That might not be the scientific way to phrase it, but following are those things that I appear to be genetically predisposed to not "get." Important caveats: I pass no judgment on those who do "get" them (in a few cases I am quite jealous of those people), nor do these missing genes hinder my desire to publish stories about said topics.
  1. The coffee gene
    I know, what kind of journalist admits to that? Love the smell of it. Love making it for family and friends. Love the culture around drinking it (so relaxed! so convivial! so cosmopolitan!) and the cinematic backstory of the beans. I've just never had a taste for it, which barely qualifies me as a writer. I mean, not even for coffee ice cream.
  2. The Lord of the Rings gene
    That's the one with Gandalf, right? Is he a big elf?
  3. The golf gene
    Unless there are stubby pencils and shoddy little windmills involved.
  4. The black licorice gene
    Vileness. When my husband wants to terrorize me on a road trip he chews a whole bag of the stuff.
  5. The "Where did you go to college?" gene
    Did you go to college? Important to me. Where did you go to college? Not so much. I don't hire people based on pedigree. I hire people who are smart, who have ideas, and who are hardworking. If your degree is from some tiny place instead of some tony one, don't sweat it.
  6. The Star Wars gene
    Sacrilege, sorry. There were two moments that I briefly owned this gene: when my parents came home from attending the Star Wars premiere at USC in 1977 and gave me a plexiglass star etched with "May the Force Be With You" (it was given out as a souvenir and is still on my desk) and in 1980, when I stood in line all day to see The Empire Strikes Back with my brother and his friends at the Egyptian Theater on opening day. That was fun. Otherwise force totally not with me.
  7. The "Let's debate the B-side of that obscure single" gene
    When I'm with a group of man-boys whose guitar talk digresses into full-on High Fidelity territory, total eye glaze.
  8. The patchouli gene
    It hasn't been the Summer of '67 for a long time, patchouli people. Smell the roses.
  9. The Real Housewives gene
    And this from someone who grew up on Jackie Collins.
  10. The comic book gene
    Sadly this also encompasses the super hero gene in general but not, I shall pretentiously point out, the graphic novel gene, because I "get" those. Some of the time.
  11. The video game gene
    They make me nauseous. I now clearly see a pattern: I am missing the teenage boy gene.