Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Beyond the Pale

           Maybe it’s because I’m adopted, but I find genetics fascinating. Someone with brown eyes could have kids with any eye color.  Brown is dominant, and it can conceal lots of fun surprises.

          I, on the other hand, have all recessive traits. This means I can only contribute pale, pasty skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair to my children. My tallness is also recessive (though many genes account for our height).

          When you get two light-skinned, light-haired, light-eyed people together, you get kids like that as well. A blond person can’t hide genes for dark hair or dark skin.

          And this is why our third son, the palest of the bunch, came home from school one day with news that his teacher thinks he’s unwell. “You look so pale,” she said. “Do you feel all right?” It wasn’t the first time someone had commented on his light complexion. 

I sighed. “Just tell her you’re Scandinavian,” I said. “And there’s every chance you’ll show up Scandinavian again tomorrow.”  Here he is, all grown up:

We Casper-the-Ghosts often sneeze when going outdoors into bright sunlight (photophobia) and blue-eyed baseball players blame it for different batting averages at night versus in daytime. We’re also more prone to sunburns and skin cancer, which St. Bob and I have both had.

One Halloween I thought I’d be really funny and go as a tan. I slathered on dark makeup and went to a party. All night the only comment I got was, “Wow, you look really healthy!”  

          Ah yes, we all love that moment when your Halloween costume looks better than the real you.

Luckily writers have indoor work. Yes, you may buy all of my books right here.

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