“This hot soup is making my nose run,” I complained to my daughter.
“It’s genetic, you know,” she replied.
“Not really for me. I think it skipped me and went straight to you.”
“Hmmmph,” she replied.
It has long been an understanding in our small family that we have several inherited and undesirable traits passed among us. A runny nose when we eat is just one of them. We also have “the Robinson arms” which are unflatteringly large, an unwelcome part in the back of our hair that refuses to be combed away for more than five minutes, and a “bad hip.” The hip has been either right or left and includes various ailments including weakness in walking, a “catch” when we sit too long, or aches and pains like arthritis. Sure, I have those traits, but never the nose… until now.
Years ago my grandmother used to have to blow her nose every time she ate a meal. It drove my mother and my aunt, my grandmother’s only children, nuts. They would go in the kitchen and ask each other, “Why does she always do that?” However, within a few years, my cousin and I (our mothers’ only children) noticed that our mothers were also starting to do the same. One or the other would have to get up from a family meal and blow her nose.
“That’s what you get for talking about Gaga blowing her nose at the table,” my cousin and I would say.
My mother and aunt would agree that they must have inherited this unwanted trait but at least, they would say, “We get up from the table to blow our noses!”
This continued for a few years and then once I noticed my cousin having the same problem. “I can’t believe it!” I said. “You have a runny nose, too?”
“We’re all cursed,” she replied. “You’re next.”
But fortunately this hasn’t afflicted me. And unfortunately my daughter seems to have taken it up after a skipped generation. This led to our conversation the other day, continued from above:
“So, this honestly never happens to me unless the food is really hot,” I went on to explain.
“Just wait,” my daughter said. “Once it starts there’s no going back.”
I really thought my hip and those Robinson arms were enough…