For instance, my mom (not allowed to say her age or she’ll never talk to me again – let’s just say the first number starts with a ‘9’), wears the cutest jeans. I hope I have her genes, but so far I haven’t found one genome we share. She’s tiny and cute and flirty. I’m tall and not-as-cute and serious. See?
But back to jeans. My mom wears the latest fashion in jeans and pulls it off. She brags that she buys them at the Gap.
Gap Kids. (I hate her briefly when she mentions that.)
My 20-something cool, cosmopolitan niece (my mom’s second granddaughter), sneaks into her Nanny’s closet to “borrow” clothes.
No one tries to borrow anything from my closet.
I blame my genes.
The women in my dad’s family are all tall and solid and smart. Okay, I added the smart based on subjective observation.
My aunt (Dad’s sister) was a single mom who worked in the city – (the big city, NYC) – in the man’s world of advertising back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. She succeeded. She was statuesque the way women were allowed to be back then, and too smart for three husbands. As I child, I was fascinated by her large husky laugh and her love of poetry. She sent me some of her poetic masterpieces – the best one included a photo of me as an 11-year-old (gawky and tall and miserable) and of the current popular model Ursula Andress. The gist of the poem was that when I grew up into my body, I’d look like Ursula.
I saved that poem in my top dresser drawer and read it almost every day for two years.
So, yes, I have my dad’s genes. He never shopped at the Gap; he was a tall man (6 foot, 2 inches); and wrote a love poem for my mom every Valentine’s Day.
My dad loved tennis, and back in the day of short tennis attire, he rocked the short shorts. He had good legs, and sometimes I wondered if that’s why he loved to play tennis so much.
He couldn’t take credit for those legs though. My grandmother kindly gave them to him.
Back in her day, ladies never wore jeans. But her genes gave her gorgeous gams. (In the ‘40s, women had gams, not legs.)
I remember visiting my Marmu when I was in college, dragging my boyfriend with me. My grandmother was getting forgetful by then, and my parents wondered how much longer she could live on her own. She served us peanuts and soda and sat on her couch, legs crossed primly, smoking a cigarette like a Hollywood actress.
When we left an hour later, my boyfriend’s remark was, “Your grandmother is sweet, and she has good legs!”
Yes! I thought to myself. And I have her genes!