Monday, August 22, 2011

My father's child

My work involves genetics. I consider pieces of DNA that are passed from parent to offspring, and use that to characterize populations of the mosquitoes we study.  You might say I have a professional interest in heritable characteristics.

I've also been trying to get out more to meet new people, now that my job is secure for another year and... and what? I don't know, it seems easier to get out and mingle without having to say, "I'm unemployed, but I'm not here trying to make connections that might get me a job. Really." I now am mingling partly to see if I can make those kinds of connections, but also to simply not have to work so darn hard to have a group of people to hang out with. It does seem like work lately.

It's interesting and odd to me that, just like I've not been able to ever really say, "It's OK that I don't have a partner", I've not really been able to be content saying, "I'm OK staying at home instead of going out and being social."

And then, while waiting for the elevator at work last week, I had the thought, "This is my dad's doing." I thought of how, after my mom died, I could never picture him (not in a million years) growing old by himself. He simply would eventually find a partner, and he did, and they've been together for 15 years. In the same way, my dad has a reputation for being a really social guy. When her son got married, the son's friends would come up to my dad, to say hi and remark about the time they were all at some bar or club. He needs to take a little snooze in order to stay up til midnight now, but still likes to go to the American Legion on the weekends and dance to the live music and have a few Bud Lights.

So I wondered the extent to which this need to be social is genetic. Just about impossible to quantify as it's such a complex trait, or set of traits, but it was interesting to think that this drive I have to find Mr Right for Me, and to get out and do things might be inherited. Could just as well be learned, as these things go. Either way, something's making me keep trying.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.