It all started with a lovely gift from a friend last month: a DNA kit. Thus begins the search for my royal heritage, confirmation that I truly am the princess I imagine myself to be.
I casually read through the instructions. Wait. What? No eating for a half-hour before taking the test?! Oh, boy. When would I drink coffee? Snack? Brush my teeth? What if I forgot? You can see why I waited weeks before getting down to business which, in this case, is spitting into a tube. But now I’m ready.
In the morning, I have coffee, then set my mental alarm clock for 9:30 a.m. After that, I water the plants, except for the one with the crowded roots. Instead, I soak that one in a pan of water for 20 minutes. While I’m at it, I put on some eggs to boil (15 minutes.)
A while later, I reread the DNA kit instructions. Oh, darn. I need to register it online. I get on my computer, navigate to the website and plug in my email address.
“This email address is already being used,” it says. I fish through my pocketbook for the clipped-together handwritten index cards containing dozens of passwords, but there’s nothing for this one. Now I have to wait for a password reset.
My stomach’s grumbling.
Uh oh. I can’t remember what time I had my coffee. Nor when I set the plant in the water or put the eggs on to boil, which is why it’s never a good idea to rely on my brain to keep track of things. Well, all that will change when I find out I’m a princess, because in those tiny Hallmark Channel monarchies, there’s always someone to keep track of daily activities.
Still no email from StupidDNAKitCompany. While I’m waiting, I see a different email that needs to be printed out.
I’m really hungry. And…my printer isn’t working.
There’s no reset information yet. And though fasting on a Sunday is theoretically a cool spiritual idea, my stomach is now eating itself and I can’t stand my own breath. I might not get the awaited email for days. But you and I both know, with 100 percent certainty, that if I go ahead and eat, I will get the password change email within 30 seconds. And then I will have an even bigger temper tantrum than I am already having, here in my own not-so-royal kitchen at 2 p.m. on a Sunday.
I look out my kitchen window onto my sunny yard, as I stuff a slice of delicious white Italian toast, loaded with butter (MYOB, health nuts) into my mouth, accompanied—right on schedule—by the familiar ding of an incoming email.
Ugh. It’s so beautiful out. I’ll wait another half-hour, take the test, then go for my healthful, peaceful walk.
An hour later, I have completed the main part of the test, not as easy as it sounds (the whole saliva up to the line thing) and I am ready for the final step: screwing on the cap containing the blue reagent. I do that. And do it again. And again. The blue does not want to come down.
Back at the computer, after an extensive search, I contact the DNA company by phone.
“Yeah, some kits are defective,” the rep yawns. “We’ll send you a new one. Seven to ten business days.”
I know it’s not princess-like to curse at a stranger.
“Skip the %$&%#*^% test!” I yell. “I already know who I am—a crazy woman and possibly a princess who can’t spit into a tube, whose best plant is overwatered and who just burned six boiled eggs. Just send me my damned crown.”
Kathy Eliscu, a retired RN, received a National Society of Newspaper Columnists Humor award in 2012 for her Maine Women magazine column. She is the author of “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess,” a humor novel. She blogs at kathyeliscu.com and lives in Westbrook.
*Kathy Eliscu has been awarded the 2nd place prize in the Humor category, under 50,000 circulation, in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists 2018 Column Writing Contest.