Monday, December 12, 2011
The Genetics of Peeking, Shaking & Poking
I`ve been pondering on genetics lately. And no, not any in-depth pondering like the kind those scientists do in their sterile labs. They probably call their pondering ‘Theorizing’ but it all means the same thing, which is, someone standing around with a fresh cup of java and a blank look on their face as they meander mentally. If you live with me that airy expression is a familiar one. I drift off all the time. During dinner my husband or daughter will snap their fingers in front of me and I`ll jerk back to the meal, a sheepish smile on my face and mutter something about plotlines or dialog.
My latest drift-off from reality occurred this morning and is directly related to Alvin and the Chipmunks and new proof that present peeking is inherited. Okay, sure, it`s a leap from DNA to singing rodents, but stick with me, I`ll get things sorted out soon. What began this sojourn was a link a friend of mine posted on Facebook. It was that classic (We don`t use old in this house. Classic sounds so much more elegant, don`t you think?) Chipmunk`s tune ‘The Christmas Song’. Does anyone know if Alvin ever got his hula-hoop?
Seeing and hearing that song took me back in a flash to my childhood. I went back in time to when I was perhaps eight. All I wanted was ‘The Chipmunks’ album. For those of you who, like my fifteen year-old daughter, do not know what an album is, it is a record. A record is a round bit of hard vinyl that when the needle of a record player was placed upon it, music issued forth through some terrible speakers. Yes, the sound quality was abysmal and the records got scratched terribly and leaped about or stuck, but neither we kids nor the brontosaurus that grazed outside the windows of our cave seemed to mind.
So, there I was, the morning of Christmas. I was the only one awake and what to my wandering eyes did appear, but a package under the tree that resembled an album! I have to assume it was probably around three in the morning, or some hour equally as ghastly to adults. I crept closer, lifted the record-shaped package and peeled the paper from it as carefully as I could. There, smiling back at me were Alvin, Simon and Theodore. I was beyond delighted!
Then, I stuck the tape back down, stashed it back among the other gifts and high-tailed it back upstairs. As I waited for my mother to wake up, something weird started to happen. The high of knowing what I had gotten began to diminish. I had become a Peeker even though the name tag had stated strongly not to. I can`t recall what else I got that year, or if my mother knew I had peeked although I`m sure she did. We mom`s know all. I had learned a lesson that dark Christmas morn. I would never again allow my genetic disposition to ruin a surprise! We won`t dally discussing any other part of my disposition, but rest assured it`s always sunny.
A few years have passed since I learned my lesson about peeking, poking and prodding. I now do not want to know what I`m getting before I open the gift. I also do not want to know the ending of a movie or book ahead of time, so please friends, don`t tell me! My husband also suffers from this malady. According to my mother-in-law, he has always been this way. His skills are so advanced and honed over time that he can tell the material a garment is made out of without shaking or poking, or so he claims. Perhaps he is a mutant with an X-gene?? Since I haven`t seen any spandex stashed in our closet I have to assume not. Darn shame, that is. I could get into hanging out with Wolverine.
Now it seems my daughter has inherited this most dreaded of holiday genes. I cannot prove that she is wound up in clandestine holiday nosing around but I have some scientifically based suspicions. Last night I moseyed into her room, to play a bit of X-Box, and there on her desk was a big chocolate bar that we had bought for one of her friends. My right eyebrow rose. She had asked about it earlier in the day and at the time I was busy, so I told her I`d dig it out before bedtime, since it was in the bags that contained her and her father`s presents.
“I see you found that candy bar for Samantha,” I said with suspicion. She looked up from her Spanish worksheet and a halo popped up over her golden head. I was nearly blinded by her innocence.
“Oh yeah,” she commented nonchalantly, her eyes going from the candy bar to me then back to her Spanish homework.
“And what else did you find in the bag that was in?” I asked and folded my arms over my chest.
“Nothing,” she quickly replied. Perhaps TOO quickly I wondered? “I only looked for Sam`s gift.”
“Uh-huh,” I mumbled.
I sighed and sat down. Honestly, she was doomed from the start. Not only did she inherit poor eyesight, her grandmother`s toes, her mother`s love of pierogies and her father`s nose, it seems she also got the Peeker gene. I had been hoping it would skip a generation or at least be recessive. Oh well, it could be worse I suppose. She could have inherited my husband’s Must-Control-The-Remote gene. Or does that genome only get passed to male offspring?