My first and only trip out of the United States happened between August 28th and September 10th, 2010. One more reason to regret going was that traveling in Peru and Bolivia prevented me from donating blood for a whole year. I resented that.
Last night, for the first time since July 2010, I gave blood. It was great. I had tried to make an appointment a couple of times since September 2011, but last night I finally got past all the obstacles that had kept me from it and bled!
I like giving blood because it’s one way you can save lives when it’s convenient for you (rather than, say, running out into the cold to beat off an attack at four in the morning). My dad worked in a hospital for decades and I remember seeing him come home with the “Be Nice to Me, I Gave Blood” sticker. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to start giving.
In fact, I took the first chance I got as a freshman in college. I didn't quite make the weight minimum, but I didn’t care. I wanted to give so badly I lied to the intake nurse who looked at me doubtfully. Giving blood felt fine and I gobbled cookies and juice with joy afterwards.
Later in my English class, I didn’t feel so great, but in decades of giving blood, I never had that reaction again. I gained weight quickly in the U.C. Berkeley dorms and have stayed well above 110 pounds ever since (OH yeah, NO problem).
Why would anyone turn down the chance to save up to three lives when it costs you nothing and you can do it in your spare time, whenever your schedule allows?
Donate blood, damn it. If you can’t give, please recruit someone who can. It's a wonderful thing to do, plus you never know when it’ll be you bleeding on the pavement.