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Q: How Did You Spend Your Labor Day?
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A: Donating blood.

Every 7 weeks the Red Cross calls me (and calls me and calls me until I answer the phone) to make another blood donation appointment. Since no one else in the household donates (husband is averse to needles, daughter is too young, son objects to the many rules), so this is one small contribution I can make that's easy (there's always a blood drive nearby, and the donation center is about 10 minutes away), easy to remember (they're very good about calling), painless (almost), quick (less than an hour), and they give you cookies and juice when you're done.

There is a lengthy list of questions they ask to try to weed out donors with suspect blood, but they don't change often so you can whiz through them after the 2nd or 3rd time. Although I still don't know what babeosis is, I would probably know if I had ever had it. And I have starting answering the question "Have you ever been to Africa?" no, since the two days I spent in Morocco in 1975 always causes a delay and never gets me booted out.

When I donated on Labor Day they had upgraded their snacks to Tastycakes and gave me a little card that told me my blood type horoscope [with a few editorial comments thrown in]:

People with Type-B blood make up only 11% of the U.S. population. They are goal-oriented [that explains the lists] and strong-minded [some would say bitchy]. They will start a task and continue until it is completed (and completed well!) [unless it's weeding. goddamn do I hate weeding.] Members of Type B blood group are individualists who tend to find their own way in life [no stopping and asking for directions here]. Though they can be a little forgetful [again the lists], irresponsible [I meant to file those quarterly estimated taxes], and self-centered [it is, of course, all about me] at times, they are very creative, flexible, optimistic, carefree, cheerful and passionate [just not all at the same time]. B blood types tend to love animals [is that where the 3 dogs and 3 cats came from?] and may exhibit a strong talent for cooking [read: eating].

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