Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wearing Someone Else's Genes

My a-Great Aunt Eleanor turned 90 last weekend.  Her sister, my other aunt, threw a birthday party for her and I went with my mother.  The party was actually really nice, I've always loved Aunt Eleanor..she's a spunky lady.  Her husband died back in 1981 after a drunk driver plowed into their car...killing him and the husband of the couple they were with while my aunt and the wife survived.  They never had kids so she spread her love among her nieces, nephews and their kids (myself included).

At the end of the afternoon, my mother's cousin's wife..Jesse..was talking to amother and me. 

Jesse:  Aunt Eleanor is just amazing...still driving, volunteering...just so wonderful for her age!

Mother:  Yes..the lifespan in the family is remarkable..  ::chuckles::

Jesse:  Well, you two (looks at me and my amother) are so lucky to have those genes!

Mother:  You're right about that..  (uneasy look at me)

Me:  I'll bring the car around.

I mean...I know that Jesse might not know that I'm adopted but it really bugged the shit out of me.


  1. I love these awkward conversations. I mean, really? I have the same reaction as you, just get out of the situation as fast as possible. However, in another life I would tell the person, "Great for you, but I have a different set of genes so maybe not so great for me" or find some way to make a joke out of it. I'm not funny enough to pull that off though...

  2. Sorry :( I would be bugged by it too. Don't you just LOVE those moments? Just out of curiosity...did your amom say anything else about it when you brought the car around? I pretty much know your answer, but just thought I'd ask anyway. ;) On another note...Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. I am soooo thankful for you! Love you!

  3. I actually ended up bringing my aunt home too since she lives in the same building as my amother...but even if we had been alone, I know she wouldn't have said anything.

  4. Christina, I am wondering what you would have wanted to hear your amom say. And I am wondering if what you want said is different for as a child than for an adult? The reason I ask is that I often have people say that my children look like me. This is especially funny since my children are asian indian, and african american and I am a pasty white chick. :-) But they see a similarity--the way we smile or something that probably we do alike because we live together and pick up on those habits of each other. For the record, I have always said that I have built my family through adoption but have also said how wonderful I think so and so's smile is, or yes, my eldest and I do have the same body type etc.

  5. My sisters and I often got the "you look like each other" comments, and we also treated it like an inside joke. People also always think that I take after my father. My parents are also immigrants to the USA, so there are a lot of assumptions about my own background being theirs. It always made me feel kind of smug that I had info that they didn't - until I shared it, of course.

    That discomfort only occurred for me when I finally met my birth mother and went to family functions with her. Then it got awkward because only a few people knew we'd reunited.

    Congrats on reuniting, I hope you get to spend more time with your grandmother.


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