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By Lena Blietz
Despite having a closet full of purple, and a degree from TCU, Drew Curd just saw his school colors for the first time.
He's red-green colorblind, meaning he has a difficult time differentiating between certain colors. For example, he says he's never been able to watch the Celtics play the Lakers, because it's too difficult to tell their jerseys apart.
"When I'm driving, I must look at the cars around me because I can't tell the difference between the red and yellow lights," Curd said.
But thanks to a clever girlfriend and (literally) life-changing technology, Curd can finally see the colors that once blurred together.
While spending Christmas in his hometown of Lawrenceville, Ga., Curd's girlfriend Natasha Raju took him out to his high school football field and handed him a pair of glasses. She had decorated the field with different colored balloons, and took him to the red Spartan logo in the middle of the field.
As soon as Curd put on the glasses, which corrected his colorblindness, he said he looked at the red logo on the green field, "and I freaked out because I could see the differentiation."
The glasses, made by Enchroma, cost between $269 and $429 and feature lenses that filter out certain wavelengths of light to help colorblind people see the colors their eyes cannot naturally detect.
The result was a "complete surprise" to Curd, who had heard of the glasses, but never tried them for fear of disappointment.
Raju said that he had never mentioned them to her and that she wanted to buy them last year, but felt it was inappropriate to buy such an expensive gift after just four months of dating.
Not only can he now see his Horned Frog purple, but also Raju's Texas A&M maroon.
"The past two days have been a whirlwind," Raju said, explaining that Curd has been wearing the glasses non-stop and is enjoying rewatching movies and driving around Austin to look at logos he's never seen before. "One example, he loves Dunkin' Donuts, and their logo is orange and pink; he always thought it was one color."
At the top of his list of things to do with his newfound love of color is to go see the Disney movie "Coco" again.
"When I saw 'Coco,' visually it looks beautiful, but I didn't get how vibrant everything is," Curd said.
But Curd won't just be seeing the colors of the world through Pixar.
In February, the couple is traveling to Lisbon for Raju's birthday.
"I would love for him to see how colorful the city is!" Raju said. As self-described "travel junkies," the two agree that traveling will be a "complete game-changer" for Curd.
Raju said he is still having trouble deciphering between various shades of orange, green and purple, so she's been guiding him through the colors.
"As silly as it sounds, my first plan is to buy a Crayola crayons set of 64 and go through the colors with him," Raju said. "He has had several revelations and feels like he's a kid again."
While Raju insists that Curd never complained about his impairment, she admits it has led to a few humorous moments in their relationship.
On their first date, she didn't really understand his condition, and clarified that she's Indian.
"Um, I don't know if you know this, but I'm brown," Raju said she told him.
Curd responded, "I'm colorblind, not blind."
Another time, she said she planned a date night that included a painting class, without realizing how it would affect Curd.
"We had to pick up the brush and he tapped me on the shoulders and asked me to tell him what colors were on the palette," she said.
Published on Star Telegram.