I gave blood today.
Hold the applause.
The many pit stops that were set up before one can actually leave the blood bank after donating blood actually proved to be useful.
I successfully made it through all of them and finally sat down at the last - a table full of juices, snacks and candy - to have the obligatory chat with the student volunteers for five minutes and collect my novelty button and 'Be nice to me...I gave blood today!' stickers.
At the first sip of my apple juice, nausea came over me. I asked if this was normal and was immediately rushed to the nearest cot - which proved necessary because my knees gave out just as my rump hit the cot.
The next twenty minutes involved the nurse placing and replacing cold cloths on my head and telling in a joking manner meant to conceal authority, 'OK, we're in charge now. We'll tell you when to get up.'
I was allowed to - slowly -sit up and finally stand for a few minutes to make sure the nausea had passed. I was also obliged to explain my journey home - a seven minute walk - to the nurse in charge in full detail (down so-and-so street, two blocks past the park, across the so-and-so Square parking lot, etc).
I headed home holding my bonus box of juice, making several wrong turns - despite knowing the entire way like the back of my hand by my second day of classes - and thus extending my travelling time to more then ten minutes.
All in all, giving blood is not nearly as romantic an occasion as depicted on TV. It borders on embarrassingly traumatic.