Sharing a Pint With a Stranger


I try not to let the little things get to me, but it has been raining and sleeting for two dreary days and I was feeling more like hibernating than giving blood last night. I made my appointment  for 5:45 because I almost always have some meeting after school. Well, today I didn’t so I thought I’d go early to see if I could get in. “Can’t take you right now.  Come back in 45 minutes.” the Red Cross volunteer tells me.

“Do I need to get on a list or sign in?” I ask.

“No, just come back in about 45 minutes.” I go home and read through some work on my national boards and then head back. There are more people waiting. So I approach the volunteer  and let her know I’ve returned.

Oh, all these people are ahead of you. It’ll be about 45 minutes.” (UGH.)  I remind her that’s what she told me 45 minutes ago. I realize she hadn’t changed my appointment time.

So if I come back in 45 minutes you’re not saying I’ll get in then are you?”  I ask.

“Well, if no one is ahead of you…”  (UGH. )

“I’ll be back for my 5:45 appointment.” I head back home and do a bit more work, and try it again.

I walk in and only one person is sitting and waiting. I approach volunteer again.”Third time’s a charm I hope.” I smile.

“Do you have an appointment?”….. (UGH. )

A short time later I’m lying on the table, squeezing a small ball, and pumping some O+ into a plastic bag. I was perseverating a bit on the annoyance of the process when I realized how “annoying” it must be to be on the other side of this supply/demand equation.

I’m sharing a pint with someone who was probably having a truly bad day, someone who would trade places with my annoyance in a heartbeat, someone who might not make it through the day without the fruit of my frustration. Perspective, Paula, perspective.

So I’m toasting the pint to the stranger I’ll share it with…

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

                                                                                                 -Irish Blessing



9 thoughts on “Sharing a Pint With a Stranger

  1. I fell for that hard, Paula. Nice title! 🙂 How frustrating that must have been, and you were trying to do something good! My husband and I have been frustratingly banned from donating blood because we lived in the UK in the late 80’s during/after the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine. Crazy!

    1. OH no! That’s seems like pretty extreme vetting. When I answer NO to those questions I guess I hadn’t thought about those who might answer YES and being turned away.

  2. Great example of the title being the only hook needed with the play on words. Very good use of dialogue to move the story forward. Hmmm… do I see a mentor text? Yep! A clear problem, solution, lesson learned, and reflection. And all in a very short piece. And it’s about an ordinary event in life, common to many, definitely from the writer’s daily living. Yep! It’s a keeper for a mentor text. Thank you!

  3. Great title. I first thought “beer’. Then thought “ice cream”. I certainly never expected a post about blood donation. Was the volunteer as grumpy as you made her seem?

    1. She wasn’t grumpy at all. She lacked any real affect. I wondered if she even grasped my frustration. Oh well. She was a volunteer trying to do some good. Next time I’ll try to be be more clear! 🙂

  4. I hate situations like that. I probably would have given up! Time is so precious. Good for you making sure it happened! I need to schedule again soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s