So I gave blood yesterday.  I like to give blood because it is one of the few services I can do for others while putting my feet up and reading a book.  I’m O-positive, which is the most common blood type, so my blood is in high demand.  (Not quite as high as O-negative, which is the universal donor, but still high.)  I would think that all blood types would be in high demand, but they always talk about needing type O.  I’m type O.  Interestingly enough, I lived for about 28 years thinking my blood type was B-positive.  My mother told me I was B-positive, and that’s what was on all my emergency forms.  Fortunately, I never needed a blood transfusion.

After getting partially ex-sanguinated, I went to the “canteen area” to get my free snacks.  I had some Cheese Nips thin crisps.  I don’t really care for Cheese Nips, but I didn’t want to have the off-brand cookies or the iffy trail mix or the raisins.  In addition to Cheese Nips and juice, I also got a pin that says “Holiday Hero”–because it’s Labor Day weekend and they always need more blood on holiday weekends because people get drunk and hurt themselves, I guess, so giving blood on Labor Day weekend is extra special.  It deserves a pin.

Maybe if more people gave blood throughout the year, we’d have plenty of blood for Labor Day weekend and they wouldn’t feel the need to give out these pins.  No offense to the Red Cross, but I don’t want the pin.  I’m okay with the “Be Nice To Me” sticker.  That’s fine, because it comes with a little reminder of when I can give blood again, and I can stick it on my calendar.  I won’t, but I could, if I wanted to.  It serves a purpose.  Plus, I like others to be nice to me.  They aren’t, but I appreciate having someone remind them anyway.  I could theoretically do without the stickers–I wouldn’t get upset if they just stopped giving them out, and I wouldn’t forget to give blood because there’s a quarterly blood drive at the church, and aside from that, the Red Cross calls me when they want more blood.  But whatever.

I don’t mind the stickers because a) they’re cheap, and b) they’re biodegradable, if not recyclable.  By contrast the pins are a) cheap, but not as cheap as stickers and b) not biodegradable.  I suppose they’re recyclable, if you wanted to…melt down some cheap metal and…I dunno.  Never mind.  If you were to recycle it, it would consume energy, not to mention the energy that’s already been expended in manufacturing the things in the first place.  It seems a waste of time, energy and money to create and distribute these things–I didn’t even mention the tiny plastic bag they’re wrapped in–when very, very few blood donors will end up using them.  You know, they have special pins for first-time donors and those who have given three gallons or five gallons or ten gallons (cumulatively–heh), and okay, that’s fine.  I suppose someone who’s given ten gallons deserves a medal of some kind, even if it’s a tacky one.  But just because the blood drive happened to coincide with a long weekend?  Seriously, none of us is expecting such a thing.

Also, this pin is ugly.  I mean, it’s not hideous–if a small child were to happen on it, he probably wouldn’t scream or anything–but…how shall I put this?  It’s a tie tack.  Yes, I know it’s a “pin.”  But it’s a tie tack.  A woman is not going to stick this in any fabric that she wears.  And it’s not going to go with anything.  It’s just going to be a distraction.  It’s a white square with a beach umbrella and some coconut drinks.  And the Red Cross logo.  It’s not subtle.  It’s not elegant.  I totally appreciate the thought–they’re glad I gave blood.  I’m glad that they’re glad.  But really, I am doing it out of the goodness of my heart and so I can get an hour away from my kids.  I don’t do it for the pin.  I don’t even do it for the free cookies.  Because, frankly, the cookies suck.  But that’s okay.  I give with no expectation of reward.  But if you’re going to reward me, stick with the free cookies.  They are also biodegradable.

Reader Poll! [Insert theme music here]

Do you give blood?

a) Yes, six times a year.

b) Yes, at least once a year.

c) I’ve given in the past and probably will again.

d) I’ve given in the past, but don’t plan on doing so again any time soon.

e) No, I can’t for medical reasons.

f) No, I can’t for religious reasons.

g) No way, needles are the worst!

h) I gave once to impress a chick, but now I’m married to her, so that’s over.

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Remember, I bled on a table for you, so if you’re going to get in an accident, make sure it’s not your fault