**Note: This is based on an actual conversation I had. It wasn’t about donating blood exactly, but it was something else for a kid’s charity. It was one of the weirdest conversations I’ve ever had. I was uncomfortable and couldn’t believe what this woman was saying. Names and locations have been changed.**
Kid’s sporting events can be boring. You sit there, stare and cheer when your kid is playing. It’s a great place to catch up with mom friends… or hear something so insane, you wish you could fold up your chair and hit the other person with it.
I’m not talking about those parents who treat t-ball like it’s Major League Baseball. They are who they are. I’m talking about catching up with someone and realizing why you hate seeing them.
Flora and I had just set up our chairs when we could hear Claire walking up. Her kid isn’t athletic at all and is always miserable during sports, but Claire insists she will get better eventually. Told you she was a gem
“Hi, Kap. Hi, Flo.” Claire makes a big show of setting up her chair and complaining about the weather. “It looks like it’s going to rain any second. It’s so cold. I should have dressed warmer.”
“Yeah, it is kinda cold,” Flora agrees, trying to hide her irritation at being called Flo.
I just shrug and ask Flora if she is going to the charity auction over the weekend. She’s not sure.
Claire snorts. “I don’t like charity work.”
I close my eyes briefly. “You don’t have to work. You just go and bid on a few things. It’s all for a good cause.”
“Well,” Claire opens a noisy bag of crackers, pops one in her mouth and continues. “Nobody bothers to help me when I need help, so I don’t bother helping others.”
Flora picks up her water. “You’re comparing needing a babysitter so you can get wasted at a dive bar to helping find a cure for cancer?”
I try not to laugh as Claire shrugs. “Helping is helping,” she says.
I look up at the sky. Here we go again! Flora has the patience of a saint, so she (vainly) tries to reason with Claire.
“This auction’s proceeds go to a charity to help find a cure for pediatric cancer. What would you do if it was one of your kids?”
“My kids would never get cancer,” Claire insists. “I keep them clean and I don’t let them associate with other cancer kids.”
I can’t (but also can) believe my ears. “So you think cancer is contagious, like a cold or something?”
Claire thinks for a second. “Not like a cold. Maybe like tuberculosis or something like that?”
Flora and I exchange glances. Neither of us knew how to respond. Luckily, the game started so we started cheering. When the kids took a water break, Claire started up the conversation again.
“You know, I don’t even see the point in donating blood either.”
Flora shakes her head and closes her eyes while I ask, “Why not?”
Claire shrugs. “Why bother? For all those sick people who just drain tax payer money?”
How has lightning never struck this woman? “What?” I almost didn’t want to ask because I knew the answer would be a heaping bowl of stupid.
I was right.
Claire takes a swig of water. “Yeah. These kids get to meet celebrities for receiving my blood and what do I get for giving it? A cookie? That’s not fair to me.” She gets up and walks over to her kid, telling her how much better the other kids on the team are doing.
My jaw drops. “Do you think her brain ever processes the crap she spews?”
Flora snorts. “Doubtful. Her ears are always clogged or so she says. Even her own brain doesn’t want to hear her mouth.”
I laugh. “Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of telling her to shut the hell up.”
We stifle a laugh as Claire comes back to sit down. Her kid was crying, so I guess she was done with the public berating for now.
Claire makes a show of sitting down and getting comfortable. “So no, I don’t donate blood or go to charity things.”
Flora takes the bait. “It’s for the kids.”
Claire rolls her eyes. “Do you think the kids will see any of it? No.”
I’m confused. “Any of what?”
“The money,” Claire huffs. “The money and the blood.”
“Do you think they just take the blood and keep it in banks?”
“That’s what they do with the money,” Flora snickers. I can’t help but laugh a little too.
Claire is mad. “I can’t see it being taken from me, then processed and given to a kid. I need to be able to see where my money goes.” She glances toward the field. “Ah geez. Is she picking dandelions again?” She gets up and heads for the bench as the kids come in.
I turn to Flora. “I almost can’t believe what I’m hearing.”
She raises and eyebrow and smiles. “Almost?”
“Well it IS coming from her. Do you think she actually believes what she says or does she just need attention?”
Flora shrugs. “I don’t know. I’d like to believe someone can’t possibly be that heartless.”
“But then again, it’s Claire.”
Claire comes back to hear seat, complaining about how horrible her kid is at sports. I ask her why she doesn’t bother finding her kid a hobby she will like and be good at. I wasn’t expecting her response.
“Why would I do that? You guys would miss me too much?” She cackles like a witch.
I need to start putting vodka in my water bottle.