Saturday, December 20, 2008

Paying (The Difference) Forward

December 19, 2008

I'm splitting the cost three ways on a $100 gift certificate for a journalist who has been indispensable to one of my projects this year. Yesterday, I sent the screenwriter, who is in charge of procuring the House of Pies legal tender, a check for $34.

I had a college room mate who ALWAYS shorted me on the extra penny whenever the bills were an odd amount. During the time we lived together, I probably spent only 80 cents more than she did on bills, but's the principle!

What irritated me most about that situation was that I never felt like I could confront her about her pettiness, without being, well, petty myself.

Since graduation, I've probably spent $8000 in extra one dollar increments on odd numbered payments because I was that annoyed by that extra three or four penny gouge I felt every month.

Today I received an email from the screenwriter: "You get extra points for sending the 100th dollar by sending in $34, not $33."

I'm pleased that he noticed my gesture, but sad that paying the difference is so unusual that he had to thank me for it.


December 20, 2008

Today I ran into Helen, a really old friend who I haven't seen in years, at Trader Joe's. She tells me that Pablo, the five year old son of two of our mutual pals is fighting cancer. Which is just the worst news. My heart just breaks as she gives me the horrible details of his chemotherapy.

Helen is running the direct donation blood bank for Pablo. Pablo is Type O. I am Type A+. I'm totally bummed I'm not a match, even though I'm too anemic to donate whole blood anyway.

Helen tells me that she's also short on platelet donors. "Oh my God!" I yell as I yank up my sweater sleeve, "Check out my track marks!" The two annoying women who were trying to shove by me to get at the German Wheat Beer, turn abruptly and skitter away before I can add, "I donate platelets twice a month!"

(Because there are no red blood cells in platelets--the clotting element in blood--it doesn't matter that I don't have the same blood type as Pablo).

I feel strangely honored to be able to donate my sticky blood product.

Go here for details on how to donate platelets to Pablo or another kid:

Go here to find out how you can help Pablo fight cancer:

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