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Small Talk: Vain about veins

I had some blood drawn this morning for a routine checkup, and it made me smile all day.

Why do I grin after having a large needle in my arm? Because, as always, the technician absolutely lit up when I showed her my arm. Early on, I noticed my hands were not only large, but also possessed veins like a power lifter.

I got a fair number of good things from the spin of my parents’ gene pools, but at first blush, having large, protruding veins didn’t seem all that swell. Let’s just say I never finished that application to be a hand model.

For me, giving blood as an adult is like winning a beauty pageant. Those fabulous, ropey veins that bedeck my hands and arms suddenly become a marvelous thing to behold. They are the joy of any nurse looking to plant a needle into them.

Those who draw blood for a living unfailingly burst into an ear-to-ear grin when I lay my arm on the table.

“Now that’s the kind of veins I love to see,” said one. “Wow. This will be easy,” another quipped. I blush demurely, as if they had complimented me on an adorable, little nose or lovely, thick hair.

I think my scientist husband saw my veins as a terrific addition to his gene pool. The poor man has dreadfully skinny, slippery, impossible-to-get-a-needle-into veins. And just to make things worse, he is O-negative. Everyone wants his blood, but anytime they try, his entire arm bruises.

Sadly, my daughter got her father’s veins. My son hit the blood bank’s jackpot, though, with my veins plus his dad’s O-negative blood type. The bloodmobile nurses know him by his first name. I suspect he gets an extra doughnut.

Pair those above-average veins with our Irish, lily-white skin and we become the blood-drawer’s dream — like Mapquest in high def. You want blood. Here’s the spot. You can’t miss.

I want you all to remember that, and appreciate it, the next time you see my legs in a pair of shorts.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer taking whatever superpower she can get. Contact her at [email protected].

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