the first time i ever gave blood was to get out of work for a little while. i was 18 and working for a department store when an announcement was made that anyone who gave blood at the bloodmobile that afternoon would get an hour off with pay. after giving, there were cookies and pop! omg! an hour off AND cookies AND pop!!! WOO-HOO!!!!
so i gave. and continued to give, long after the benefit of an hour off expired. it was helping someone, didn’t take much time, and hey – cookies and pop!
so i finally went to the NW FL Blood Center last week to give. nice folks. free t-shirts. free pop. free little debbies. there was a lot of attention given and you felt like a minor celebrity.
and then yesterday i get a call.
“mr. rust, this is _______ at the NWFLBC and i wanted to call and talk to you about donating again.”
“so soon?” i asked.
“well, you donated whole blood last week, and of course you have to wait 8 weeks between those donations, but mr. rust, your platelet count (insert long explanation of how rustypants’ count is THREE TIMES the normal count)!!”
“uhh… wow. should i be worried?”
“oh, no! this is great! you can give platelets every three days!!!”
“hey, cool,” i said, blind to what was coming next.
“platelets are crucial for cancer patients, leukemia patients, and others who have blood diseases! and because of their short shelf-life, we’re in constant need of people like you who have extremely elevated levels in their blood. think about all the people you will be helping – your one donation will probably help three people! (insert continued unnecessary encouragement on the importance of donating)”
i felt like a rock star. no lie. i was being courted with facts, t-shirts, candy, drinks, bring a dvd to watch if you want, we’ll sign you up to win a new car, your platelets are so sexy, mr. rust, i wish i could be the technician who centrifuges your blood, everyone should be so lucky to have your platelet count, would you sign my shirt, let me stroke your arteries…
“ok. sign me up.”
“umm.” now i’m confused.
“it will take up to two hours to complete when can you come in?”
and then the sun rose. the lightbulb turned on. the cold water of realization hit.
they will never stop calling now, will they? i’ll be their rock star until my platelets rebel and stop kicking it so hard. then, and only then, will my star fall. and i’ll just be another has-been. a washout.
hey! helping others! cookies! pop! it’ll be worth it.