Last night I was out with some friends and they began critiquing their facial features at the dinner table. One friend does not like her nose, the other finds her forehead too big and another said she would have dimples surgically added if she could. I thought of the uneven dimples that set me apart from my family and found myself unable to participate.
My friend's see their faces as the most intimate expression of themselves, something they accept as their own and can therefore contemplate altering. My face represents something very different to me. I can't tell you the countless hours I have spent staring in the mirror wondering what part of my face is from my biological father. It's like playing one of those magazine games that ask you to compare two pictures to find the 10 differences. I scan my nose, my eyes, my chin and think of my mother's face. What is different? I imagine my face on a man. I compare my face to my brother's, who shares only my Mom's genetic lineage and try to pull out the sameness. Faces take on a different meaning when you cannot mentally separate your features into two parts. They become a map of your confusion and for some, a reminder of your search.
Coming home from dinner a family in Yankee gear got on the train after the parade and I began tracing the features from the faces of the mother and father to their children. On the subway I find myself totally engaged when families get in the same car. Its funny how certain features blend, like the shape of a jaw but others are one or the other like noses. The Dad in this family had a very prominent nose and the Mom had a small button nose. I giggled when it struck me that it was either one nose or the other. But I digress, the point I am trying to make is that the donor sibling experience really preoccupies you with concepts of inheritance.
Yesterday I wrote about collective experience and I believe it all connects. Faces are just another way of connecting to those around us and feeling that we share something. For children of sperm donors, that relation is hard to come by.
My face is one of the few things my biological father gave me, so I won't be getting a nose job anytime soon.
But liposuction, now that's not totally out of the question :)