The Targaryens wed brother to sister, why shouldn’t we do the same?

Whew! We made it to Friday, hooray! Tonight is going-to-see-my-friend’s-play night. It’s at this artsy thing in one of our local towns that I’ve always wanted to go to, so that’ll be fun, right? Look at me doing things that force me to get up off the couch. It’s all very exciting and probably I deserve a medal. Dumbcat, however, is NOT PLEASED, and when I get home does things like “MEOW!” and glares at me VERY POINTEDLY because I was not home for him to squish all up to and dig his claws into. He can try that with a pillow, but the pillow doesn’t go “Ouch, Dumbcat, what the hell? Why so pointy, bub?” and then scritch his head for him. 

(SIDE NOTE. In case you were not convinced Dumbcat is really dumb, the other day, he was asleep on the back of the couch and got scared by a ghost. Well, I assume it was a ghost. There was nothing scary I could see or hear. So he bolted up as if he was pinched and then decided I MUST RUN AWAY NOW. But one of his claws got caught in the afghan I keep on the back of the couch in case I get cold.

Evil. Eeeeee-vil.

So he was all WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. Then he KEPT RUNNING. So he was dragging the afghan behind him with one little paw and trying to run and making a noise like he was caught in a snare and knocking everything off the shelves with the afghan trailing behind him and I was like, DUMBCAT STOP I CAN FIX THIS and he was like NO NO NO MOM THERE IS A GHOST SOMEWHERE GOTTA GO. Finally he stopped and just looked at the afghan SO MOURNFULLY like “this is my LIFE now, I have this THING PERMANENTLY attached to my LEG” and I was able to catch up to him and detach him and he looked at me as if I was a goddess sent to him from on high and then I laughed until my stomach was sore. I felt kind of bad about it, but I still laughed. I mean, he’s like the Three Stooges of cats, this cat. He now thinks the afghan is his enemy, and will not sleep on it. He takes care to sleep on either end of the couch, but not in the middle, where that evil, foot-snatching afghan lives. It attacked him once. It might do it again. YOU CAN NEVER TELL WITH THOSE NEFARIOUS PLOTTING-AGAINST-YOU AFGHANS.) 

I have not yet told you about my adventure to get Indian food. It actually isn’t much of a story. It went very well! I did not say or do a single embarrassing thing! (Well, I don’t THINK I did. One would know, wouldn’t one think?) My food was good, and spicy, and there were no onions, garlic, or tomatoes to be found. (Oh, you probably want to know what I ate because people like to hear things like that. I had a little bit of naan that was stuffed with cheddar cheese so it was like the Indian version of Domino’s Cheesy Bread, and Chicken Vindaloo, which is, for people that don’t know about such things, pieces of very tender chicken in a spicy brown thick sauce served over this delicious kind of rice that I’ve never tried before and I’m not supposed to HAVE rice so I only had a little but MAN was that the best rice ever in the history of ever and I could have eaten 47,000 bowls of that rice alone, and it wasn’t even SEASONED rice, it was just longer and skinner than normal rice and had a really nice consistency and I loved it times a million.)

Naan is yum, even though I’m not allowed much bread. I’m down with you, naan!

I drank a lot of water with the spiciness. We talked and laughed a lot. I almost got arrested and/or killed driving illegally on the way home (dear GPS: that U-turn you told me to make? WAS ILLEGAL. That’s a one-way street, my friend. And I was on it before I realized it. Dummy. It’s a damn good thing no cars were coming) but overall, it was great. So look! I can leave the house and socialize with people in small groups without self-destructing or self-immolating or self-whatevering. What a nice thing to realize!  

I found this thing in the news, and I wanted to discuss it with you, but it’s icky. Do you want to hear about an icky thing? Because it is. Totally icky. Also, it taught me a sciency thing, so probably Andreas will be interested. And also disgusted. You ALL will be disgusted. It’s the ickiest. 

Andreas, this is sciency, but also gross. I hope you’re up for the challenge.

OK, so in California recently, a woman was caught having all the underage sex in a hotel room with a sixteen-year-old boy. Yes, ew, these things happen, fine, whatever, gross, that’s not the ickiest part. THAT’S NOT EVEN THE ICKIEST PART. Ready? 

It was her son that she’d given up at birth. AND SHE KNEW IT WAS HER SON. 

Here, you can see pictures of this woman. She looks like one of those Bratz dolls. A real-life Bratz doll! Worrisome. 

I mean, if you’re into plastic and puty duck-lips, I guess, whatever, I don’t want to be judgey.

Apparently she gave up her child at birth, and then she contacted him fifteen years later and started a conversation with him on Facebook which led to naughty texts (as Facebook does) and then they started meeting up in hotel rooms so she could tutor him in math (that’s a euphemism) and his family found out and called the cops. 


When the cops questioned her, she said she was not guilty. “But, we have this video your son made, of you playing his skin flute,” they said. (EUPHEMISM. Also, what kind of asshole kid makes a video of it? Ew, THAT IS YOUR MOM.) “No, no!” she said. “You see, it’s not my FAULT. There’s this scientific phenomenon called Genetic Sexual Attraction, where 50% of people meeting a long-lost relative are sexually attracted to them. I am a VICTIM! Of SCIENCE!” 

And then I assume the cops made this face.

Well, setting aside the old “he blinded me with science” defense (which, bee tee dubs, didn’t work, she was sent to jail for 4 years last week) I was all, “WHAT? This is a THING? Being sexually attracted to your relatives is a THING?” 

Yep. It’s totally a thing. Science says so! 

According to science, if, say, you were separated at birth from your sibling, and then you meet up with him (or her) twenty years later, you are more likely to be sexually attracted to him (or her) because: 

You have facial similarities, and people (often without knowing it) seek out partners with a similar facial pattern/look 

Along similar lines, we seek out partners with similar traits and likes/dislikes; scientists agree that some of these things can be hereditary, and therefore the sibling would be seen by your brain as a good mate 

If you were raised by your opposite-sex parent, you “imprinted” on them; the sibling you didn’t know you had will share some similarities to that parent, and your ever-entertaining brain will turn that into sexual attraction (howdy, Oedipal and Electra complexes, nice to see you here!) 

Aw, Ralph. Don’t do it. SHE IS YOUR MOM.

Now, if you grew UP with your sibling (or parent, or cousin, or whatever) the odds of you being attracted to them are slimmer, because of ANOTHER sciency phenomenon called The Westermarck Effect, or reverse sexual imprinting.

Here is ol’ Westermarck himself! He looks sciency, right? And a little like Teddy Roosevelt.

The person this is named after is from FINLAND, which makes me think it MUST be true because all the best scientists and Science Fellows are from/currently live in Finland. 

Producing only the best scientists and science fellows for hundreds of years. I don’t let just any Science Fellow science it up around these parts. I’m SELECTIVE.

The Westermarck Effect states that if you grow up with another child (from about ages birth to six) you become desensitized to later sexual attraction. It somehow triggers a naturally-occurring incest taboo (“incest” being only the label put on it; it doesn’t only work within families. If you are raised alongside a foster brother, for example, you most likely would see him as a sibling and mating with him later in life would also trigger the “incest incest NO NO NO” panic-alarm.) 

Now, this all icked me out to the extreme (mostly the first part of this) but then I thought about it and you know what? Science is totally right here. Still ICKY, but totally right. 

Of course you’re most interested in people who remind you most of yourself. Even if you’re not aware of it. You might say “opposites attract” but how often are you with someone who is your COMPLETE OPPOSITE in ALL WAYS? That would be like me dating a man who hates the arts, is a conservative politically, who isn’t at all funny and also doesn’t think I am, who’s very, very religious, who doesn’t believe in equal rights for women and same-sex couples, who hates animals, who hates the city and would never consider living anywhere but a tiny town, who likes women who are quiet, who hates reading, who hates television, books, and the internet, and who doesn’t think bathing is a super-big priority. THIS SOUNDS LIKE MY PERFECT MATE. Oh, wait, no. No, it doesn’t. I mean, sure, maybe I’d find something about him attractive. Maybe he has really nice eyes, or he’s really kind to his children, or he really likes neon Post-Its, I don’t know. But those differences would make it awful hard to continue any sort of relationship. Even if we were like, “let’s make a go of this!” and decided not to discuss them, eventually they’d come up. Things always do. You can’t sit on stuff like this forever. These are fundamental differences, you know? 

These types of opposites attract, though. Just ask any kid who’s rubbed a balloon on their sweater then stuck it on a wall. SCIENCE BABY.

I don’t know about the similar facial pattern. I have kind of a lady-face. I don’t know that I look for a man with a lady-face to complete me. But the article did say it was unconscious, so maybe my reptile brain can translate my lady-face into the male equivalent and is looking for that for me, I don’t know. As for the whole Electra complex – well, here’s the thing. I love my dad. He’s a good dad! He makes me laugh and he’s very protective and he’s smart and he’s wise. As for wanting a mate like him? Well, I’d like a mate with some of his traits. But I’d also like a mate withOUT some of his traits. Because the person I described above who was my complete opposite (other than the funny and the television and the bathing) is my dad. We are very, very different. I love him, but couldn’t live in the same house with him. I go home for a visit and we’re at each other’s throats within a few hours. So, I’m sure the Electra complex is alive and well for some people, and maybe on the same level where I don’t know about the facial patterns, I’m secretly attracted to my dad, but if I am, I’m sure as hell not aware of it. And that’s FINE with me. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. Because SHUDDER. 

Also, growing up with someone totally makes you non-attracted to them. It’s true. I grew up with a very, very attractive boy. My dad’s best friend’s kid. Blonde. Blue eyes. Smart. Funny. Great guy. Loved him right to pieces. We got along like peas AND carrots, and also maybe some…shit, I don’t know, asparagus or something. I mean, we didn’t grow up in the same house. We grew up separately. But we hung out a lot, because our parents were good friends and we were the same age (he was a month younger.) And when I got to my teens, I thought, huh, maybe I should fall in love with C. Because we know each other so well! And he is wonderful! And our parents are friends! And it would be so easy! But when I would hang out with him, there was just NOTHING THERE. It was like hanging out with my brother. No attraction. None. I could objectively see that he was a very attractive guy (still can); I could objectively see that he’d make a good mate (he did; he’s married now, with a child.) But that spark you need to want to start something just wasn’t there. Even more, not only was the spark missing, the thought of kissing him would make me both giggle and gag a little, because he was the closest person to a relative I had that wasn’t walking around sharing some of my genetic material. It seemed WRONG, somehow. So, my romance with C., which I think probably would have thrilled both of our parents, was not meant to be. I haven’t seen him in years, incidentally. And somehow, he doesn’t have Facebook. C.! How do you not have Facebook? You’re a toolbag, get a damn Facebook account already, I miss your face. No, I know he’s probably not reading this. I’m still saying it, since when has that stopped me from doing something? 

Yep. Totally would have been like this. I always thought this dress was ill-fitting. I mean, I’m all for cleavage, but this just looked ouchy.

So, back to the point of this post, which was the life-sized Bratz doll who is claiming that science made her ride her long-lost child like a childhood Sit-n-Spin. NO. And EW. No amount of science makes that less icky, lady. How are you in your thirties and you don’t know right from wrong? No. No, no no. Impulse control: you need to look into that. Also, NO and EW. 

OK, so there’s your icky report of the day. Oh, I should mention Ken totally blogged about incest a while back. That sounds worrisome but it’s actually really interesting. You’ll like it, there’s a nice photo of Ken’s jolly face. And I just re-read the comments on Ken’s post and realized that after I commented way back then, Andreas commented and MENTIONED the Genetic Sexual Attraction thing. I didn’t even see that then. Huh. Go talk to Andreas, he knows all about this! Because he is SCIENCY and he is SMART and he is from FINLAND, not because he is GROSS. Sheesh.

Also, look how pretty Finland is! Aw, Finland. Someday I will come and visit you and your sciency-ness.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

36 responses to “The Targaryens wed brother to sister, why shouldn’t we do the same?

  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    Aw, I love Dumbcat! The story of the Dastardly Attack Afghan made me LOL! And I really needed a laugh today – been sick all week. So, thanks for the laugh! (Oh, and the mom & kid – DOUBLE EW!!)


  • Charleen

    It’s funny that you showed the picture from BTTF because, Oedipus implications of the first movie aside, they actually used that whole “attracted to people similar to your parents” thing to justify having Lea Thompson play Marty’s great-grandmother (or however many greats it was) in the third movie, even though Marty’s mom came from a completely different genetic line. Apparently McFly men have been searching out women who look similar for generations, and two of them just happened to find women who were identical. Random behind-the-scenes factoid ftw!


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Basmati is the rice you think of. Although I prefer fragrant Thai Jasmine rice myself.


    • lucysfootball

      Is that what it was? It was DELICIOUS. How have I gone my whole life without trying basmati rice?

      What’s fragrant Thai Jasmine rice? That sounds intriguing!


      • Andreas Heinakroon

        Well, I’m guessing, since I wasn’t actually there, but that’s what is usually served with Indian food.

        Thai Jasmine rice is another fragrant rice, but much stickier than basmati, making it much more suitable to red or green Thai curries (or indeed that delicious hot and sour Gai Tom Kha soup).


        • lucysfootball

          I didn’t notice that it was fragrant, but everything else at the table was SO fragrant it might have been overwhelmed. That does look like it. It was long-grained and not sticky at all.

          I love Thai. LOVE. I need to go out for Thai again soon. Yum.


  • sj


    Seriously, this is the grossest. THE GROSSEST.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    And yes, I believe I did mention something about the sibling attraction thing on Ken’s blog; it was a very interesting post.


    • lucysfootball

      You know all the things. You have all the knowledge. I come across these science stories and I think, you know what? I bet Andreas already knows this. And you always do! There’s another one coming up next week. It’s going to make your head EXPLODE with science. And anger. Also anger. Not anger at me. At someone else. You’ll see…


      • Andreas Heinakroon

        I don’t know all the things; far from it! I know some things, but not terribly well unfortunately.

        My head will explode? That sounds unpleasant. *looks around for that roll of duct tape*


        • lucysfootball

          You know more things than almost anyone I know. I love that about you.

          Well, maybe not LITERALLY explode. But you’re going to be disturbed by some stupidity, that’s for sure.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Finland is beautiful; it’s called the land of a thousand lakes, although there are many many more than a thousand obviously..


  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    Aw, Dumbcat. Poor Dumbcat. I could read Dumbcat stories all day.

    Napa, I am ashamed of you. Also, when I clicked through the link? she a) DOES LOOK EXACTLY LIKE A BRATZ DOLL ZOMG, and also b) apparently her SON ALSO KNEW. See, THAT weirds me out more than anything else.

    Have you seen the movie Old Boy? Never mind, don’t see it.


    • lucysfootball

      Yep. They totally both knew. And didn’t care, apparently. Although, the kid was 15. I think at 15 you might not care too much what you’re sticking it into. Even if it is your Bratz-doll-esque mom.

      No on Old Boy. Is it a Korean gangster film? That’s what the internet is telling me.


      • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

        It’s not exactly a gangster film. There’s gangsters, but it’s a psychodrama. It’s really, really good and really, REALLY fucked up. Also, a guy eats a LIVE OCTOPUS.

        You’ve gotta wonder about the people who raised the kid in his mom’s absence. Because while you’re right that 15-year-old boys are not known for their discriminating sexual taste, I do think MOST of them don’t want to do their moms.


  • blogginglily

    I grew up near Big Timber, Montana. It was a local rumor there that a brother and sister, separated at birth had developed a friendship with each other, neither knowing they were related. The story goes that their friendship turned romantic and (past the point of no return) their parents finally broke the secret to them, that they were brother and sister. I remember trying to understand what that must have been like for them, to develop romantic feelings for each other. . . for it NOT to be icky. . . then for someone to come along and say, oh, by the way, you’ve been fucking your sister.

    Bratz doll chick looks SKANKY.


    • lucysfootball

      I can’t even imagine. What would you do? Would you be so skeeved out you never wanted to see the person again, or would your romantic feelings for that person trump the incest knowledge? There’s actually a Sam Shepard play about that (“Fool for Love”) that’s quite good. I mean, of course, in a disturbing way, but good. (I’m a huge Sam Shepard fan.) We did it a couple of years ago at our theater and I loved seeing it onstage after having read it.

      She DOES look so skanky. That one picture where she’s snarling? Good grief. I feel like you could get herpes just from looking at it.


    • Heather

      Is this the couple that was in the news last year who were GETTING MARRIED and found out they were siblings like a week before the wedding? If not, that happened, too. Their parents had gotten divorced, split the kids up and never spoke again. Years later, kids meet at college, fall in love, get engaged. When it was time for “meet the parents,” everyone got a huge surprise when the parents knew each other AND had to break it to the happy couple that they were siblings. I felt so bad for them.


  • Ivy Canucchi

    Loving Dumb Cat… I have 4 (don’t judge me). Not a huge fan of Indian food… as far as incest? I can’t imagine feeling hot for any of my relatives… it’s disturbing just thinking about it.

    p.s. I always enjoy reading your blog! :D


    • lucysfootball

      No judging! I had two, one recently passed and I’m always debating when’s the best time to get another one. I miss having two and Dumbcat’s lonely.

      I know, I don’t have any relatives I feel squishy about, either. Handsome men, sure. But not hubba-hubba time, nope. Not at all.

      Thank you! :)


  • lahikmajoe

    I’m really sleepy, and I just read ‘You have fecal similarities’.

    Fecal similarities? This was a weird post already, but this takes it to an entire other level.

    Do my siblings and I have fecal similarities? Really?

    How could I even find out such a thing? Some science is best left in Finland.


  • Heather

    Dumbcat is hilarious. I had a cat that liked to play with shoe strings, and he would try to run away with them in his mouth…then get all freaked out when he realized a shoe was chasing him as he ran. He was so smart, but never figured out that the shoe was attached to the lace. Hahaha!

    That mother is the grossest. I mean, yeah the kid was sixteen, but that doesn’t gross me out as much as them KNOWING THEY WERE MOTHER/SON BIOLOGICALLY and being okay with bumping uglies anyway. BLECK.


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