Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Long Live the Skinny Hero!
I didn't go to the spa or do anything luxurious. I gave blood on a Red Cross bus and had a GREAT time! Really. But I should explain, because let's be honest, it's a little weird to be so enthused about giving blood, and it's not something I've ever been very eager to do. Until now, that is.
Yesterday was a great holiday, except that holidays ruin your inner calendar. It felt like Saturday, which produced a REALLY big nap right in the middle of the afternoon, which in turn ruined my night's sleep. Between 10:30 pm and midnight I had gone to the grocery store, switched the car seats, cleaned the kitchen, made Chad's lunch, flipped the laundry, and unfortunately, was still bright eyed and bushy tailed.
So, I turned to my old loyal friend Facebook to entertain and tucker me out. Facebook and I understand each other. It's a selfish relationship really, but Facebook doesn't mind. She feeds my need for social interaction, busy-bodying, and internet snooping and doesn't ask anything in return. I like that. She's like your favorite Aunt; the one that you tell your quasi-secrets to and you think she's not going to tell them to anyone, and instead she tells them to everyone. But you don't get annoyed at her because she bakes you a cake with pictures of weddings and other people's babies, and funny sayings that don't mean anything, and all is forgiven. You can't help but forgive her and like her.
So I'm with my friend Facebook, and I get instant messaged by my wonderful neighbor. Before I know it, I've committed to going to a 4:30 appointment to donate blood. She's a social marketing genius and set up this smoke screen of free babysitting (provided by her wonderful daughter) and cookies in order to get me in her charity trap. Knowing that those are my two greatest needs these days, she went for the kill. I'm lucky she didn't ask for a kidney or a baby for the black market, because with the promise of those two things I probably would have given in to just about anything. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to demand a stack of People Magazines, which she quickly conceded to, and I was committed. In blood.
I have to admit - after a long night of poor to no sleep, giving blood was not at the top of my busy list today. But dutifully I went.
As I'm sitting down to give my medical history, the wonderful nurse says to me "You're a hero today. If you do this, you will save 3 lives." Now, I'm used to saving lives, but it's the same two lives, over and over again. Traffic, choking, bath-time, intussusception, wrestle mania - you name it. My kids are constantly on the track leading them to mortal danger, and sometimes I'm the only thing standing in their way. So saving 3 mystery lives was quite novel to me. Next the wonderful nurse asks me my weight by guessing. Usually this doesn't go my way. But her words are etched in my mind, and might make an appearance on my tombstone "you're what ... 135?" So now I'm a hero AND 135 pounds? You have got to be kidding me!! Could this day get any BETTER? My brain was reeling so much from hearing such a low number that I made the mistake of correcting her!! WHY ON EARTH DID I DO THAT? I could have reveled in the idea that someone thought me so slender, and who knows, maybe even convinced myself that it was true and start telling my dear friend Facebook all about it.
People magazines in hand, I float into the Red Cross bus on cloud nine, to give life-saving nectar to those who really need it, aka I'm a hero. My phlebotomist turns out to be this HUGE guy, who starts to tease me, by saying "Do me a favor: grab a ziplock bag and stick yourself will ya?" at which I start laughing long and hard. No one is going to ruin this mood of mine - didn't he hear? I'm a skinny hero. My obnoxious laughter put him in a better mood and he proceeded to prep and stick my arm with real caution. I hardly felt a thing, and sat pumping my blood into a bag, reading deliciously about John and Kate plus 8 (I couldn't help it - it's like a train wreck or anything with Pauly Shore - you just have to see it to believe it) and before I know it they said I'm done and wrap up my arm.
Next came the cookies: morsels of peanut-buttery, chocolate-fudgy goodness (there were oatmeal raisin cookies, but I leave those for the diabetics). Was that it? I'll give blood every week if this is how it goes down.
So please people - be a skinny hero. It's awesome. I would know.