10 June 2008
Meet Me In Dreamland
Nature likes to play strange tricks on people. You can take two people with vastly different looks and talents and put them together. The offspring might be fortunate enough to take their pick from columns A & B and end up with a vastly superior C, or they could go shopping and end up with a disaster of all the worst possibilities. Fortunately for most of us, we get a few of the goodies, a few of the baddies, and end up somewhere near average.
My father was a much too hard drinking, legally blind math genius of slender, graceful build, and a teller of tales when not depressed. He possessed a prodigious memory for places and people and could dance up a storm. Now I'm not saying he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. I'm saying he couldn't even find a bucket to make the attempt.
Mother had the figure of a bottom heavy hour glass, despite severe nearsightedness read almost before she could walk, could make up a novel length story about a trip down the street, loved other countries and cultures but could get lost going around the block, and was more than a little manic depressive. Could she sing? Judy Garland would have sold her soul for my mother's voice. Side note: Talent without drive, ambition, direction and opportunity is just a nice thing to have and can lead to self destruction.
Being the only child of the black sheep of their respective families has its advantages. No matter what you do, people are surprised you turned out so well. If nature had been rediculously kind, I would have been a slender, brilliant expert in math and literature able to sing people into a coma of adoration when they weren't on their feet cheering and screaming for more after a dance number or blissfully charmed by my acting performances. This would financially have enabled me to tour the world exposed to all of the variety of well loved cultures.
This did not happen.
So what did I get out of the mix of genes: My mother's hips, my father's singing voice and an inability to see beyond my nose without help. Those are what I object to most. Now for the goodies: My mom's joie de vivre when she was on an upswing. You couldn't depress me with a sledge hammer. This has allowed me to deal with situations that would have most people curled into a fetal position. A darn good mind though not quite good enough for Mensa. A perfectly tuned ear and memory for melody lines. Please don't hit a flat around me; it hurts (Absolutely cannot watch American Idol). A deep appreciation and delight in people and cultures different from my own when lucky enough to bump into them. Not perfect, but not bad.
So here is the question. What qualities did your parents have that you wish you had been made heir and which ones did you get that you appreciate or wish hadn't been tossed into the hopper?
For your musical interlude today, you get one of my lullabyes by the woman who could sing almost as well as mama and whose birthday just happens to be today. Sing for the nice people Judy.