Such a classy little jingle, isn’t it? Of course it’s only appropriate for me to substitute genes for beans. It’s also appropriate for me to have a song about beans stuck in my head. Shocking.
In an odd twist, I’m not really a fan of beans. I think it’s the texture. Kind of earthy. Almost mud-like. One might wonder how the human palate might be so unfortunate as to have such a precise understanding of how beans and mud are so closely related in the texture department. Grab a seat…
It was the summer of 1990. I was 5 and my older sister, Holly, was 8. We were the kids that grew up in the typical small Texas town – where fun activities included playing in houses that were being built (sometimes sans-shoes), making forts or social clubs out of cardboard boxes (always a crap shoot when the older sibling is the club founder) and chasing Emu’s that lived a few streets down (don’t ask). Since our lack of creativity was at an all time high that day we opted for a more simple approach.
“House”. The solid go-to when all other ideas went south. We set up shop in our neighbor’s driveway underneath the basketball goal and we mapped out our roles. And by we I mean Holly – who designated herself as the mom. The boss. The controller. She made it very clear that she was the highest level of authority for the day, which left me as the child – having absolutely no say-so in the creativity of my role. Knowing, even at 5 years old, that I’d be fighting a losing battle should I try and argue about my rank, I decided to take one for the team.
Let the games begin! In this particular episode, Holly decided that I was her sickly little child and sick children have to take their medicine. So with a stick from the flower bed and a makeshift bowl, she carefully scoops out a fresh dose of mud and proceeds to put it in my mouth. Beans. I rest my case.
I can’t say that at 27 years old I’m even remotely shocked, considering that was the same day I swallowed a penny. I remember running back home to tell my dad about the horrifying events that had taken place that day and his only comment was to eat a slice of cheese. Super.
Later that year I started Kindergarten. There was a girl in my class whose mother made her a homemade hair bow for every holiday. Seeing that green is an excellent color on me, my jealous streak took rare form the day she came in with a Halloween bow. This fabulous piece of edible fashion was made out of candy corn with a giant candy pumpkin smack dab in the middle. Not really understanding the shame game at 5 years old and desperately wanting to give in to my unwavering appetite, I decided to move forward with my initial gut feeling and eat the bow. You never truly understand how deep a child can sleep during nap time at school until you’re hungry enough. Or selfish enough. Yep. One by one those delicious little candy corns were popped off of her securely attached-to-the-head hair bow; satisfying my pesky hunger pangs while at the same time providing myself with a solid sense of completion, knowing that my own happiness was just achieved.
Needless to say, her world was destroyed when she woke up. I, of course, was totally in the clear given the fact that I had already removed myself from the firing zone by shuffling over to the opposite corner of the room and that the evidence was happily settled in my stomach (hot glue and all). I vaguely remember thanking the good Lord before bed that night for not making humans transparent.
A good friend of mine sent me a video called “10 Incredible Ways Genes Control Our Lives”. I can totally see myself in a couple of these! My 5 year old self, however, put the selfish gene to rest after the bow eating incident. All in all, this video somehow made me revert back to the old days and those stories came to mind. Let’s see how many of your quirks you can blame on genetics!