A Southern Girl Learns to Spit

As a properly raised Southern girl I was never educated on the delicate way to spit. Even during times where spitting would be moderately acceptable (bad food, flu epidemic, or dentist visits) I just never got the hang of it. Growing up in a world where little girls spoke only when spoken to and always minded their elders, spitting was a gateway into a world of ick.

I remember an afternoon in an Alabama summer sitting in the backyard with Grandfather. He had grown a fantastically sized watermelon and we were not allowed to consume it inside the house. Oh the mess! So we trotted out to the secluded backyard, me with a roll of paper towels clutched to my chest, and he with a well sharpened knife. He carved out a hunk and we both applauded the mess. And then we sat there, side by side, munching. And when a seed was met we both took great care to not indicate it. There was no boisterous contest to launch the seeds from our mouth- it was dignified and clandestine removal.

So when I decided to participate in a very exciting genetic experience I realized, with a bit of a groan, that I would have to spit. Plus side: I could do it in private. Minus side: I would have to do it.

But I have to say once I began the spitting into the cute tube that 23andme provides I kind of got into it. It was, dare I say it, liberating. Fun even. I kept wishing there was a cartoon sound effect that the classics used to use when a character would launch expelled tobacco into a spittoon. Spit-DING! And in under 3 minutes I had filled the tube to the indicated mark. Me, a dutiful and mindful full-time Granddaughter, SPIT. And liked it.

The kit is really nifty. It arrived at the beginning of my 23rd week of pregnancy, which I found to be amusing. It comes in a brightly colored box that looks like it might contain fancy chocolates. (alas, it does not) You would think that the collection process of a DNA test would be overwhelming and full of complicated steps. But that was certainly not the case. If anything the entire thing unfolds in a very simple and easy to understand way.

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Here I am with my kit. It comes with your name and a claim code # on it.

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see?! Isn’t it cute? And yet no candy is inside…

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step one, before spitting fun, is to claim the kit on-line and set up your account. Takes under 2 minutes.

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You see how everything is explained? Written directions, illustrations, labels.

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Oh me, oh my, here I am SPITTING!

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After adding the mixing liquid I check the contents out. Hello DNA!

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The tube goes into an included bag which then goes into an included shipping pouch. Easy!

And in several weeks I will have answers and insight into parts of me that I have only dreamed about. I am hoping that I can connect with other people looking for the same kind of information. Who are we?

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