Family Curses & Gifts

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In addition to genetic traits like blonde hair and left-handedness, I’ve inherited a few things from my family. There are things that we all share to varying degrees. They seem to run in my family. I call them either curses or gifts. This post explains what they are and who’s afflicted.


Face/name memory

My whole family: Last week, I mentioned that my grandmother and I are both terrible at remembering names. Even before I got hit on the head, I was rubbish at matching names to faces. We do not make good witnesses.


My whole family: Bees love us, me in particular. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been walking along minding my own business, only to have a bee buzz around me.Β  In a crowd, they will seek us out specifically. Strangely, with all that bee activity, I’ve only been stung a few times in my life, and fortunately, none of us are allergic.

In the way

Me: My curse is people in the way. If we were in a football stadium-sized room and there were only five people, four of them would be dawdling directly in from of me, completely oblivious to the fact that, in the most populous city on the west coast of the United States, there might be anyone else around.

My sister: While mine applies predominantly to pedestrian traffic, my sister’s in-the-way-ness is confined mainly to wheels. I hate when she drives anywhere far away, because she will inevitably get stuck behind the person on the freeway going 45 mph and won’t be able to get around them. If we’re going somewhere farther than ten miles, I’ll drive.

Friendly strangers

My whole family: The other day in the post FAQ, I gave you some questions that I’m asked by strangers a lot. This seems to be a thing with my family. Random strangers want to talk to us. Even if I’m putting out my best do-not-talk-to-me vibe, people still talk to me. We are the type of people who strangers start up conversations with in line. There’s something about our faces or bearing that makes people want to tell us their deepest darkest secrets.

The other day, I had lunch with my sister and the lady at the table next to us interrupted our conversation with some random chitchat, not once, but twice.

My sister: She is afflicted with friendly strangers the worst of all of us. She’s had random strangers tell her about health problems, cheating husbands and other very personal things you wouldn’t normally tell complete strangers.


No lines

My whole family: We will go somewhere, anywhere, to find either a short or no line only to have people waiting behind us. This is the best of all possible gifts. It saves a ton of time. Even if we arrive to find a line, it’s always way longer after us. We can (and do) walk into a restaurant and get seated right away, and by the time we leave, there will be thirty people waiting for tables. This one primarily happens with restaurants, but it often happens in stores, too.

My mom: Her no lines gift also extends to parking. While other people are driving around aimlessly looking for parking, my mom will drive up and find an empty parking spot right by the door.

Excellent spacial relations

My whole family: We can eyeball anything and be off usually only by a few millimeters. We can tell when things are crooked without using a level. We don’t really need measuring cups to cook. We use measuring tapes to double check, not really to measure. We can pack a moving van with absolutely zero wasted space, like a perfect game of Tetris. I have parallel parked my car on the street with only a few inches on either side to spare. This is one handy skill to have.

No crowd can stop me

Me: I can work my way through a crowd like a knife through butter. This is my compensation gift for having people be constantly in my way. I can slide and shimmy and finagle my way though a crowd like there isn’t one. If we’re at a crowded event and need to get to the other side, my friends and family know to just hang on to me like a conga line and we’ll slice right through it.

All things considered, even our curses aren’t all that bad. Do you have any family curses and gifts? Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?