The past week when I was away from all of you lovelies, I was spending some quality time in Florida with my sister and an aunt and uncle. While the time reminded me again why I love my family as well as why I need to move further south, it also served as a scientific experiment into some of the most fundamental realms of human nature.
My uncle Herb is no blood relation to me. His marriage to my aunt was his second, and they have no children, so there is not even a tenuous connection of cousins with some of each family’s genes between us. Still, he has been an active part of my life since my infancy, and along with my aunt has been a considerable influence. In my case, the question of nature vs. nurture can be somewhat illuminated through him. How much has his character influenced me, despite our lack of genetic correspondence? How much has that impact been dulled or diminished due to his role as an uncle, rather than a non-biological parent?
Let’s take a look at language. Those of you who know me know that I tend to speak my mind – I am a very honest person. Very often, this takes the form of me blurting out unreasonable or even nonsensical phrases. My verbal filter is limited at best. For the corresponding counterexamples, I’ve taken a sampling of delightful Herb quotes from the past week, with a bit of annotation:
“Addy-do, play my shoe.” – While playing cards
“At that time, I could have been a young, reckless horse.” – In a discussion of Texas and the Alamo
“Shady armpits…don’t get sunburned.” – On the virtues of not shaving.
“I wouldn’t trust Stacey to be recycled.” – As a side note while collecting trash on the beach
Clearly, there’s some correspondence here. While you ponder, I’ll conclude with some word from my aunt, who I do share some direct genetic material with – “Well that’s a heck of a note!”