Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mc Sweeney's Loss

McSweeney's offers a place to submit "open letters to people or entities who are unlikely to respond." So I took a shot and submitted the following letter to them. They sweetly rejected it, but I still think it's kind of funny...

An Open Letter to My Genes

Dear Genes,

In spite of inheriting my mother’s left-handedness in a predominately right-handed world, I have managed to adapt with only a modicum of grief and frustration over the years, primarily in school where I had to twist a full forty-five degrees in my desk to write properly. And while all the righties were gluing their perfectly cut sunflowers, I was stuck in my angular position, manhandling those diabolical right-handed scissors in my left hand, which didn’t cut, but rather perforated my sweat-soaked construction paper.

I even accepted the dyslexic gene you allowed to sneak in from my dad’s pool because, while it has been a challenge at times when I have needed to decipher a map or put my ATM card in the right way, I have learned to resource my dyslexia to my advantage. Mirror writing, for example, is a by-product of this genetic quirk and has proven itself a great icebreaker in tense social settings, like attending an awkward Thanksgiving dinner with skeptical pre-in-laws or standing in a long post office line behind my gynecologist.

And the right eye being less hazel than the left is okay, too.

But when Mr. Lung, my redheaded biology teacher, brought it to my attention that I could not curl my tongue while the majority of the world can, I began to hold a grudge. All my tenth grade classmates showed off their tongue-curling skills, including some that could fashion three-leaf clovers and other impressive shapes, but I just sat there with this lifeless blob in my mouth. I even went home, locked myself in the bathroom, and in front of the mirror tried my darnedest, ultimately using my fingers, to unsuccessfully mold and shape my lingual member into a cylindrical tube. The best I could come up with was a ladle of sorts—more like a waterlogged wooden spoon.

Genes, why couldn’t you have given me something more desirable, like my dad’s chin dimple or his widow’s peak? Or even better, why not my mom’s impressive C-cup?

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