Spit Happens: Taking the 23andMe Spit Test

April 9, 2009 at 9:58 am 1 comment

23andme_logoI am a terrible spitter. Seriously. I am one of those people who, when she tries to spit (like, say after getting a mouthful of gnats while running on a summer day. And yes, I sometimes do run. Not a lot, but sometimes. Hey, it isn’t easy finding time to run)

ANWAY, I am one of those people who, when she tries to spit, ends up with a chin full of drool. I’m not even good at spitting out my toothpaste. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve found toothpaste IN MY HAIR after brushing. Of course, I only find it after it’s dried and stuck together in a little clump on my head, because realizing that it was there while I was standing at the sink would just be too easy, what with the ability at that moment to rinse it out and all.

Honestly, it’s not as if it’s been a big issue for me. Spitting is for old men, tobacco chewing baseball players, and babies, when they eat something they don’t like. It’s not like I’ve aspired to be the Michael Phelps of spitting. Honking a lugey has never been high on my list of to-do lists, not to mention to-do-well lists.

I even think the word is awful. Spit. Sounds like an expletive, doesn’t it? No really, say it really loudly and with a bit of anger in your voice. See? Now go wash your mouth out with soap, you naughty girl, you.

Even the clinical alternative to the word spit, “saliva,” seems salacious. It sounds like one of your “female” parts, the uterus, the vulva, the saliva.

So I’m not a spitter. You can imagine, then, how I felt when I saw the amount of saliva I had to produce for 23andMe. (I couldn’t help but notice that the thing you have to spit into for 23andMe is called a vial! Get it? Vile/Vial. Accident? I think not!)

But you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I think my problem with spitting has always been the distance thing. Projectile spitting is not my forte. Spitting directly into a little tube, however, was perfectly fine. Gross, but fine. I got all the saliva in there without too much difficulty.

Once I had the spit, I took a look. I haven’t seen that much of my own saliva in one place since I was fitted for a retainer in seventh grade. But this spit was different, special. It was sort of like a test-tube baby. All this promise in a tube: the promise of learning about my heritage, delving into my genetic make-up, solving, perhaps, the mystery of why I’ve never, ever, been good at math.

Who knows what all this spitting will bring? Maybe I’ll start to associate spitting not with old men and phlegmy handkerchiefs, but with knowledge and medical breakthroughs. But for now, I think I’ve spit enough. Excuse me while I go wipe my chin.

Full Disclosure:  I am a founding member of the 23andMe and me Pregnancy Community, which sponsored this post.

Part of the mission of 23andMe is to increase research into pregnancy and pregnancy related issues.  You can be a part of it (even if you don’t spit!) The more women who participate by answering surveys, the better the reasearch will be. If you are currently pregnant  or have been pregnant before please visit http://www.23andme.com/pregnancy and complete a short survey.

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Entry filed under: 23andMe, Genetics. Tags: , , .

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