Tag Archives: genes

A Genetic Recipe for Disaster


Redhead Recipe HeaderStress. Worry. Anxiety. Who comes by this naturally?  Is it born, or bred, or a bit of both?

Is it the pressure we felt as kids to be the best or to tackle the dreams our parents didn’t?  Is it societal pressure that our friends have wedding rings, condos, dogs, kids…oh, and don’t forget about 50% of them have divorces too.

C’mon, I’m only 50% kidding.  Or is it in us, in our genes, in our star sign, or even in our hair colour?

Yes, I said it, I’m a Virgo.  I am fiercely loyal to my friends, yet I put up a wall. I am an anal perfectionist who focuses on goals and extensive planning, yet….am also a Bohemian, emotional, music-loving, free spirit.  Put those two characters in a room and they don’t talk, put those two in a body and they fight like hell.  Virgos are planners, aaannnddd Virgos are dreamers – this is a terrible match that in turns creates those dreaded words….(shhh, don’t say it)…ANXIETY and DOUBT.

In a show I really like, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Julia Dreyfus comments:

“You put a dreamer and a chicken in the same body – you got problems.”

You called it sister. But, is that it?  Parents, society, successful siblings, analness, perfection, worry, and star signs?  Is that all that can cause you to react in this sweat-inducing, migraine-creating manner?  Or, could it be plain and simple genetics…

My grandmother was a redhead.  A fiery Irish redhead.  A fiery Irish redhead whom eventually went a little bat-shit crazy. Oh, I forgot to mention I look just like her. In her day and age, when you went through hard times, you didn’t talk about it.  You simply topped up your husband’s whiskey bottle with water and turned to your little yellow pill, or “Mother’s Little Helper” as Mick Jagger so eloquently put it.

So, what about today?  Maybe we don’t send people to the asylum anymore, but we certainly do encourage new and modern versions of Valium.  We are spending more time now than ever before (and more money than ever before) on trying to stay healthy and stress-free. Yoga, Prozak, Reiki, Vitamins…in fact, just today I read about pregnenolone.  Oh, the irony.  We are working our butts off to make enough money to…pay to feel better.

I once heard a parable.  A man on vacation came across a simple fisherman with a small boat and enough fish for dinner.  He said to the fisherman, “Why don’t you buy a bigger boat and hire another man?  In time you can catch enough fish to make money to buy a fleet of boats.  Down the road you could open your own factory, eventually sell it off and retire to a life on the beach where you can fish and sail at your leisure.”  The fisherman said, “Why would I do all that?  I already have a life on the beach and fish and sale at my leisure”.  The moral of the story is we spend all this time on grandiose intentions only to eventually spend our money on the basics that we had all along.

So, where does that leave me? I knew redheads had a weaker immune system (Damn You Darwinism) because they now actually teach that in medical school.  Seriously.  But, what I DIDN’T know is that same genetic flaw that causes the oh-so-ginger locks, and the pigment-deficient, oh-so-freckly skin…also causes higher stress reactions.  And only recently I found out that redheads are more susceptible to allergic reactions that can mimic asthma.  So, I say we start teaching those hideous little gingers now now and give em a head start.


So, even though you may feel occasional worry and be a lovely brunette, just remember that genetics plays a part as much as stressful jobs, poor diet and lack of sleep.  It’s survival of the fittest and baby, we are headed for extinction.

The Ginga Ninga

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