I’ve always thought that understanding my family tree could be valuable, but had never actually tried to trace it back. That’s why I finally decided to do 23andMe, the genetic test that tells you everything from your ethnicity to your preference for caffeine, and oh boy, what did I find! I took the at-home test and traced my ancestors all the way back to the raccoon nest under my deck.
Seeing the results so clearly, it makes perfect sense that I’m descended from raccoons living under my deck. I’ve always thought I had the same chittery way of speaking, the same nimble way of washing my food in the river (you never know what germs an acorn might be carrying!) and the same ringed eyes that possess a terrifying capacity for night vision. I’ve pretty much known my whole life!
23andMe simply gave the gift of confirming my relation. All I had to do was spit in a tube, seal it and then send it to a lab for analysis. My results arrived after only a few weeks and stunned me. I’d speculated I was maybe at least half Chinese, or partially German, but the box came back with indisputable results: a half-chewed corn cob, some tubular rodent-like shits, a couple shiny coins and a fistful of candy wrappers.
“I’m a raccoon!” I exclaimed.
Apparently not just any raccoon either. I’m not the sort of fancy European raccoon that calls cookies “biscuits.” I’m the American kind that’s living under my deck right now. I know that for a fact, because the trash in my 23andMe box came from my very own garbage can.
All this time my ancestors have been living under my house and gnawing through the foundation!
After continuing to read my results, I also discovered that due to my genetics, I have a predisposition to liking fruits, berries, nuts and dog food, and a family history of rabies. Knowledge truly is power, since now I know to prevent myself from catching rabies by refraining from fighting with rats. Once I stop that nasty little habit, I’ll be more likely to live a longer, healthier life!
Obviously everyone’s 23andMe results will be different, and some family histories may be more difficult to trace than others, but it’s incredible what science can tell you about yourself from just a sample of spit. I for one am grateful to be informed. Now whenever I knock a trash can over by accident, I can laugh and think, “Haha! That’s my ancestors!”