Searing pain, it lasts about 0.002 seconds, I tell myself to man up, don’t be a baby. Dammit. I think of my wife who’s given birth to three kids, two without any epidural, and my arm only hurts more. For a split second that seems to go slowly by, it’s still hurting. What the hell’s wrong with me? Come on, there’s a little 90-pound, pink-haired punk rock girl, a grandma with a grandma blanket over her legs, a man in business casual swiping through his iPhone, and me – all of us lying semi-prostrate on individual little medical recliner looking things, and I’m listening to “that get out of debt guy” on my way out of date smart phone podcast player because I’ve become a “I-won’t-buy-lease-finance-a-phone-or-anything-I-can’t-afford-no-more-debt-ever-ever-ever-again” kinda weird guy.
I ask myself: Is it really considered a donation if I get paid to give a part of myself away? The answer hits me very quickly. Who cares? I needed money in a hurry to start making up for losing the part-time job I had (ok, it was an Amazon delivery job as an independent contractor and it helped pay the bills, for sure, as I continue to fight to provide for my family).
The donation was giving plasma, and the idea to do it entered my head from my desire, along with my wife, to do whatever it takes to erase all of our debt and work toward financial freedom.
You’ve probably heard of Dave Ramsey, the “get out of debt guy” that some of my co-workers like to call him.
So I consult the Web:
Q: Google, how do I get out of debt?
A: The answer is a link to check out that “get out of debt guy” for answers.
I started listening to his podcast, found his website, and picked up his book – you may have heard of it. I am at the point where I’ll do anything to shovel more money at our family debt, but didn’t want to deliver pizzas (felt like a snob for giving this gig the snub), since I already have done some driving with ride-sharing apps and loved having no schedule. Then my home town stepped in to screw up a good thing, mixing bureaucracy and political weight with the simplicity of ride sharing, and the demand drops, no riders, and no $$$ for this guy.
I consult the Web again…
Q: Google, how do I make money fast?
A: Donate plasma, deliver pizzas, have a yard sale, donate plasma, mow lawns, deliver pizzas, donate plasma, click here to sign up to be a mystery shopper, or deliver pizzas.
I’m not delivering pizzas. Already drew that line in the sand.
I’ve also already done the yard sale, and was so ready to sell anything that I almost sold a box of random junk that also happened to have my wife’s old tax returns from when she was still single, along with other old papers with digits that may or may not have been social security numbers. I yanked the box out of the grubby, sweaty hands of the person in my driveway about to have an archive of our family financial data. Yeah, I pissed that couple off and they immediately left our front yard – they didn’t buy any of our other crap that was for sale.
I think the kids felt they were about to be sold next, so they closed up their front yard lemonade and chocolate chip cookie stand and ran inside the house as fast as they could.
And there I am again, reclined, financial podcast in ear as I listen to a couple discussing how they got out of debt, with the husband saying he delivered pizzas in his free time and now I’m feeling a little guilty for not doing more at the moment other than laying there watching the plasma streaming and bubbling into a donation bag as it’s separated from my red blood cells by that whirring, churning, clicking machine behind my head. I’m freakin’ donating plasma, and not having a yard sale or delivering pizzas, and I’m smiling (in my head). I’m happy to be fighting for my family and “enduring” the milliseconds of pain from the needle stick and from the squeezing of my forearm muscles, fighting to get the blood to move faster through the thick tubing connected to my arm because it’s 7:20 AM because my 8 to 5 job awaits.
Nevertheless, I feel good because I’m fighting against giving up or giving in to the easy road that leads to more debt as I stare at that noisy, blood-and-saline pumping, magic white plastic and stainless steel machine that is going to get me paid.