Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis


You know those people who attend bargain sales seriously? The ones who line up at the doors, their faces pressed against the glass, elbows in the “gouge” position, ready to be wedged into someone’s ribcage the moment the doors open?

They storm the racks of gowns, the tables of carefully folded cashmere. Their manicured fingertips clutch items that aren’t able to be identified until they hold it up in front of their face, twisting it, flipping it, appraising it in less than 5 seconds before tossing it back onto the pile or into their basket, as appropriate.

I often feel that the way in which I inherited my parents’ personality traits was roughly the same way in which I would tackle a Bargain Sale: getting stressed out by all the options, and crying in a corner until everyone else had left. 

I assume that’s how it went down, as I have mostly inherited the worst of both my parents’ personalities – the things any discerning shopper would have left on the shelf.

I have dad’s vagueness, his inability to tell a story because apparently, you need to know exactly what the weather was doing even when it has nothing to do with the story, and because I spend so much time trying to get the weather details correct, I forget which story I was telling, or the punch line of the joke.

I have dad’s nose. His incredibly fat, wide, manly nose.

But I have mum’s legs. I have her skin – The so-pale-that-you-can-see-the-hairs-that-aren’t-even-on-the-outside-yet kind of skin.

It also appears you can inherit two shit things in one area – I have mum’s skin and dad’s skin – mum’s colouring combined with dad’s acne. Good times for my face, you guys. Good times indeed.

I pretty much hate people. I know you may find that difficult to believe, because I’m such a bleeding heart, but not with face-to-face people. I don’t like them. I care about people as a concept, but not as real things that I have to deal with. If you aren’t already part of my friendship family, chances are, you never will be, because people are a lot of work and I don’t enjoy the pressure of them existing.

Got that from mum, as well as my non-enjoyment of outside-the-house activities.

I got my dad’s temper, and my inability to even notice when I am yelling or being a mean, rude jerk.

I wish I got my mum’s ability to dance. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I got those skills from dad, too. “Skills” is probably too strong a word for the haphazard way in which he shuffles his feet and taps his hand against his leg completely out of time. A lot like his mother – My grandmother.

Let’s not even go there… my cat obsession came from her, so did our family’s lack of height, and our strong desire for pie. She has a lot to answer for.

My tendency to host my own concert as soon as alcohol enters my bloodstream is also something I inherited. Mum and her sisters have been known to gatecrash karaoke parties and my sister has personally witnessed my mother try to glare a disabled teenager to death because it was their turn on the microphone and mum’s five songs in a row weren’t enough for her.

Thankfully, I also got some pretty good traits from my parents. My mum knows when to soften her voice to calm a room. She can make you feel calm and safe with the press of her palm against your face, or the way her arms feel like the warmest, softest blanket when she hugs you. I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but.. you know… *toot*.

Dad is cheeky and always fighting for the underdog. He uses humour to diffuse the stressful situations we find ourselves in when our entire family is thrown together in one small space – I can’t take the credit for inheriting this trait. My brother got the lion’s share of the smartarse genes, but I got the second biggest share. My sister’s a bit funny, but not as good as me… she umm, she’s got a strong little punch on her though so I should probably mention she also got the biggest boobs? Yeah? No. Shouldn’t have said that? Ok. She doesn’t.

*whispering behind hand* She does.

However I came to inherit these personality traits, there are without a doubt, some that I loathe, some that make me curse my parents and the fact that there’s nothing I can do to change the way it is.

Then there are those traits that I’m thankful I can’t change, because when I look in the mirror, I will always be able to see my mum’s giant heart shining out through my eyes, dad’s cheeky grin in the way my mouth lifts at the corner when I smile, and the incredible life that they’ve given me, just by being who they are.

They’re pretty cool dudes, my parents… because I am basically amazing, and that’s pretty impressive for their first ever baking attempt.

11 thoughts on “Hand-me-downs

  1. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  2. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis | 3rdculturechildren

  3. Loved reading this, and loved your humor 🙂 It’s the first long post I got through with no trouble in a long time.I don’t even have the patience to re-read my own posts!

  4. Pingback: For the Love of Literature | Ramisa the Authoress

  5. This is such an honest post. Although you claim to have an inability to tell a story, I must disagree: from merely a blog-post, I have a detailed picture of your family and a representation of you, and it’s a wonderful light.

    I love how much we have in common, and how I understand exactly what you mean: taking care of people is a huge responsibility, and unfortunately, not always an enjoyable one. Although I can see why you wouldn’t want some of those negative traits, I do think the positive ones are just as influential.

    Wonderful post. It was informative, humble, and extremely humourous (I was laughing throughout the whole thing. Dad’s just staring at me now. Oops.)

    • I can tell a story in writing – it’s when you have me face-to-face that you sit there going “will you just get to the point?!” haha.

      Your poor dad, he must think you have gone crazy, hahaha!

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  6. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – DNA Analysis | Joe's Musings

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