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So, I don't like rodents.  I'm not unusual in this.  What gives me pause is if this trait, so to speak, has more to do with my genes than a general aversion to scurrying creatures.

I remember coming home from a family vacation one summer to find wild dogs had attacked our rabbit pens so all that remained was fur here and there.  Peanut, my favorite rabbit was gone, too, of course.  My father was furious.  What got to him even more was the family of rats that had taken over the pens.  He forbade me to go back into the garden where the pens were, but one day I peeked to see what I was being kept from and saw my father drowning a caged rat inside a tub of water.  I didn't watch the whole scene but I knew this was bad news.

I danced around the subject that night, asking my mother what was so bad about rats and after the usual "they carry diseases" speech, she finally said, "and your father absolutely hates rats."  Ah.  So, that was it.  It wasn't bad enough we had lost all the rabbits.  Now we had rats living where Peanut and his gang were before.

Fast forward 35 years and I'm staring down a brown mouse in my basement which Cat chases upstairs which I then inadvertently decapitate, and we encounter a sewer in a quaint Japanese inn.  My problem with rodents then stems from my father, or is this a common enough social dislike implying I can't blame or give credit to my father?  Which is it?  How much of who and what we are, what we like and dislike is from our ancestry?

Perhaps this is something my family experiences more than others.  Perhaps not.  It's commonly known between my aunts and cousins we carry a trait known to have been a big part of my great-great-grandmother's personality.  She would go through what we affectionately refer to as "phases."  She would eat nothing other than pudding, oatmeal, corn or green for long stretches at a time, followed by more "phases" of eating well-balanced meals covering all food groups.  We share this trait.  Many of us will go through similar "phases" where are drawn to particular foods and eat those non-stop.  My "phases" have included pomegranates, persimmons, chicken quesadillas and spinach salads.  Nothing else appeals to me at that moment so Gavin and Godfry are "forced" into eating what I make for lunch or dinner and until they cry foul they are often stuck.

Is this food "phase" something passed onto us, my aunts and cousins, by our great-great-grandmother?  Is it nature or nurture?  How can so many of us all share this same trait if it's the latter?  If it is nature, this craving of a certain food for long periods of time, what gene is this tucked away inside?  Will Godfry have it, too?  Will he pass it onto his offspring?  Or, are these traits I've picked up on, a strong dislike of rodents and a eating nothing except pomegranates, a fluke?  Is this all in my head?  How will I ever find out?

Then there is the question, does it ultimately matter?  If limited to rodents and pomegranates, then no.  If expanded to other parts of our personality, both good and bad, then the answer has to be a resounding yes.  I'll think about this a bit longer and come back to it later.  There have to be more traits I can attribute to my ancestry and my genealogy that may make the answer simpler and easier to identify.

Stay tuned.



Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Jan 3, 2009
    • I think these are all just humanly traits, nature , they are many people out there with the same dislikes to rodens, me for one , and those who have foot fetishes for period of times.  If it not a dislike of rodens, it is a dislike of something else, it may not be a food fetish, but something else.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stellababette wrote Jan 4, 2009
    • Thanks for your notes!  This is a fun subject for me to think about and I agree, I can see a way both are true.

      Jacquie—you do meet food fetish and not foot fetish, right??  LOL.  If having painted red toenails gives me a foot fetish, then I guess I’ll have to claim it! :)

      Mrsloird—knowledge is power, indeed!!

      Thanks again.


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