Saturday, October 19, 2013

Re-instated as a blood donor!

3 years ago the Red Cross mistakenly tagged my donated blood as "inconclusive" for HepC, and they black-listed me from donating for life. Despite a letter from my doctor with clean test results, they refused to budge.

Every so often I called the Red Cross to ask (politely) if they'd gotten over themselves yet and would let me donate again. To my surprise, a few months ago the answer was "maybe" - they've finally created a donor-reinstatement program - so we scheduled an appointment to re-test my blood.

At the donor center, I was happy to find Beverly, my favorite bloodletter, still worked there; we got to catch up on the last three years while working through the paperwork and blood-sampling.

A couple weeks ago, the donor reinstatement lady who'd been helping me left me a voicemail: my results were clean, and I'd receive an official letter in the mail once their new computer system was up and running.

That letter arrived in this morning's mail, which means I’m officially re-instated! Heading over to to schedule an appointment now. Maybe you'll join me?

Sunday, October 13, 2013


This is post #8 in Where’s Jeremy (2013)

My friend Melanie and I made a pact that we would sign up for eHarmony on July 1st (after I had finished work on the online casting database I was developing [future blog post], and she had finished some of her own projects/soul-searching).

Signing up for eHarmony reminded me of my psych exams when I started pursuing Seminary last year: "on a scale of 1-8, how much does this word describe you?" and, "how important is this aspect in your relationship?" and the more classic, "how often do you drink/smoke/go to church/exercise/blah blah blah?"

Finally, at long last, after an hour of Q&A, I arrived on the final page. All right, let's do this! I clicked the giant "save my answers, show me my matches" button, and...

Excuse me?

Seriously? I just spent an entire hour filling out your questionnaire, and you won't even take my money?

Now, let's be clear: it's not like I limited my search parameters to "I'm only interested in blondes within a 5 block radius of my house who have green eyes and are exactly 5'7" tall" - I said I'd be open to meeting people in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand (basically all the places with awesome accents). You're telling me that in FOUR ENTIRE countries you can't find a single person [pun intended] you think I could match with?

I wrote customer support to ask what red flags they'd spotted, and they replied with a completely non-helpful, generic answer. Even though I should have recognized it as a losing battle, I replied anyway. As I explained to them: I wanted to understand if they were rejecting me because of something transient (for example, my particular mood or emotions when I happened to fill out the profile), or something more core/substantive to who I am (for example, my faith, career, etc).

The reason this matters, is because I probably wasn't in the best mood that day, and therefore [I'm educated-guessing here] may have indicated some level of depression in my answers. Not only had I been working my butt off for the last four months on the casting database project, but also just a few days earlier one of my best friends was sentenced to nine years in prison. So, I will concede: my emotional state was dubious at best.

With that said, I'm also suspicious they thought I was goofing off, because at one point in my exam they accused me of answering questions too quickly and not taking it seriously. Hey, don't punish me because I'm a fast screen reader and mouse-clicker, okay?

Customer support replied with another generic, non-helpful "blah blah blah have a nice life." Whatever. I can laugh about it now.

In the mean time, I took eHarmony's rejection as an opportunity for self-examination. Let's say, for argument's sake, that they did spot something in my psyche that I should be addressing. With this in mind, I came to one realization, and one actionable task.

My realization was that the women I've typically been attracted to, seem themselves to be attracted to men who are more spiritually-conscious than I am. What do I mean by that. I mean, I see myself as having a lot of spiritual growing to do, to become closer with Jesus, to be more in tune with listening to the Holy Spirit's Call on my life, and not just my life in the grand sense, but in each tiny moment also. And let's also be clear: I'm not wanting to change myself for the sake of becoming what someone else wants me to be. I want to pursue this growth in myself for the sake of who I want me to be. Conveniently, my impression is this growth may come with the side-effect of making me more into the type of person that the people I'm attracted to, are attracted to in return. And even if it doesn't, I've still grown more in my relationship with God.

My actionable task, only somewhat related to the above, was to start going to therapy. I don't have depression, I'm not an alcoholic, I don't have any major red flags that would call for therapy, so why would I want to do this, you ask? The simplest answer is: I go to my doctor regularly for physical checkups, I attend church regularly and have friends who help give me spiritual checkups, so pursuing mental checkups just makes sense. I've also heard very positive feedback from more than one friend about their therapy experiences - specifically, the way their therapists challenged them, or asked just the right questions to help lead their way of thinking about a problem. I knew I could benefit from that. So as long as the opportunity was there, I figured "why not?" I called up a delightful therapist named Beverly, recommended to me by one of my friends, and I've been visiting her since July.

Where does that leave me with eHarmony? At some point I think I will give it another go (when I'm for-sure in a good mood). I'll also adjust my answers toward what a normal, level-headed-Jeremy would say, and try to remove myself from whatever emotions I might be feeling right at that particular moment. I'll let you know how it goes. (or, hey, maybe I'll meet someone before then! Who knows?)