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chemlab

Students work in a chemistry lab in the 1890s Ursinus College, PA

I am thrilled to share some news with you. My parents purchased a 23andMe Home DNA Kit as my birthday present. While I would love to say I received this gift like a mature newly-minted 34 year old, with calm dignity and an appreciative and respectful hug of gratitude, what I actually did was squeal with delight and busted into my Happy Dance for 15 minutes, scaring the dog in the process. I was jumping around like a pogo stick yelling. “Thank you, Mommy and Daddy! THANK YOU!” To which my father laughed and threatened to sit on me if I didn’t chill out.–Yes, yes. Very mature of me.

This past Monday I registered my kit, filled the sample, and sent it back to the lab. Then I fired off a mass-text to 25 of my nearest and dearest, proclaiming “I’m going to get my spit tested to find out if I’m a princess!” And that’s when the wagering began. One, five, ten, and twenty-five cents bets were being placed with all the gravity of the high-rollers in an exclusive Las Vegas casino. My own mother confessed she would be most displeased if  I did not have any African blood in my results. She is hoping the French, she always thought she was, will show up in me. Her bet is one whole American quarter that I have at least 1% Sub-Saharan African and at least 1% French genes. I have one co-worker who has ten cents on “5% undefined/extraterrestrial.”

My own predictions, given my mother’s results and what I know of my father’s genealogy are thus (in alphabetical order–I’m very Librarian, like that):

  1. African
  2. British
  3. French
  4. German
  5. Irish
  6. Native of the Americas
  7. Scottish
  8. Spanish

However, I might be “suddenly” Polish or Brazilian! I could be one of you, Dear Readers! How amazingly wonderful would that be?

Despite the fascination with the ancestry portion of 23andMe, the predominant reason I am over the moon to take the test is to gain insight into my carrier status (aka the medical side of things.) 23andMe is unique in that it checks for two types of hearing loss. If I do not have one, I shall be very surprised and disheartened. We are hoping the results will solve the mystery once and for all if I was born with my hearing loss or if I became “deaf” through environmental factors (such as extreme fevers while very young). Talk about a peace of mind for the whole family!

At the moment, who knows what I am, besides Fabulous?! There is a multitude of things you could bet on, Dear Readers. Enter your predictions and “wagers” in the comments below. My most recent picture can be found here from two weeks ago, in case you want to “eyeball” my possible ethnic mix.

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