Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bodily fluids. Retail therapy.

"Wow! People with high hemoglobin like you should consider donating double red cells."

Though I only had snacks for dinner last night and just a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, my numbers apparently impressed the nurse at the blood center. (Now that I'm over 50, married with teen-agers... only now do I discover these little secrets of How To Impress Women.) She explained that if someone needs two units' worth of red cells, it's better to get it from one person than from two, as it reduces the risk of (literal) bad blood. Better, in other words, to get those cells from me than from me and from someone else.

OK, that sounds pretty good. I can only do this every 16 weeks (rather than every 8 as with "regular" donations), but let's face it, I'm not going in every 8 weeks. I had a little anxiety about plasma going back into my bloodstream after some red cells were filtered out. I read their literature and it seemed reasonable. I was getting ready to sign up.

But then came the big disappointment: I'm underweight. That's right, even at 120 pounds, I wouldn't qualify; I'm (literally) a lightweight. I have to get up to 130 pounds, which is not something I'm ever planning to do. Too bad, because they supply you with a movie while they filter your blood (or I could bring my own). Multitasking opportunity!

Hurmpf. Underweight introverts get no respect.
I stopped by the parts store afterwards. It was on Old County, not on Industrial as I had thought. I got there about 5 minutes before closing time (noon), and talked to the guy. He was very excited about the idea of being done for the day. "Hey, lock the doors up, dude!" he called.

The phone rang. The clock showed 11:58, and he put the caller on hold. "Are you gonna put him on hold for 2 minutes and then tell him you're closed?" I asked. He gave me a grin -- I could tell the idea intrigued him, but he was a nice guy; he wouldn't do that.

I was buying a timer for my clothes dryer. "About a hundred bucks?" I asked him.

"A hundred, and ninety-one," he said.

I was alarmed. "191 bucks??" I was not quite in the soprano range.

"A hundred dollars and ninety-one cents," he said. Okay, that's cool.

He offered me a lifetime warranty for another $15. Well, maybe not. "It'll be here Tuesday."
Though I'm an introvert (afterwards I went to the library to pick up a movie or book -- ended up getting one of each), it's more important to me than I'd thought it was to talk to someone once in a while. Yeah, there's email and facebook -- but electronically mediated interactions are just not the same as face-to-face.

So I am developing a little sympathy or at least understanding around the concept of "retail therapy." Giving blood you get to talk to someone. Talking to the guy at the parts counter, ditto. Going to Costco -- ah, methinks that wouldn't fall into the same category.

And I guess that's what's behind the coffee/tea-house outreach concept. I think that's something worth giving my time to at some point. Maybe once the nest is empty.

1 comment:

Carol Park said...

Sheri says you need to buff up so you can donate more blood!

I say you need to eat more of the sweets I bake! (not to make you a fat daddy, just little more muscular and little more roundness!)