You know those people who go and do stuff for charity for fun? I’m not one of them. I can’t be bothered to go out and walk around a track so that you can make 15$ off my aching legs and poor attitude. Actually, it usually comes down to me being too poor to give any money. Also, I’m lazy. Hello, I’m american! We like to watch other people do these things! Like the ice bucket challenge, which apparently has helped raise money for ALS, that I’m 75% sure a lot of my friends didn’t actually donate towards. They just did the ice bucket thing and then challenged other people, cus it was what people were doing. It was fun and cold and summer, you guys!
But, I digress.
On Monday this Fella I wanted to hang out with told me he was going to go give blood to the Red Cross on Tuesday morning. I had two questions, the first being “Well, when are we gonna hang out?” and the second, which I thought of a little while later, “Can I come?”
I have never given blood because when I tried in high school I had low iron, so I just assumed I would let sleeping dogs lie. Or, in more accurate terms, I was too lazy to try again. This fellow, on the other hand, apparently gives pretty regularly both blood and platelets. So I thought to myself, “I could be a good person too!” and I made the plan to do it.

Kate is the one with the tongue.  I'm the one doing the big arms thing.  Don't be intimidated by our dazzling beauty.

Kate is the one with the tongue. I’m the one doing the big arms thing. Don’t be intimidated by our dazzling beauty.

Then I remembered this friend of mine, Kate, who is really more like a sister, who has had the diagnosis of autoimmune hemolytic anemia since before I met her a few years ago. Kate, who has posted on facebook about how much she appreciates people who give blood and platelets because she is one of the people who has to get transfusions. Kate, who has medical bills so big that she had to start a GoFundMe because her family has been financially run dry for the time being. I remembered Kate, and how much I miss her, and how she would appreciate the little gift of a pint of blood. I think that’s how I become able to give, by remembering the people who I know that are in need.
blood1Two older men were checking us in. I thought they were hilarious because they didn’t know how to use their computers, so I helped them out. They reminded me of my dad, because he always has me help him with computer stuff. Because we were walk ins we had to wait and see if appointments didn’t show up, so we hung out for 15 to 30 minutes before we both got numbers.
When my number was called I went with the technician and answered questions about never having had AIDS or HIV, never having left the country, not having had a blood transfusion from the United Kingdom or France, etc. She checked my blood pressure and iron, which was doing rather nicely compared to high school, and then set me up with another technician to get my blood draining.
blood2I’m not ashamed, I totes played on my phone and took selfies while I was waiting to get hooked up. The Fella was already hooked up, playing on his phone, and was eating pizza by the time I got punctured. After he went and sat down this older man came over to me.
blood3In a rather thick New England accent he announced, “Your boyfriend says to hurry up! You’re taking too long!”
“I just got started!” I replied, laughing at his sass.
“I’m joking with yah, he came over and I told him he cant leave for 15 minutes and he said ‘oh, I’ll be here for a while, I’m waiting for her!’ and he pointed over here so I came over to give you a hard time.”
“Well that’s fine, he’ll be OK.”
blood4At this point I was taking a selfie with my phone, because, yolo, at which time Carmine (that was his name) proclaimed, “That’s called a Selfie!”
I said yes, yes it is. Then Carmine offered to take a picture for me, but I declined and thanked him for the offer.
blood5When I was all unplugged by the very nice technician that was willing to discuss the absurdity of Paris Hilton with me I went over and had a piece of pizza with the Fella and drank some water. Afterwards we went to a Chinese place and I ate part of my meal, I was so very tired at that point! The rest of the day was spent taking a nap and watching Doctor Who.
I guess, if you want a life lesson out of this, what I would tell you when it comes to giving is twofold. First, give from the heart. Find a reason that you want to give and you will be more likely to actually do it. Don’t think about feeling good about yourself, because it doesn’t matter how you feel about yourself. What matters is whether or not you’re helping someone. Second, give what you can. Whether it’s money, clothes, food, blood, volunteer support, there is always a need to be filled. I’m hoping to find more ways I can give with what little I have, and I hope you will too. dirty