I was with my step mom the other day, we were on our way to IKEA and she was chatting up a storm. The latest issue she has been dealing with is her side of the family never sending her pictures of people on her side of the family.
Her family lives on the other side of The Rockies so she doesn’t get to see them very much. Since she left that province, her niece and nephew have both had children of their own, and she has yet to lay eyes on them.
She kept pestering her sisters for pictures of their grandchildren, but she never received them. This has caused Bev much annoyance, to the point where nearly every time I see her, she complains about still not having the pictures. Until now. So, I should stop hearing about it, right? Wrong.
Apparently, her niece was a beautiful child with dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin. When Bev got wind that her niece was with child and had said child, Bev automatically started picturing her niece’s child to look pretty much the same. I think that’s natural; I think we all do it. But when she got the pictures, she was shocked to discover that the small child was not beautiful.
I listened to her go on and on about how beautiful her niece was and how she can’t believe her grand-niece looks “like that”. I listened to her go on and on about how she has no idea how the child ended up “that way”, that she has no idea where “it” came from. I listened to her go on and on about how Madeline, the daughter of a friend, is so much cuter than Alison, her great-niece. I listened to her go on and on about how even my dad agrees that Madeline is cuter. I listened to her go on and on about how it’s okay for her to say Alison isn’t cute, because it’s her side of the family, so she can say what she wants. Even though more than one person has said “Bev, that’s not very nice…”.
So, what’s wrong with the child?
No, she does not have a physical deformity, like a second head or a third eye. She does not have an unfortunate birth mark covering her face. She does not have a cone head. She does not have buck teeth, or a giant nose. She doesn’t have freakishly large ears, or unruly hair. She doesn’t have a lazy eye. She doesn’t have anything that would take away from her cuteness or cause the general public to look at her and think “Oh, that poor thing”.
So, what’s wrong with the child?
She’s blonde. And fair.
Son of a bitch.
I mean, Bev has seen me. I’m not really sure what she’s thinking going on and on about that to me. I’m fairly convinced that I am nearly 90% likely to yield an offspring that she’ll view as “Not as cute as Madeline”. Madeline being of dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin, of course. I’d have to mate with someone that has some seriously dominant genes, that has not a shred of blonde or fair in his entire genealogy, just to be sure that our offspring is not of the blonde and fair variety.
Now, I’m not good at biology/DNA/genetics, but doesn’t that still leave, like, a 25% chance of the child looking like me? The poor thing.
I know this, yet, there’s Bev rambling on and on about this unfortunate looking child, all the while I’m biting my tongue in order not to scream out “What do you think my child will look like, Bev? Huh? You better not say Madeline is cuter, dammit”.
Rather than making a scene about the cuteness of a child that may or may not exist, or Bev being uncomfortable for the rest of our relationship, I kept quiet. It was hard, because she went on and on. From Surrey to Coquitlam. But that’s okay, because I will know Bev’s true opinion on the issue even if my dad manages to get her to keep her mouth shut around me and my blonde/fair child (hypothetically, of course).
How? Easy. When I show Bev something that she doesn’t like, she says the same thing every time. Therefore, I know how she’ll react when I show her my hideous child.
“Oh… well, that’s different”.
That’s the point where the expletives will fire.