The Day After

Why do people do crazy things on their thirtieth birthdays? Some people skydive or travel, and a friend of mine advised me to buy a car like she did. Other people drink themselves into tequila oblivion, maybe hoping they won’t remember the day they turned 30, allowing them to celebrate 29 #3 the next year.

Maybe they’re trying to prove to themselves that they’re still exciting and fun–kind of like they’re still 29.

I decided that I would celebrate my crazy thirtieth in a blood donor chair in my high school’s small gym.

Because of my phobia of both blood and needles, I always decided that giving blood–an activity that combined both of my worst fears–would never be for me. And after I got over my initial “What the hell was I thinking?” moment in the waiting area, I said to myself “What the hell?” and sat in the blue lounge chair while the phlebotomist hooked tubing and a needle to my vein.

And I know that it wasn’t as exciting as jumping out of an airplane or escaping to the south of France, but it proved, like any fear-conquering adventure, that I’m just as cool–if not cooler–than I was in my twenties, even if I did get an 18-hour headache from one glass of red wine.

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