Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Genetic Legacy

So this morning I was watching Eva eat breakfast, giant Cars bandage affixed to her chin, and was thinking I could make my entire blog all about what a mess she seems to be. She always has something on her shirt, bruises all over her legs, two scars from accidents and at least two new sores on her face from where her hand rubs while she sucks her thumb at night. She has big scabs on her hands where she burned herself on the lightbulb from her lamp, as well as an inexplicable one on her chin that showed up on Saturday. She won’t leave any of these scabs alone, so they are taking a long time to heal. Finally, her hair is falling out in big patches from where she twirls it around her finger and gets it tangled. A good portion of the hair she does have left is broken off near her part line where she's tugged on her bows or pigtails.

As I considered this I also had this morning's Developmental Psychology lecture prepping in the back of my head. Today we talked about genetics, and about psychological phenomena we know have some genetic component (and how we study that, etc.). I was thinking about the heritability of personality, and how research suggests that one personality characteristic that seems to be very tied to genetics is neuroticism.

I then started thinking about the ways I am kind of a mess myself; all the little foibles and mini-crises I have created recently:
-While cleaning out the sorority's storage unit a couple weeks ago I managed to puncture a vein in my hand with a wire, causing a surprising amount of bleeding and swelling, and necessitating a tenanus shot.
-While using black spray paint for a project, I managed to color the undersides of my fingernails and all my cuticles black, resulting in a nice auto-mechanic look. I also accidentally spray-painted my wedding ring.
-While doing dishes the night before last my large dangly earring fell out and landed right in the garbage disposal.
-I realized at the end of one day last week that I had eyeliner on only one eye.
-I sent an email instructing a group of people how to look up something online, but directed them to the wrong internet address. I also gave someone directions to my house that didn't include my house number.
-I have had a number of Zumba wardrobe malfunctions, including wedgies, ill-fitting shorts whose pockets stick out every time I squat, and a pair of shorts I wore to class backwards (but luckily noticed before anyone else did). Let's not even discuss that one move I can do for the first 8 counts but then get totally off/lost on for the remaining 24 counts or so.
-Yesterday my boss sent out an email asking us to reply with what classes we'd like to teach next semester and when. I must have hit something on our laptop's mouse with my wrist, and accidentally sent "I'd like to continue teaching psych" before I was able to finish the sentence. I got this annoyed message back saying, "Which psych? How many sections? Day and time?"
-I cannot leave a voicemail message that doesn't include several awkward pauses and numerous "um... yeah"s.

Really, the list goes on and on. Feel free to comment if I've done something weird in your presence and haven't noticed yet.

When I think about it this way, it's no wonder my child cannot remain injury-free long enough for her last wound to heal. If my genetic material is what she stands to inherit, we can probably assume she's doomed to a life free of social graces. Or maybe we both need a little more sleep (or a padded house, or whatever). Either way, maybe I'll go a little easier on poor little Eva.


  1. Totally cracking up at the eyeliner on only one eye. I cannot think of any examples of things like this you've done in my presence. In fact, I always think of you as one of the most together people I know! So, you've got me fooled, baby!!

  2. That was a super funny list. And makes me feel so much better about the stupid things I do. Hilarious.

  3. Erika: You are your Mother's Daughter! I have had some pretty off the wall things happen to me as well. Remember my flu shot debacle? Maybe there is some truth to the rumor that we have a gypsy curse placed on the female generations of our family. So, if anyone out there knows any gypsies with who we can make amends and have the curse removed please let us know. Unitl then...Think Garlic and maybe rattle a chicken bone while you are at it.