Give Blood!

I gave blood today.

I am extremely pleased that I was able to do this, because I’ve often been turned away from blood donor clinics… not because I had sex with someone who injected monkey bodily fluids after travelling to a plethora of foreign countries and whose mother had hepadermahydrophalicitis… no… just because my iron is usually too low. My best intentions have been thwarted many a time, and I have felt inadequate and forlorn because of low iron, but not today. Today I am a robust and metallic 131. Hear me roar!

I blame Mother Teresa for my anemic ways. You know, that chick who gives us periods.

One of my students, when asked if she knew who Mother Teresa was, answered: “Is that the chick who gives us our periods? No? Oh, right. That’s Mother Nature. Never mind.”

Fear not, gentle reader, the education system is a finely tuned machine and this teachable moment was not wasted. The entire class is now aware of Mother Teresa’s humanitarianism. And… some details about the menstrual cycle that I never really thought I would have to divulge as an English teacher.

I became an English teacher to avoid multiplying fractions…and to avoid talking about bodily functions with teenagers.  It’s not working.

My young friend Brandon gave blood too, for the first time, and although he hummed and hawed over the monkey fluids question, he valiantly made it through unscathed.  He’s a man after all, and unimpeded by feminine frailty.

Frailty, thy name is woman. Pshaw.

I’ve borne four children. Four children the size of serving platters. Four children with heads like honeydew melons. Four children that grabbed onto my uterus and sucked every cell of my life essence into their plump little bodies for nine arduous months until they clawed their way out of my frail form with steel-toed hiking boots on their pointy toes.

My ex-husband occasionally had a cold, or a hangover, or a sore back.

I pushed ewoks out my hoo hoo.

Don’t talk to me about frail.

Men can’t do this. And I don’t mean simply because they haven’t got the goods. Men can’t have a cold without falling to pieces.  I have a lovely friend who describes it as The ManCold. She defines several reasons why men should not request sympathy when they suffer from the terrible oppression of The ManCold:

1.They don’t menstruate every 28 days.
2. They never feel like laughing and crying at the same time for no reason at all.
3. They don’t organize the house, dinner, everyone in it, or even themselves.
4. They don’t grow babies inside them.
5. They don’t have to push a baby out of their vagina.
6. They don’t have to wear bras.

I would also add that they don’t have to do Jillian Michael’s workout videos because their bodies have been destroyed by the ravages of birthing four babies the size of Shetland ponies. Jillian Michaels is my nemesis. Her and Mother T. And stretch marks. And that woobly part of my belly that won’t go away. Nemesises. Nemesi?

My real grievance isn’t that men can be wimpy. My real grievance is that I still have to menstruate, even after the four spawn, each of whom were big enough to have their own moon. I’ve done my bit. I should be able to sit back and bask in the warm glow of iron-rich blood I can share with the world whenever Canadian Blood Services asks it of me. And today, I did. You should, too.

Perhaps this marks a turning point for me. Perhaps this is the dawning of a brave new era where my iron levels will be impressive, my anemic self will be banished, my frail past will be cast off in favor of a bright new womanly future… menopause!

Damn you, Mother Teresa!

IMG_9713 Click the image to see a video we made to promote blood donation through Canadian Blood Services. The song is by Serena Ryder, “What I Wouldn’t Do”.

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