For days and days afterward, I stayed all warm and fuzzy from this neverdone. Aglow with good tidings, I was! It also gave me an excuse — no, wait, a directive — to eat Twinkies and be lazy. How can you beat that?
Oh, and then there was that opportunity to be on TV. I turned it down for myself, but was thoroughly pleased to shove my neverdone-bud into the limelight instead. :)
I donated blood….yep, for the first time ever.
As I walked into Greenville’s Blood Connection, I wasn’t really nervous about the needles or the fact that someone was about to drain buckets of blood from my veins.
(Hey, before you complain about my choice of words, I didn’t mean *gallon* buckets, for heaven’s sake. I meant those tiny little decorative buckets you find at Michael’s or Garden Ridge. They’re small buckets, but they’re still buckets.)
I think my neverdone partner — let’s call her P — was a little nervous, though, because she hates, hates, hates needles. But she seemed calm as we completed the required paperwork, and pretty quickly I was called to begin my adventure.
A blonde, blue-eyed, cordial-but-quite-serious lab tech with a ponytail and perky gazoongas took me into a tiny little closet of a room with a desk and two chairs. It was one of four or five similar rooms all lined up in a row, I assume for the sake of privacy. But I could hear every word that was spoken in the room next to mine, so I think they should reassess the effectiveness of these little isolation areas.
She asked me question after question after question after question until she began to sound like a rapidfire auctioneer…..which made me laugh. And the questions got more and more ridiculous as she went on and on and on…..which also made me laugh. I wanted to explain to her why I was laughing, but she wouldn’t stop with the questions. Finally, she had to take a breath and I said, “Wow, some of these questions are giving me the giggles…do you think I could get a copy of them? Some of them are funny.”
She did smile at me briefly, but declined my request. “They won’t let us make copies,” she explained. “I’m not sure why.”
Well, darn. I was hoping to share them with you. The best I can do is recite — to the best of my recollection — the question that sent me over the edge: “Have you ever been to Africa and acquired the oogaboogadoodoo virus?”
(Yeah, yeah, I *know* that wasn’t its actual name. But it did have a singsongy sort of silly flavor to it, and she pronounced it soooo precisely.)
The nice little serious blonde chick guided me from the room to one of the dentist-chair blood-sucking stations and asked me to drink a carbonated beverage. I asked her if I had to, and she said yes. It was while I was sipping the diet cola — yuk! — that I started to pay attention to the young newscaster-dude and his video camera-toting buddy.
The behind-the-camera guy was filming the on-camera guy as he went through the donating process — he, too, was doing it for the first time. I think it was first-timer day at the place….Besides P, me, and the on-camera guy, I’d heard a couple other donors confess that they were virginous.
(Can you believe “virginous” is not a word? It should be. I like it much better than “virginal.”)
The behind-the-camera guy caught my eye, smiled a big I’m-about-to-ask-a-favor smile, and asked, “Would you mind if we interviewed you?”
I shook my head and smiled my bummer-but-there’s-not-a-chance-in-hell smile. “Nope, sorry,” I answered. “But I’ll bet my friend would love to!” I pointed toward P, who was just being escorted out of her little closet-room.
He wasn’t giving up. “Would you mind if I just got some footage of you?”
“Nahhh, I don’t think so. Thanks, anyway.”
I looked to my right, and the nice little serious blonde chick was poking me. “You’ve got great veins,” she said, smiling warmly. Not many things in this girl’s work world made her smile, but great veins was one of them.
So I sat there as my blood drained into a clear bag. I’d drank a ton of water that day because I’d been told I would bleed faster. Apparently it worked. After only about 5 minutes, the bag was engorged with my deep red life-fluid. I blew it a mental kiss goodbye, and hoped that it would help someone. The blonde chick told me to sit there a few minutes, finish my beverage, and move over to the snack table when I felt like it.
Looking around, P was in front of me talking to the camera. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, though. To her right was a straggly-looking, blankfaced fella who either was coming down off of some sort of unpleasant high or was dead-to-the-whole-world tired. I wondered if he was here to donate blood for a friend or family member….he looked as if he’d been to hell and back. Or perhaps to the ER and back.
I heard a round of chuckles, and noticed that the newscaster dude, in the station to my left, was sitting up, looking around at everyone’s faces. “What?” he asked. “Do I look really pale? I feel OK.”
Yep, he looked pale, poor guy. I felt nothing. Just normal. So I decided to sit up, too, and made my way to the highly anticipated snack table. Once there, I looked for something healthy…..to no avail. Why would they not provide apples? Geesh, all they had were Little Debbie sugary crap-things. I considered the Twinkies, but, not being a huge chocolate fan, I opted for a cakelike square covered in vanilla icing. Yuuuuuuum! Crap-things can be so good.
I continued to feel fine the rest of the day, except for once — I felt a nanosecond of dizziness after getting up too fast from my chair at work. I probably could’ve gone to the gym that evening, but I’d been told not to exert myself so soon after donating, so I had an excellent excuse to be lazy!
I loved this experience because it might have helped someone hang onto life a little better….. :) It makes my other neverdones seem trivial and self-absorbed. Egotistic.