Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The American Red Cross is holding a major campaign this month in an attempt to fight the ever-widening blood shortage. They've taken over the whole month. January is now National Blood Donor Month. Morbid, yes. But necessary. This country is facing a shortage of something that is important for so many individuals and so easy to give.

You know you've seen the signs around. They're hanging in the library, in the gym, in your office. The Red Cross is coming and they want to suck your blood. They're coming to you and they're offering sugary treats and drinks in return. What better way to justify that donut you're going to shove down your fat gullet anyway than to restock your sugar levels after donating a pint? Or better yet, swap out a pint for a pint (or five) at your local watering whole. Go ahead, you've earned it. In fact, on blood donation day, you've kind of earned everything. Feeling a little lightheaded? Better head home from work early. Lethargic? I guess your husband is going to have to cook dinner. Arm a little sore? You definitely need some good sex to take your mind off of it.

Donating blood doesn't hurt(that much). It doesn't take much time. And it doesn't cost you a dime. I know it's hard to contribute to non-profits during a tough economic time. This is one way you can make a big difference in about as little time as possible. If I had my way with you, you'd be joining me on my 5:45 a.m. runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and donating lots and lots of money. This is a hell of a lot easier than that. Especially when the thermometers in Boston are reading off a -2 degrees these days. DIE, WINTER.

I've been a long-term hospital patient before. I know how valuable that red gold can be. I am so behind the act of giving blood that I've been serving as an outside ambassador all month. Nagging B to give when he can. Asking my parents about the last time they donated. Pointing out all of the local drives that are happening around town. And when I saw that a drive was coming to my office, I signed up as soon as the posters hit the bulletin boards.

On the day of the drive, I stoically marched down to the makeshift donation station in the office cafeteria, announcing to anyone who might hear me on the way that I was off to donate my blood. It was blood donation day. Did everyone sign up to give a pint?

I signed all the forms, got my finger pricked and answered all the questions. And then I got rejected. Like an asshole. And my high school boyfriend on prom night. BURN!

Red Cross: Have you ever had Hepatitis?

Me: No

Red Cross: Taken any unprescribed drugs via needles?

Me: No.

Red Cross: Tested HIV positive?

Me: No.

Red Cross: Had sex with someone who tested HIV positive?

Me: No.

Red Cross: Had sex with someone with AIDS?

Me: No.

Red Cross: Thought about having sex with someone with AIDS?

Me: No.

Red Cross: Oh, I love that tattoo. Where did you get it done?

Me: Philadelphia.

Red Cross: I'm sorry, but you can't give blood today.

Me: Wha?

Red Cross: We can't accept blood from anyone who has gotten a tattoo in the past year in Pennsylvania or Massachusetts. You can go to Rhode Island and get one and you'd be fine. But in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania they can just stick you with any nasty old thing. Can't take your blood.

Me: But -

Red Cross: You can still have a donut.

Me: But -

Red Cross: Have a great day! We'll call you in July!

But I had prepared for this moment! I chose a shirt that would be easy to roll above the elbow when I got dressed this morning. I packed extra snacks in my lunch to bring my sugars back up should I need them and to treat myself if I didn't.

But you know what's the real kicker? I did this same exact thing exactly one year ago. Only last year I never went to donate because I had been reminded of the little tattoo rule ahead of time. And apparently that fact got my panties all in a twist last year too. But as I tend to do, I quickly let the memory dissolve so I could make room in my cranium for more important things, like that name of that awesome bottle of wine I had last weekend. And all the lyrics to the Backin Up song. Sometimes you just have to get a little stupider for the sake of your own entertainment and the entertainment of those around you. DAMMIT, BRAIN.

And now, after having my arms checked for track marks and all those pages of questions about AIDS and heroin use and skin grafts from the United Kingdom, I have to say I feel a little bit like a dirty old drug user. Rejected because I tainted my blood with my needle habit.

Next time I get inked, I'm totally going to Rhode Island.

P.S. And I'm backin' up backin' up backin' up backin' up cause my daddy taught me good.

P.P.S. All this talk about blood has made me hungry. BLOOD MUFFINS.


Becky Mochaface said...

Dude, how many tattoos do you got that you go through this every year?

Bridget said...

I had decided to go over my white ink tattoo with black ink. So it's still the same tattoo, just got needled again. Blargh!

Smoked Out Writer said...

Rumor has it, Red Cross chapter down here in Baltimore will accept mason jars full of blood, no questions asked, so long as you promise to have sterilized the jar first...

Deidre said...

I love kids in the hall.

I am sorry you couldn't give blood. Next time!

rory said...

I'll give four pints tomorrow. One for you and B and one for Miss Carol and me.
And then I'll drink a tall boy while I drive home.
Should be exciting.

Bridget said...

@Deidre Am I making kids in the hall references without even knowing it? i've never actually seen that show. don hate.

Bridget said...

@rory buckle up, baby


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