Today I was asked a series of genetics questions that included whether my hair grows clockwise or counterclockwise.

Yeah. That was my response too.

I’m not sure of the purpose of the inquiry, but it sounded like a legitimate empirical study. Plus, they already had my DNA, so I thought guessing was probably a bad idea. The sciencey people who crafted the study suggested having a friend check your hairline, which is probably just a polite sciencey way of saying “ask the person who usually confirms or denies your gray hair suspicions.”  But, I was home alone.  So, I did the obvious thing.

No not THAT thing. I did the more obvious (and less mirror driven) thing and I answered not sure.* Jeez.

I’m not one to question the validity of a hair follicle time rotation analysis, but how much can really be gleaned from our DNA and a series of questions? Maybe there’s a twelve-year old computer hacker at a keyboard somewhere, laughing, still wondering which direction I part my hair.

The purpose of the study, I hope, was a spin on the nature vs. nurture question – to determine how much we inherit versus how much we f*ck up ourselves.  I don’t want to hash out the whole debate here.** (I think Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd solved that for us long ago.) I just want to know what’s in it for me: How much can we safely blame on genetics vs. upbringing vs. having to take ownership?

At some point our therapists inform us that too may birthday candles have passed and we can no longer blame our parents, our bosses, the jocks and cheerleaders from our youth or that idiot last week who should have hit the gas at the light.  IT WAS BARELY YELLOW, MORON.

I, however, believe that until the -ologists in the scientific community have a conclusive answer, it’s safe for us to continue to occasionally blame others, genetically related or otherwise.*** We can only take ownership for so much. Some problems undoubtedly require a scapegoat. So, go ahead and continue to tell that middle-school gym class story. In fact, I bet scientists will someday determine it’s encoded into our DNA to do so.

*You’re welcome science.

**I’m barely qualified to hash browns, much less age old chicken/egg concepts. Plus, I don’t have a dire need to know how anyone’s hair rotates.

***I certainly didn’t help them get any closer today. You’re welcome. Also, this post is contradictory to a previous post, You Are SOOO Lucky. Writer’s prerogative.