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Oh Boy, Showered With Love

Today I am taking a little bit of a detour from my usual topics. And while I do post about myself from time to time I try to keep it focused on a topic rather than the truly personal level. Today I felt that the trend that I had started with that shifted a little. But I hope that you will still enjoy it. At least to some degree. So where do I start?

My Cousin’s Baby Shower

I will try and leave the general giddiness of this whole adventure out, but, I just wanted to say before I got started that it was amazing. I had never actually thought that they could be fun. Well, I knew from past experiences that they were anything but fun. And in fact, could actually be sort of a pain. But then I didn’t know the “mommies” (god, I disapprove of that term) that well, and the hostesses decided to make the day full of fun. Which always flat on its face if you ask me. But that might just be me. Maybe, and just maybe, I never had the right experience, which would explain the difference here.

What’s the Difference

Trying too hard. I think that is the biggest thing that makes a difference. For the most part a modern baby shower comes with all of these expectations that really do nothing but stroke the ego of either the organizer or the one being honored with the celebration. It, and this is my opinion, gets in the way of the purpose. And with that I mean focusing on what is really important. Gifts? No. I really think that in most cases the idea of only hosting a shower for the gifts is beside the point.

The Big Deal

So what is the big deal then? Well, I am glad that you asked because I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. The big for me, and this is what I realized the other day when we were celebrating was that it was about the fun of being together. Not with a lot of people, the right people. You see when you realize that you don’t need to collect as many people together as possible, only focusing on getting the people together that really matter it becomes a whole different experience. At least for me it did. The showers that I attend in the past set their sight on making things grand. Styling it around, well: a nautical theme and a twins theme that was more or less a baby boy theme with double everything. The latter was also pretty extravagant, in so much as they they spent more on the afternoon than I think the honoree got in gifts. Not that that is the point of a baby shower, but boy I never anticipated eating caviar at a baby shower.
Side Note:
We didn’t have anything special to eat at the baby shower: cake, tea, and finger food (i.e. snacks: chips etc.), but it was more than enough. The invitations were simple, nice and to the point. Which, I mean, it doesn’t need to do that much. If it can fulfill those simple criteria then it has served its purpose. Trying to make it do anymore than that is simply asking to much when you ask me. (Not that you did.)

I See It Differently

With all things you can over do it. You can take something that, from my perspective now, can be a really enjoyable experience and you can make it something that it is not. I wouldn’t dream of organizing a professional photographer for the day, but when I was at the one for my best-friend’s sister’s shower for the twins they had one. And if that wasn’t enough everyone had to do a silly photo with a sign with a “message for the babies.<- This is seriously a thing. Seriously? The kids won’t even know who I am, nor will they have the desire to look at all of the photos with “on the spot” messages scribbled over a chalkboard. Sorry, it is just not going to happen. And honestly I would be happy if they get lost. My message was really on the spot and I would really be thankful if nobody ever looked at it again. Who comes up to ideas like that anyway? Hopefully I will never have to sit through another shower like that again, baby or otherwise since I know now they can be rather enjoyable.
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My Rare Green Eyes

I have green eyes. What you see in my eyes is not the same thing that scientists see in them. The current thought behind green eyes is that a thin layer of yellow pigmentation overlays the "blue" color of an iris, and the result is a yellow color.

The gene responsible for this yellow pigmentation is completely separate from the brown/blue gene; thus, to have green eyes, one must have a low concentration of melanin in the iris and produce the yellow pigment.

Chart

Here is a chart that demonstrates how melanin in the front and back epithelia of the iris and the structure of the stroma create eye color. You will notice that the specific combination which is required for green eyes is more complicated.

eye color chart

Of course, we're talking about gene networks here so in reality this isn't cut and dry as I made it sound. If it was, there were be a higher percentage of the population with green eyes.

Eye color is complicated than many may think and the combination required to be born with green eyes is rare. And it has been an area of study for scientist for decades. A lot of people tend to tell me it is because of X or Y, but they are just using layman's terms to try and explain something that they are ignorant about. In other words, anyone who says they know definitively isn't being completely insightful or in other cases honest.

Eye color is highly polygenic and not entirely understood.

A lot of genetics is not as simple as Mendel's pea experiments might lead you to think. Mendel figured the basics out mostly because he picked traits that have distinct, qualitative phenotypes that were only controlled by the expression of a single gene.

This tends to be the exception rather than the rule, but it's still taught in schools because it provides a clear simplified way of explaining the mechanism of why traits are passed on or not.

It is more likely that many different genes play a role in determining eye color (which is a spectrum of colors really, not just "green" or "blue"). While some of the Brown vs. Blue in European populations genes have been worked out (OCA2), the mixtures that make up intermediaries are not entirely clear. What would start off as a binary state becomes very messy when you start adding in 11 other SNPs with incomplete penetrance and variable dominance terms.

As for the rarity, that's just simple population genetics.

The alleles for green eyes, whatever their nature, are simply less common in European and Middle Eastern populations than brown or blue. Hence, they are less likely to be observed.

Since eye color is usually not selected for or against when people choose whom they wish to mate with, the frequency of the "green allele" remains more or less the same. Though I did have a boyfriend tell me once that he was only together with me because of my eye color. That sort of creeped me out and I dumped him a week or so later.