Friday, June 22, 2007

My inner elbow is sticky and vaguely orange.

I donated blood today. The actual bleeding took half the time it was supposed to, which I thought was interesting. There are a couple of annoyances with giving blood, though. The first is the waiting. You spend more time waiting than actually donating. Then there's the questions.

"Have you ever been outside the country in the past three years? You need to remember every country, and the cities in that country, that you visited."
"Have you ever been to Africa or had sex with someone from Africa?" Because any connection to Africa and your blood is TARNISHED BEYOND REPAIR.
"Does any of your family have any of these diseases that you can't pronounce and have never heard of before?"
"Have you ever had sex with a man who has had sex with another man?" This is by far the most awkward question of the lot. Because while I can just say no, of course, it's like, uhm... what?

If you think about it, in this day and age that question's not even practical any more. I mean, the concern with having had sex with a man who has had sex with another man is that man-on-man tends to mean anal sex and anal sex is high-risk for HIV. That's why HIV initially spread primarily among gay men. But these days as many straight people are infected as homosexuals and as many women as men, and hetero couples have anal sex as well. Wouldn't the question be better phrased as "Have you ever had sex with a person who regularly engages in anal sex?" or "Have you ever engaged in anal sex?" It's not about being PC, it's just that it makes no sense to blame one group for a risky behavior when that risky behavior is practiced equally by all groups.

Then again, I don't think they ever take out screening questions from their list, they just add more on. And more and more and more...

Third problem-- afterwards I felt kind of drained (ha ha, no really) and weak, and thanks to a scheduling confusion with Alex and the car I wasn't able to eat before work, so I was sore and weak from both factors. I ate on my break but I was already feeling lousy.


I got dinner at this Mexican semi-fast-food place and the girl behind the counter recognized me. She asked if I went to UNH. I said I did. She said, "Oh, I think I saw you there, when I was working..." It took me a few minutes before I realized she was the omelette girl at HoCo. Who I only ever saw at HoCo, where I almost never ate, while hundreds of other people came through there every day. And yet, she remembered me.

I was torn between "flattered" and "creeped out." It was a bit surreal.


I realized something as I was straightening up at work today. I was looking for Christmas gifts. That's not really unusual, I did that at TJ Maxx, too, and the Discovery Channel store is going out of business and all so I figure I should get some shopping done before the end of the summer.

What was unusual is I was thinking about getting a gift for Ryter.

You know, it first struck me on Tuesday when I was talking to him about going to the Highland Games in the fall. I was never obvious about it, but you know, before Tuesday I'd never allowed myself to believe this would last longer than a couple weeks. I wasn't planning long-term. I've never planned long-term for relationships; I just assume that they'll end soon and prepare myself for it. That way I'm not concerned when they do.

So now I'm suddenly realizing that I am planning ahead, I'm expecting this to last a while, and it's kind of scaring me because I feel like I'm setting myself up for a fall. Like I'm afraid that now that I'm actually starting to feel safe in this it's going to end, and instead of just taking a deep breath and going back to bemoaning my singleness I'm going to really get hurt.

I'm trying to ignore that fear, though. I need to overcome this. It's just a matter of facing it.

No comments: