Hatred Skips a Generation

Today proved that our oldest hates insects maybe more than my mother does.

As I’ve written before,  my mother has only two classifications for insects: bad bugs (those still living) and good bugs (those smashed on a hard surface). My mother even has a soft cackle in her voice after she kills a bug and declares it a “good bug”. You only hear the cackle if you listen closely–and let’s face it, who listens to their mother?– but it’s there.

Every now and then we get a small infestation of gnats in our apartment. This is especially true now as the weather is changing and the gnats are attempting to get “refugee” status in our house.

Our oldest seems to get especially annoyed by the gnats as they seem to hang out near her desk. This has led to a couple angry outbursts and noisy desk slaps. I sympathize with this as I’ve snapped and felt a rush of blood lust whilst killing insects but I’ve never felt the visceral hatred my mother had.

Our oldest seems to have inherited that hatred, but my mother doesn’t have the look in her eyes that I saw our youngest give today.

As we sat down to eat, our oldest suddenly tracked some movement and the look of hatred in her eyes was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. The look was what a hunting dog would give if it had not only spotted a duck, but also hated the duck with a passion. This wasn’t just “there it is” this was “I want to watch you bleed.”

Once I drew attention to the look, by crossing myself and saying several Our Fathers and Hail Marys, the look went away and I almost threw more bugs at her just to see the look happen again.

I also hope she learns to deploy that look at annoying boys.


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