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Getting My Genes in a Bunch

Candy's Column

Getting My Genes in a Bunch



“Holy cow, she looks JUST like her dad!” the nurse declared as my head poked through.

“Figures,” Mom sighed.

Yes, those were the first words my mom heard as I made my grand entrance in this world.  That, after fourteen hours of labor, she had produced an exact replica of my father — while HE rested out in the waiting room, no less.  And I continued to hear those words throughout my life:  “YOU LOOK JUST LIKE YOUR DAD,” as though this were some sort of revelation or something.  “I know,” I’d always reply, rolling my eyes.  It wasn’t that I considered it an insult, not at all, it’s just that I liked to think I was a unique-looking individual. Especially during my teenage years.  Of course Teenage Candy also deluded herself into thinking that drinking Diet Pepsi would make her look like Cindy Crawford.  So perhaps my perspective was a teensy bit warped back then.

I also simply got tired of hearing it over and over again — “YOU LOOK JUST LIKE YOUR DAD!” — a refrain to which I’ve been subjected even more frequently than Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It (On the Alcohol)” on the radio this summer.  Yes!  It’s true!

It was actually a relief when my grandma’s alcoholic neighbor, Mrs. Zuba, said she thought I resembled my mom.  The only person ever to say so.  Sure, I knew it was the Tanqueray talking.  But a refreshing change of pace nonetheless.

The older I got and the farther away from my parents I moved, the less I heard it.  (That’s not WHY I moved across the country, Mom and Dad — I swear!  *AHEM*)  Finally, I was home-free.  Or so I thought.  It never occurred to me that one day I may have to suffer through another oft-repeated refrain:


I didn’t even have to wait until labor to hear it.  My mom dropped that bombshell on me the very moment she saw my daughter’s 3-D ultrasound.  You’d think she’d at least humor me, having also carried a child for more than nine months only to have her husband steal her thunder in the end.  But, no, Mom’s never had a thought she didn’t express.  The worst part…?  I agreed with her, and responded as any rational mom-to-be would:

“Oh, be quiet.  We won’t know what she looks like until she’s born,” I snapped.

Then Skylar was born.  And the nurses, my aunt, my husband’s collagues, our neighbor, our friends and the Starbucks barista all declared it:


Between you and me, it kind of hurts a little when people say that.  It shouldn’t.  After all, I think she’s the most beautiful girl in the world and wouldn’t change a single strand of peach fuzz on her head.  When I learned I was having a daughter, I didn’t dream of birthing my twin.  I dreamed of building a relationship, a close friendship, like my mom and I share.  But, yes, it hurts.  One of the reasons we have children is to pass on our legacy and physical resemblance is the most obvious, if the least important, reflection of that.  Not to mention I CARRIED THAT BABY FOR NINE MONTHS, SPROUTED CHIN HAIRS FOR HER, AND SQUEEZED HER OUT OF MY VAGINA.

Not to mention.

The funniest part is that Mr. Candy doesn’t think she looks that much like him.  The most SHOCKING part is that his mother doesn’t either.  Yes, Mr. Candy’s mother, who thinks the sun sets and rises on her sweet, Ivy League-educated son.  Prior to her visit a few weeks ago, Mr. Candy warned me that even if Skylar could have passed for my twin, his mom would still think her granddaughter looked exactly like him and I should prepare myself for her going on and on about that very fact.

So what is the first thing his mother says when she sees Miss Skye…?

“She doesn’t really look like either one of you,” my mother-in-law shrugged.

“Well, everyone else says she does!” Mr. Candy replied defensively.

I couldn’t help but giggle to myself.  Evil, thy name is Candy.

I’ve never been very good at determining resemblances, myself.  Which is unfortunate because we’re expected to play that game, the “Who does h/she look like?!” game as soon as the baby emerges from the womb — even if the child doesn’t resemble a single soul in the family.  For some reason, we MUST pin the baby’s looks on somebody.

“Why, he looks just like your Great-Great Uncle John’s dog’s kennel owner!”

In Skylar’s case, many of her family members have also claimed ownership of her various body parts.  She apparently has Mr. Candy’s ears (which, interestingly, he declared after somebody called her ears “perfect”), my dad’s long toes and — yes, I can’t help myself either — my hair, my longer limbs, my big feet and possibly my eyes.

It’s like the remains of Michael Jackson:  Everyone is clamoring for a piece in hopes of getting in on the action.  But the fact remains, when most people see her darling face, she’s going to hear this for the rest of her life:


At least it’s better than that damn Jamie Foxx song.

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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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