Thursday, October 27, 2011

We were merely freshmen.

I could write an entire blog on my freshman year of college (who couldn't?), but to tide you over until that happens (probably won't), here's a classic from the archives:

Mark and I began dating in early October of 2007 and in January of 2008 decided it would be fun to load up all of our friends into two tiny cars and drive 18 hours to Florida. You're probably thinking, Holy crap, here comes some spring break secrets from the deepest, darkest files. No, sorry.

This is a tale of how we tried to get to Florida as broke college students.

With little spending money and zero income (somehow I didn't have a job my freshman year; how did I con my parents into that one?), we resorted to...

Donating our plasma.

It was all the rage. Advertisements in the student newspaper. Promotions about it on the radio. Facebook status updates. We could make $100 per donation and we could do it twice a week! We added up the weeks left until spring break, assuming we could get $200 per week. "We could move to Florida!" I joked.

So the next day, against my darling mother's wishes, Mark and I went to the plasma center. We filled out mounds of paperwork and had a screening done. We could donate and we could start instantly! The nurse led us back to a cheery room where everyone sat with sleepy smiles and IVs hooked to their arms. I glanced at a needle in someone's arm and my stomach immediately felt squeamish. The sandy beach, the splashy waves. I pushed the image of the needle out of my head and began thinking about how much fun Florida was going to be.

About twenty minutes into the procedure, the nurse came up to me, mumbled a few things, and called another nurse over. I started getting sweaty. What is wrong? I started to ask if everything was okay and the nurse interrupted my thoughts, explaining that my plasma wasn't flowing correctly (except it was in medical jargon). "We're going to have to do an inverted flow and put the plasma back into your veins," she told me (again, in some sort of medical jargon). Cue: this. The nurse fixes the needle so the plasma can flow back inside my veins and all the sudden my arm is on fire. It is the warmest sensation and I turn to Mark, who is holding my hand, and say "I don't care if we ever go to Florida!"

I finish, but Mark still has about a half hour (his procedure is going swimmingly), so the nurse gives me a big bottle of water and tells me I can sit in the waiting room. Just a few minutes after I sit down, another nurse finds me and says "M'am? I think your boyfriend --" and I jump up and we walk/sprint to the back and she's all, "He looks like he is going to pass out." And - this is not my finest moment - I'm plainly like:

"No, he's just naturally that pale."

For those that don't know, Mark is a redhead and - therefore - has super fair (freckly) skin. Turns out, though, it wasn't him just being naturally pale. Nope, he was about to pass out.

They unhooked him as quickly as they could and sent us on our way. You could almost hear them shouting "No lawsuits, please!", as we scampered out. The staff at the front desk handed me $20 and Mark $40 and gave us the it-didn't-work-out-but-thanks-for-playing talk.

Needless to say, we didn't get to Florida. Not even close. We did, however, make it in the spring of 2010, and that is another blog post for another day.


  1. haha my roommates and I did a couple of cold studies for big money in college... my one roommate always liked to tell people that she was "selling her body to science." Luckily none of our experiences went as south like yours!

  2. ahhhhhh this post made me queasy! haha, i HAAAATE IVS. but i'd probably do the same thing for a couple hundred bucks.

    that's what's weird about the way people are.