Genealogy? Not interested. We’re all basically mutts. That’s how I used to feel. But recently, I became a bit curious about it after my daughter decided to dip her big toe in the genealogy pool and got back some interesting results. What did she find out? In addition to discovering that she has a very good likelihood of developing some of my unfavorable traits (misophonia, for one), she also found out that she’s 26% Scottish. Huh? It couldn’t have come from my side, I’ve always been told I was half-Irish, half-German. My mom’s ancestors came from County Cork, Ireland and my father’s from Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. And as far as my husband’s side? Even less likely. He’s half Hispanic and half ‘a-bunch-of-other-stuff’. The simplest explanation? Either ‘Ancestry’ made a mistake or a ‘Scot’ snuck into the picture at some point and went completely undetected. On whose side? Who knows? But I have a hunch.
Let’s say I was a betting woman (I’m not, but let’s just say I am). I’d be willing to bet some serious money that it comes from my husband’s side. Why is that? Could it be his unflappable belief in the Loch Ness Monster? You know the one, the large creature believed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. “Yes, Honey,” I tell him when he starts up about his ‘theories’, “I’m sure you’re right. Nessie and aliens from outer space and Mr. Sasquatch, they are ALL real.” I’m not kidding you! Anytime I want to watch ‘Netflix’, a category called something like, ‘Shows You Might Be Interested In’, pops up on the screen. What do these shows all have in common? Aliens and Bigfoot. And remember his do-over birthday the other night? Just for him, I sat through one of those shows. I had told him to pick any show he likes and I’d stay and watch it with him. I should have known better. He picked a documentary about aliens and even though it was low budget and beyond awful, I kept my promise and sat through it. The things we do for ‘love’.
If his belief in the Loch Ness Monster doesn’t convince you, then this next little tidbit should. His favorite movie? ‘Highlander’, the 1986 film starring Christopher Lambert. The main character, Connor MacLeod, was born in the Scottish Highlands. See what I mean? It cannot be a coincidence that the main character is a Scot! Do you know how many times I’ve had to sit through that movie? I think I developed PTSD from viewing that film countless times. Every now and then I can hear the words, “There can only be one!” reverberate through my head as I envision yet another immortal getting their head sliced off. Another one of his favorite films? ‘Braveheart’, a story about a 13th-century Scottish Warrior. This one is also fraught with violence but I don’t mind it as much. Mel Gibson stars as the lead and it was filmed when he was still ‘easy on the eyes’, before he started hitting the bottle and everything went downhill, including his reputation in the film industry.
My daughter is interested in finding out which one of us contributed the ‘Scottish’ genes and recommended one of us have our DNA examined, too. This is the part where I hesitate taking it any further. Yes, it would be nice to learn a little bit more about my heritage but then there are the other matters to take into consideration when you ‘submit your DNA’ for testing. Do any of you folks watch ‘Forensic Files’ or ‘Dateline’ or ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ or any of those shows about true crime? Guess what usually leads investigators to the ‘bad guy’? Yep, good old DNA! That’s actually how ‘they’ (folks in law enforcement) were able to finally determine who the Golden State Killer is and bring him to justice. I wish they had been able to do it sooner because now he’s an old man, but better late than never. Apparently, through ‘familial DNA’, they were able to close in on him and then once they outfoxed him and got some of his DNA off his car door, any and all doubt was removed.
Why bring up ‘true crime’? Now don’t get worked up, this is purely hypothetical. Let’s just say I had sent in my DNA for testing and I decide later to commit a crime? My DNA will already be in the database! Once the detectives arrive on scene and find one of the gloves that fell out of my pocket as I fled, they’ll be able to determine who I am so fast that I likely won’t have enough time (after said crime) to get home, hide or dispose of the evidence, take a shower, book an airline ticket, take an Uber to the airport, hop on a flight and flee to Barbados! That gives ‘them’ (folks in law enforcement) an unfair advantage. I don’t know that I like that so much. That’s the equivalent of placing a rodent in a snake’s cage. The rodent has no chance of escaping capture! As soon as you lift the lid and put that little critter with the twitchy nose and long tail in amongst the shavings with Mr. Snake only inches away, he or she is toast. If you think of me as the rodent, that seems a bit cruel, doesn’t it? I should at least get a chance to escape to Barbados and drink a Mai-Tai first before being returned to the United States.
There are other concerns, of course. What concerns could I possibly have? ‘Eugenics’ comes to mind. Have you ever looked at what we humans have done to one another because of ‘Eugenics’? Terrible stuff! Forced sterilizations, marriage restrictions and murder. Remember World War II and all of those folks that were killed because they were Jewish, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gay, mentally or physically disabled, black, and/or a handful of ‘other’ things? Yep, Eugenics had a big role in that! If anything like that rears its ugly head again, which sad to say, it probably will because history has a tendency to repeat itself, I don’t want to end up on anyone’s ‘list’. Sorry, I don’t mean to be so grim, but I see how we humans treat one another and it can be downright despicable. If I’d been living in Europe during World War II, the Nazis would have finished me off in a heartbeat. And not just me, my parents, my siblings and my children. With our ties to depression and schizophrenia, we all fit neatly into the ‘mentally disabled’ category. Oh my gosh! This whole thing sure took a dark turn! Enough of that!
Wow! I was having a lot of fun until I reached the 6th paragraph, and then it all went to ‘Hell in a handbasket’. How do I recover from that?! How about hearing ‘the joke of the day’? Have you ever heard the one about a rabbi, a priest and a duck? No, no, I won’t put you through that. My boss at my last job used to do that to all of the seniors at lunch time and the jokes were usually terrible and resulted in boos and hisses. So what were we talking about again? That’s right! My opposition to submitting my DNA for testing. I don’t know, it just doesn’t ‘sit well’ with me. If I were to do it, a part of me would forever remain in a database and be used for any number of purposes. And once I give it up, there’s no turning back. It is there forever. I already had to submit my fingerprints several years ago when I applied for a government position so that’s already stored in AFIS or another database and even that makes me a bit uneasy. And like I said, if I were to ‘hypothetically’ commit a crime at a later date, the less ‘they’ have on me, the better. Don’t deny me my Mai-Tai, please!
I guess at the end of the day, whether or not we’re able to determine our ‘origins’, we are just people. On the outside, we might look a bit different. Our eyes, our skin, our hair, and/or our ‘shapes’ may vary. But on the inside? We are pretty much the same. I also believe that most of us want the same thing, to love and be loved. And to experience a little laughter along the way wouldn’t hurt either. Whether or not my ancestors came from Scotland or Ireland or Germany or a little shack in Siberia or Timbuctoo, I’m just ‘me’. Just another soul on this planet taking each day as it comes and trying to get through this life as best I can. And I imagine you are, too. Where does that leave us? I’m not exactly sure. What I do know? There is strength in numbers, my friend. How about you and I stick together and maybe we’ll be able to get through this journey with a little more grace and a little more joy and a lot more understanding? As far as what I intend to do about DNA testing, the jury is still out.
Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.