I’ve always wanted to do one of those ancestry tests to find out if I have some exotic history that I didn’t know about.
Several months ago, I spit into a vial and mailed it off. That was a process in itself because I barely have enough spit to lick a stamp. I smelled lemons as was suggested, and it helped.
I couldn’t wait to see the results. This particular company was also approved by the Food and Drug Administration for some health tests that show indicators for various diseases.
My heritage was interesting, but not surprising. It said I was
99.7 percent European descent — 49 percent British and Irish and 24 percent French and German, followed by 3.8 percent Scandinavian, 1.5 percent Iberian and tiny percentages of other places.
The DNA report also gives “tendencies” based on genetics. Some of the “tendencies” were on the mark. It said, based on my genetics and “other factors,” that I am more likely than average to be afraid of heights. True. My palms sweat when I ride escalators. Also, the report said that I am likely to consume more caffeine than average. True. Ask the Starbucks drive-thru guy. It also said I was less likely to have a lot of hair as a newborn. False. My baby picture could double for a baby gorilla at the zoo.
I keep getting updates from this company, which is cool. Nothing is too earth-shattering, but it’s fun to see.
Last week, I was surprised to see one particular finding that explained a lot. My husband is almost perfect. I could count his faults on one hand and not need all my fingers.
One thing I do find particularly annoying, though, is the way he scrapes the ice-cream bowl when he’s down to the bottom and the way he chews and crunches grapes, carrots or peanuts.
It is worse than nails on a chalkboard for me. I can go from happy to homicidal within two seconds of hearing him chew. I feel bad about it, and I try. I try to ignore it, but I usually give him a look, and he leaves the room, or he tries to slooowly and quietly chew peanuts, which really doesn’t work.
My reaction hurts his feelings, I know, but I swear, I can’t help it. Now I have proof.
I received an email from the DNA-testing company. Based on my genetics, I have higher than average odds of HATING the sound of someone chewing. Those are the exact words used on the report —hating. No kidding. I have a condition. According to this, it’s called misophonia.
The report stated: “Almost everyone hates the sound of nails on a chalkboard, but for people with a condition called misophonia, everyday noises like the sound of chewing can cause a similar reaction, along with rage or panic. Some scientists speculate that misophonia could result from increased connections between the brain systems involved in hearing and the ‘fight-or-flight response.’”
I told my husband about the report. I felt better because, like my green eyes and brunette hair, it’s just how I was born.
There is no cure, except for him to eat crunchy food in a different room, or for me to wear ear plugs when he does.
I once heard talk-show host Kelly Ripa say that she literally had to leave the house when her husband (gorgeous actor Mark Consuelos) ate an orange because that slurping noise made her want to scream.
It’s not your fault, Kelly. It’s misophonia, and I feel your pain.
Maybe we should start a support group. Let’s start by meeting at your house. And you can serve noncrunchy snacks.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.