I went out for lunch with my mom today, and I don’t recall what triggered the subject but, absent-mindedly, I mentioned that I had donated blood again, before coming home. What proceeded can be described as a whirlwind of lecturing. Supposedly, 1. If I keep donating blood, it will become an addiction 2. I’m not healthy enough to keep doing this 3. Donating blood leads to weight gain. In defense, I refuted 1. I’m not addicted to donating blood; I just want to save lives 2. Not only did I not faint, unlike 2 of my other friends who came with me, I had strenuous exercises immediately afterwards each time, e.g. rowing practice, running 5 miles, etc. 3. You only gain weight if you gorge yourself with food in order to compensate for the pint of blood you’ve lost.

She subsequently stated that I can’t save lives if I end up dying, that it’s best I kept myself perfectly healthy now, get a well-paying job, and, then, become a philanthropist with my money. Why yes, mother, money can surely magically metamorphose into blood for cancer victims, severely injured patients, hemophiliacs, etc. I understand and respect her argument; however, the way I see it — I don’t have the adequate resources in terms of money currently to help anyone, hence, the best I can do is give others something of which I have a stockpile. People are suffering now; waiting until I am financially stable could take years.

As we were walking to the grocery store, I mentioned how wonderful the weather in Houston has been since I’ve been here and jokingly stated that God must love me (since Houston’s known to have 104+ Fahrenheit temperatures during the summer). Mom muttered back, “Everyone loves you. If you keep doing things to hurt me, though (in reference to blood donations), I won’t like you anymore.”

I laughed because I found the situation to be quite ironic. My parents have considerably different personalities and perspectives.

I love both my parents dearly, mind you; however, observations of their actions and personalities throughout these past 20 years of my life made me realize how much I would loathe myself if my character became a silhouette of that of my dad. He’s a loving father, but he’s rather inept at keeping his temperament at a stable level — Many a time, my mother and I would find him having verbal fights with strangers due to a minor disagreement. At other times, we would lose our appetite at a restaurant because he can’t stop complaining about how poor the service is or the lack of sufficient shrimp in his platter. I honestly don’t know how my mom has managed to deal with my dad’s detestable disposition, but I unequivocally commend her for it.

That being said, I thought my mother would understand why I regularly donate blood. Perhaps her motherly instincts surpass her normally altruistic nature. I have yet to decide whether I should disobey her and proceed to continue my donations and not inform her of the matter, or actually listen. Afterall, Mothers don’t always know best.