Hey! I represent um... resent those remarks! Yup, I'm guilty as charged. My hero has those pale blue-grey eyes that look like fog and change to quicksilver, and the heroine has eyes like sapphires (I won't go into her cousin's fox-like amber eyes and her sister's snapping turquoise...)

But the thing is, I do actually know people with eyes like that.
My daughter has those changeable greyish-bluish-greenish eyes. And yes, when she wears the right colors, they do look lavender.
My common, ordinary hazel eyes change from brown to green to greeny-brown with my moods.
I had a friend who did, literally, have amber eyes (funkiest looking eyes, too).
Perhaps the oddest one was a high school buddy who had--I kid you not--eyes the exact color of Coca-Cola. We actually held a glass of Coke up to his face and compared them, and by George, they matched. We just chalked it up to the amount of Coke he imbibed (he liked a little blood in his caffeine stream)

I know I shouldn't take this little rant seriously, and I don't. Really. Honestly. I just sound that uptight. But if we avoid these over-the-top cliches, how else are we supposed to describe eyes? Reading plain ol' brown, blue, hazel, and green can get real boring after awhile.

Besides, romances are fantasy (anyone who tells me romances are realistic has been sniffing too much printer toner) and therefore free from all such pedestrian things as accurate eye colors, yes?

10:43 AM  
Blogger Missie said...

Nessili,
I agree with you about the fantasy aspect. Who would buy a romance book that reads, "Her dark brown eyes reminded him of the time he changed his neice's diaper after she had too much apple juice"?

But I do think some authors go too far with the whole eye color thing, not to mention the hair thing..If I hear one more redhead likened to Titian, UGH! :)

Actually, my mom used to say the reason that my two brothers' and my eyes were so brown was that we were so full of poop that it backed all the way up our system and into our eyes. My mom...the wordsmith.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Camy Tang said...

Hey, don't forget those lavendar or amethyst eyes. Yeeeeeaaaaah, right. Or how about molten. I'll never read melting or molten again without thinking about Missie's comment.

Camy

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Kaitlin said...

I was reading this just LOLing because I'm slightly guilty of this. However, my family is the family of odd eye colors. :)

My mom has gorgeous hazel eyes that run the spectrum from light brown to turquoise. It's the oddest thing. It all depends on what she's wearing. My eyes are a deep chocolate brown. I used to hate them because of that old adage about eye color (blue eyes because of the sky, brown referenced with dirt...don't remember the whole thing).

One of my ex-boyfriends had amber eyes. They'd change to this gorgeous shade of golden amber whenever he was feeling...um...amorous? I can say that, right? :)

Eye colors rock! I loved this post...thanks for the laugh and the thought-provoking it did...for me anyway. :)

2:32 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I hear you. Descriptions of eye color can get a bit over the top at times, but I will never ever give up my love of the purply end of the spectrum (some characters *do* have unusual eye colors; I chalk it up to the different genetics of the romance world.)

4:25 AM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

You mean, the same genes that give them perfect teeth, flowing hair (it never seems to stay still, always flowing , tumbling, curling), and all that.

Heck I don't even know why I'm arguing over a paltry flashing eye or two. With those weird genes it amazing they're not green with anntenae!

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Thanks for the laugh! What an awesome post.

One thing to add about the light blue eyes - they usually turn to ice at some point. I think they might also pierce someone's soul.

8:31 AM  

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