Why Procreation is Roulette: Loving Your Family Does not Require Understanding (or Emulating) Them

Genetics is fascinating. Darling, I am currently stuck in a house this is a 15 minute drive from the nearest store. I don’t have a car and the house is stocked with fruit and yoghurt. The house belongs to a person who SAID we were going out for breakfast at 9am. It is now 9:35 and said person is in the early stages of getting ready because said person went running. As in exercise. As in exercise early in the morning. I do not exercise and I am so in need of coffee and substance, I could perish; but I do not perish as I have a special stash of cocoa and cinnamon dusted almonds to sustain me because… I have dealt with these people before because…I am related to them.

How can this be true: that I am related to these people who love to exercise and look at trees? How could I be related to people who love to strip wallpaper, paint ceilings, sand floors and tell truthful, life-affirming stories. How can I sit next to a bookshelf, floor to ceiling filled with books, and see nothing I want to read? No Bemelmans! No George MacDonald Frasers! The mysteries of DNA are deep and unfathomable.

Where did my alcohol gene come from? Everyone else in my family is happy enough with a beer or glass of wine infrequently and are only very slowly coming around, after decades, to the delights of cocktails but I adore, simply adore, cocktail menus and rank ‘cocktail menu’ right up there with my other favorite words: ‘tailor-made tuxedo,’ ‘room service,’ ‘turn down service,’ ‘valet service,’ ‘perfume store,’ and ‘day spa.’

No one in my family has affection for such words. They like words such as ‘do-it-yourself’ and ‘strenuous outdoor activity.’ They like signs that say ‘trail-head’ and ‘pick your own strawberries.’ They own workboots and weedwackers. They love the smell of bug spray in the morning.

Really. Honestly. My blood relatives would rather spread mulch and go running than drink Mai Tais and look at Alma-Tademas or watch Casablanca for the 15th time.

And how does one cope with such outlandish behavior? Patience. And love. You don’t have to understand a person to love them and shared history can smooth over many bumps. (They like to get up at 6am. 6am! Not stay up until 6am, but go to bed at 9pm and get up at 6am!)

So cherish as much as you can and keep a hip flask with French 75s at the ready.

Watching and waiting, by Lawrence Alma Tadema
Watching and Waiting, Alma-Tadema