1/4 teaspoon of saliva is more than you think

For the past several months, I’ve been obsessively building family trees for my family as well as my genetic/biological people. It’s pretty nuts, but it’s also incredibly fascinating.

A few weeks ago, I decided there was a much easier way to find out the genetic piece of what I’ve always been curious about. And while I plan on continuing to dig around under rocks to find out some interesting tidbits here and there, I’m also waiting for science to get back to me.

I forked over some cash to the folks at ancestry.com and a few days later a package came in the mail.


The only familiarity I have with gathering DNA is what I’ve seen on Law & Order: SVU and when I bought 23 million sperm. Since Olivia Benson wasn’t around to secretly steal the pop can I’d been drinking out of, I had to fill this with 1/4 teaspoon full of spit. Up to the line, the directions said, but don’t count the bubbles.


I did it the best way I knew how… which is apparently holding a test tube against my mouth like it was a trumpet mouthpiece.


I mixed the secret blue solvent mixture in as instructed, leaving out the dog slobber that we thought might be funny, and dropped it in the mail the day after I got it.

Earlier this week, I got an email that said this:


Now I wait for 6-8 weeks to find out what kind of a mutt I really am. I’m guessing it’s at least 25% Irish and 25% German based on my supreme internet stalking skills, but I’m still just going nuts waiting. I’m a product of two red-headed adults, you guys. (Yes, in fact, I can show you the Facebook pages of the two folks that contributed the sperm and egg that turned into me, if you’re so inclined.)

The curiosity really started to get at me when we found out exactly what Oslo’s heritage is and I was jealous. Of a 3 month old. It seems like kind of a silly thing to even care about, especially knowing that the accuracy of something like this certainly isn’t going to be 100% accurate and that I won’t understand most of the 700,000 rows of raw data information I’ll end up with when it’s all said and done. But sometimes, you just feel like you need to know things.

One Comment

  1. chele

    Oh Wendy… I’m laughing so hard right now.
    Keep in mind that I haven’t had all my coffee yet. I read “I’m a product of two red-headed adults” and I immediately thought “OH! No wonder Oslo has red hair!”

    Yeah. In my incompletely-caffeinated state, I guess I forgot how all that worked for a minute. :-)

    Good luck in your quest to know more things! Love you!

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