Monday, October 8, 2018

Green with anticipation

My cousin was eager to know more about our heritage, specifically my grandmother's, so she ordered one of those newfangled kits and had it sent to her mother. This plan was flawed from the start. I admit that I did not understand the holdup at first. Why was my aunt taking so long to get this project underway? Folks were getting restless and we didn't even know which nationality to blame it on! Finally my [insert ethnicity here] impatience stepped in and offered to take care of the situation. My aunt gladly handed over the box, and despite being momentarily dazzled by the pretty colors, I immediately saw the problem.
"Saliva collection kit"? That read far more daunting than "cheek swab" or "little bit of spit" would have. Ew. I hadn't even seen the size of the vial yet, but in the name of science and research I tried to motivate myself. After all, we only knew what we had been told our entire lives, but mere wishes and repetition do not necessarily make something true.
And here is where my own personal filming of the movie Groundhog Day began. I never did get that beautiful Andie MacDowell hair, but luckily we only shot for three days with a very low budget. Day one brought some dismay at the notion of spitting, mixed with interest in results. I also learned that her salivary glands may not be overly active at this stage in the game. Luckily, if I planned my requests far enough apart, it wasn't as if I had asked so many times. We were nowhere near the target line by the time I left after several attempted deposits. I called the company to see if I could continue collecting, and was told I would have to start over using the stabilizing solution ahead of time. I was also given super helpful pointers like massaging the side of her cheek, and letting her carry the vial around for a few hours. Considering she would have forgotten within ten minutes what the vial was for, I wondered if my own saliva wasn't the best plan. I tried to think of any possible hiccups from the first trial I should try to avoid on Day 2, other than not going.

Day 2-we might be from Canada. She was still fascinated by the notion of this newfound test she had never heard of. I was still trying to figure out how to help her distinguish blowing raspberries into a vial from actually spitting. I headed home once again feeling both deflated and accomplished at the same time. Having put the stabilizer in, I had no visual for the target amount anymore and just forced myself to accept the fact that I was shutting this project down regardless after one more attempt.

Day 3- "Hi Gram, there is this new thing where they can do tests to see what country your ancestors came from"..."I think I've heard of it"--interesting. I had no idea the intrusion on various one minute clips of her morning this was causing.
I did quickly understand though where some of my impatience may have come from, including the recent addition of France.

While I do not consider myself to be a special snowflake, the idea of being a bit of a unique shamrock had some appeal. My mother and I went for some possibly premature celebration.
Totally buying this shirt next year if the results warrant.
Can you see my mom, even with that camo kilt? I make no promises that this will be her purchase.
I realize that just wearing a green shirt may not be enough depending on percentages.
I did introduce myself to my first Guinness! When in Rome Dublin.
The kit was registered and received, and now we wait...and hope that a message saying "insufficient saliva" is not received! Stay tuned...


  1. Actually, I think we are Scottish and just stopped in Ireland on our way to Canada.

  2. I'm thinking a mutt for me.
    Until you know, keep trying all country's beers...what the heck!

  3. I want to do one so bad because anything other than exactly 50% Italian and 50% Portuguese will be a complete and total shock. My maternal family is Italian, my dad was born in S. America as were his parents, but my great grands are supposedly from the Canary Islands or something.

  4. Keep us posted about your ancestry. I think you're part Cajun!

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  6. I love all of this but especially the camo kilt. PLEASE TELL ME SHE BOUGHT IT.

  7. Also, how in the hell did I miss two posts of yours? I only say that because I failed to comment, which as you know, is HUGE for me. Commenting is a big deal. I am so glad I found two new-to-me posts this morning. :)