Saturday, February 20, 2010

He's Scandinavian, I'm Argumenative

After getting our double-sick daughters (one with pink eye, one with nearly spent pink-eye and a previous night of vomiting, pajama changes, sheet changes, and sleeplessness) down for bed last night, Justin and I settled in for some Olympic downhill skiing and rousing conversation.

He jumped right in with an old favorite topic: Where Did I Come From? Wherein he expounds on the likelihood that his genetic makeup is more Scandinavian than anything else. It didn't hurt that we'd just watched a buff, blond Norwegian man win gold in the Super G. Of course he wanted to identify with that dude.

"See!" he insisted. "Look at that guy! We have the same basic facial structure, right?" His eyes were filled with a puppy-like quality that made me want to pat him on his button nose. But, not willing to be swayed by the 'doggy in the window' syndrome, I held my ground.

"Uhm, I don't think so." I said. I swore, if we had to have this conversation one more time, I was going to win it. "Besides, all I see when I look at him is a tall blonde. And you are definitely not blonde." Justin has dark hair and eyes, a small nose, and a strong jawline. See what I mean? (Just ignore that gypsy on the left. Nobody knows where she came from.)

I don't know what background the facial features hail from, but his dark-as-night hair is nowhere close to looking Norwegian.

His dark eyes narrowed. "I'm telling you, all Norwegians and Swedes are NOT blonde. I'm sure there are some dark haired Scandinavians. Like the 'Black Irish'? Anyway, I think my great grandmother was Scandinavian. Google it. I'm from Norway."

My own eyes narrowed in response. Was that a challenge? I was on top of it quicker than you can say Neutrogena.

I clicked over from my internet page and searched for Do all Norwegians have blonde hair. Because I'm from the School of Internet Query styles which supposes the web is a giant Magic 8 Ball, when I ask a direct question, I expect a direct answer. And the beauty of this system is that I can filter out the answers I don't want. A very superior way to win an argument. Usually.

This time it was a bit harder to grab hold of my magic answer, because nestled among the hair coloring advertisements and hair selling forums (!) was a link to a Norwegian Blog whose writer claimed a high presence of dark haired Norwegians. Crud, I thought. I'm bound by scientific, bloggerific, and matrimonial honor to inform Justin of my discovery.

By this time (internet research takes me awhile), Justin was setting up his indoor cycling trainer and I could have just skipped over my new-found information entirely while he exercised. I was trying to decide just how reliable of a source the blog link was, when Justin noticed my worried expression.

"What'd you find?" he asked, sidling up to me at the computer.

"Nothing! I'm still right! It's just...this one girl...she says therearelotsofdarkhairednorwegians. But she's just a blogger! She might have NO idea what she's talking about! A blogger's word isn't the gospel truth."

He looked at me sideways and I realized what I'd just admitted: Bloggers might have no idea what they're talking about. My pride wouldn't let the argument end there, so I poked around in a few more links (in a highly scientific way) to find something I could take to the bank.

An anthropologically-based map showing the areas with the highest concentration of blondes in Europe. (All the maps on that link held my geeky attention for quite awhile, actually. More proof that my Friday nights are TERRIBLY exciting.) The brightest yellow indicates 80% or more blondes, the next yellowest indicates 50% or more blondes, and the peachish-yellow covering most of the rest of Europe indicates a 20% or higher blonde population. My highly scientific conclusion was that most Norwegians are BLONDE.

I felt pretty good about showing this map to my so-dark-it's-nearly-black haired husband. I felt correct, which is a very good way to feel -- sort of like biting into a smooth, creamy truffle and having to lick your teeth clean of the dark chocolate left behind. That's how being proven right feels to me. Justin was sweating his life away on the bike by then, so I unplugged my laptop and carried it over to him, being careful to not let his athleticism infect my couch-potatoism. But he was working so hard, he couldn't see what I held in front of him. The map! The truth!

"I can't..." he croaked. "I'll look later..." His sweat-darkened hair was now so far from blonde, my map's data seemed to scream WINNER at me. I sat back down to peruse the maps some more, kicking my feet up in self-congratulation.

When his heart rate was finally evened back out to life-sustaining levels, he looked over and asked what I'd tried to show him. I explained the map with proud satisfaction, but the hard work he'd done on the bike trainer had drained him of any fight. He merely nodded and kept pedaling for the cool-down.

"Did I just kick you when you were down?" I asked, tilting my head a bit to show proper concern.

Breathing hard, sweating profusely, and handsome as a devil, he just nodded at me again.

Later, after he'd been off the bike for long enough to regain consciousness, he started the conversation again. "I guess you're right." he sighed. "I'm probably not from Norway, even if I am just like Norwegians."

Finally! My research and steam-blowing had won me the debate. I was right.

Justin then looked at me confidently and declared, "I always thought I was more French anyway."


  1. I can't stop laughing! I love your description of your internet queries. Hilarious!

    Okay, now I hate to take Justin's side, but you make him seem like such a good guy, so...couldn't he still be *mostly* Scandinavian, but with some darker-featured, dominant-gened something thrown in? Thus, the dark hair alongside the obviously Norwegian everything else? I'm just sayin'...

    As for that map, I could get lost in that for hours!

  2. By the way, I think YOU look Irish!

  3. Emily - It's okay to take his side...I was just arguing because his side is usually right and I was desperate to win an argument once in awhile :) It turns out, his great grandmother really IS from Sweden. So says the geneaologically curious husband. But maybe she migrated from Spain...

    And I DO have Irish descendants! Darn them for their fair, blushing, freckling skin.

    Though now I'm really wishing we could afford one of those really deep ancestral studies to tell us for sure about our lineage. It's so interesting to both of us!

  4. Toooo cute! That is a decidedly Viking chin actually. :D You'll never hear it from me though! My dark-haired hubby is a Norsky--funny thing? When I found out that my adopted Dad's mother was a Norwegian emigrant-it made ME more Norwegian than HIM! Our kids? 2 red, 3 strawberry blonde, 2 white-blonde and one dark dark brown! uf-da!

  5. Hahaha! Your hubby reminds me of my hubby. He likes to speculate about his genetics too. He'll be like, "You can tell me and (insert movie star here) are from the same background, but I bet he wouldn't want to take me on, I could beat him." I hate popping his bubble, and I guess most of the time I pretty much agree anyways. Since he is the handsomest strongest bestest man in the world I mean.

  6. Hilarious! You had me nearly rolling.

    BUT... I am 100% Dutch and very dark-haired. So are my parents and grandfather (who is actually from Holland), so I get a LOT of unbelieving stares when I tell people I'm full Dutch.

    Don't worry... I won't tell Justin... *wink* We can just keep this our little secret. :)

  7. "I was on top of it quicker than you can say Neutrogena."
    I just spit out my tea... ha!

  8. Hehe! Of course you're right! Your husband's clear absorption in figuring this out (demonstrated by his ignoring it to concentrate on cycling) also made me laugh.

    And I'm with you on weekend nights being exciting - I was intrigued by those maps, too! It's a good thing we don't live near each other or we could really come up with some nerdy nights! :)

  9. Tears, Sarah, real tears are streaming from my eyes. I think I actually had a mental image of you standing with your arms outstretched holding the computer to ensure your couch potato safety!! Friday nights around here? Same. Without the puking and pink eye, anyways.

  10. Woman, you are so ridiculously hilarious! And your TERRIBLY exciting Friday night account just made my Saturday night :) Thanks for a dozen smiles!

  11. I agree with DO look Irish! Brian is 100% Irish and he always makes fun of me that I'm a "mutt" :) Our 50% Irish/50% mutt daughter inherited his fair & sensitive skin.
    And about weekend nights...I've realized that they're really not that different from week nights when you have an infant. Our biggest excitement this weekend was watching curling!

  12. Hilarious! My brother lives in France and I'd have to agree with his French look...I'm seeing it!

    I love using internet searches to "prove" my points...except my husband starts searching too. I always lose!

    Thanks for the smiles and laughs!

  13. Can I tell you how much he looks like my stepdad who is, indeed, Scandinavian? Seriously. I scrolled to the photo and just laughed. They could be brothers. Do with this blogger's anecdotal probablydoesn'tmeananything information what you want. :)

    Thank you for your nice comment the other day. I am really looking forward to reading your blog too, I just subscribed.

  14. Hilarious. Russian. I think he looks Russian. Or maybe Irish. Or how bout Romanian? Hah!

  15. My Grandfather's family came from Norway when he was 8 years old and they were all have dark hair.

    So, I guess I have to side with Justin also!


  16. Oddly enough, when I was studying in Germany with several Norwegian friends over half of them were dark harided and dark eyed. All of them, though, were extremely tall. According to them, especially along the coast of Norway, there are a lot of darker haired/eyed Norwegians because Spanish sailors would crash their ships and stay on wooing the Norwegian maidens.

    Your Justin, as opposed to my husband Justin, looks a lot like my cousin -- who is at least half Danish and German.

  17. Hi there, I am from Trondhiem originally and have almost black hair with gray eyes. This article is very interesting. However I am not that tall, maybe around 5 feet. My brothers though are above the six foot range and blonde.

    This is common among many families where I am from. Your husband does have some Nordic features.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?