What RUNS in the Family?

“What hereditary characteristic(s) do you have that you’re happy with? Are there any that make you unhappy?” is our question this week.


How does one not toot one’s own horn?

By all concerned, my sister was always considered the beauty of the family, which never ceased to amaze me. After all, since I was born people have said how much I looked like her. I have mentioned before how this got me into trouble with former teachers of hers, who expected another under-achiever, (when I would rather have died a thousand deaths than get a B).

As soon as I started looking like a young lady, (my sister is sever years older than I), we were mistaken for each other, and often asked if we were twins. This led me to a great disservice to myself by avoiding all make-up for many years, in order to be liked ‘for myself’. What a fool I was.

We looked like our father’s side of the family. Now, she has not changed, but I have. I now look more like our mother and one of her sisters. That is fine, except I wish I had looked like them when I was younger, since in their heydays my mother was compared to Rita Hayworth notMom

and young Crystal Gayle was a dead-ringer for that aunt:not zizi

I still have the Joyce small brown eyes. I always wanted great eyes. When I saw my [then] almost-ninety year-old Joyce aunt a few years ago after more than fifty years, she said, “My dear, it’s like looking in a mirror!” It gave me pause, but I gathered myself and said, “That is quite a compliment!” I knew that she was thinking of herself in her own salad days, when she had been favorably be compared to Susan Hayward:not aunt marion

Two traits, however, have caused me to receive many compliments from strangers.
One was legs. All of the females on both sides of my family were renowned for having shapely legs. I used to defuse too much attention by saying, “Thanks! Good legs run in the family.” (Pun intended). I had mine, which are now gone, but many of the women in the family kept theirs until very old age. Even my very short aunt, whose length from ankle-to-knee were seemingly a matter of a few inches, had well-proportioned and smooth curved calves until she died, well into her seventies.

Another area which people often comment is our skin. We were all blessed with clear, smooth skin of even tones. My sister’s complexion was of a somewhat darker shade than my brothers’ and mine, which is easy, since ours was always very, very light, actually, rather pink. We both sunburned much more easily than she did. That tendency seems to have come from our Northern Italian grandmother and our Irish grandfather,(mother’s and father’s sides, respectively.) I could have done with some real tanning and without the peeling. However, we all enjoyed good skin, all over.

When people ask us what to do to have our complexions, I answer, “First, pick your grandparents”, since all four of ours had great skin. I am still getting some compliments on how good my skin is, unfortunately, some now feel the need to add, “for your age”!
I am grateful that I have my parents’ eyesight. Both leaned slightly toward farsightedness, which I did, yet I only began to need readers in the last eight years. (Both my sister and brother are near-sighted.)

My hair is almost completely white; I grayed early, as they do on my mother’s side. My father’s side kept their hair color well into late life, but the men bald and the many of the women’s hair thinned. (I’ll take the white!)

I am also grateful to have inherited writing genes. My father’s mother wrote and was published in her local newspaper. Two of my uncles on that side wrote and perhaps more in the family did; (most were quiet, private people). My mother wrote. Both sides had a love of reading and learning.

I am probably happier for those traits than all of the others combined.

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
This entry was posted in blessings, childhood, Family, Life, Miscellaneous, Tonette Joyce, youth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What RUNS in the Family?

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Sounds like you’ve had a lot of glamorous women in your family! But I agree with you – the personality and skill traits are much more valuable (and long-lasting) than the physical.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    wonderful to identify writers and authors in one’s heritage. I suspect if you go back to earlier generations, you’d find even more.
    And quite cool to be compared to Hollywood starlets known for their beauty.
    I don’t see much glamour in the ancestors on either my mom’s or my dad’s side of the family.


    • There may have been more writers, but I haven’t seen any, (unless we are related to James). My mother’s grandfather used to help put on the Passion Plays at Easter in his town in Italy, so we have ‘theater’. One of my aunt’s husband’s wrote.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The women of your family must have been very glamorous. The writing traits that have been passed down would certainly be more useful and meaningful to me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes,but although I turned down a lot of male attention, it would have been nice to have been truly gorgeous! The young women who are beautiful today don’t realize how short a time that blush of youth lasts. There are things that are so much more enduring.

    Liked by 1 person

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