My family knows blood. Whether through accidents, falls or roughhousing, my loved ones spill their share of life-giving plasma on a regular basis. Unlike my husband and kids, I manage to keep the majority of my precious Type O molecules where it belongs.
In my lifetime, I’ve had two spontaneous nosebleeds and for reasons still unclear, both happened in county courthouses.
The first time, sitting in the jury box during voir dire, the much too sexy sounding term for our country’s mind-numbing jury selection process, I tried to stop the sudden surge of blood without drawing any attention to myself.
Scared I would unwittingly secure a spot on the jury by disrupting the proceedings, I sacrificed my favorite turquoise sweater to staunch the flow. A fellow potential juror offered a pocket pack of Kleenex, which I promptly filled to saturation. My fistful of blood streaked tissues may have persuaded the court to release me from jury service.
My second jury duty-induced nasal eruption, two years later, coincided with a lunch break. I’d spent the morning in a courtroom with a judge who didn’t allow any reading materials, counting the minutes until lunch. As I bit into a turkey on rye, I felt a cold drip from my nose. The sight of blood droplets speckling my coleslaw activated my startle response; I looked around to see if any others were spontaneously leaking bodily fluids.
Clutching my sole napkin to my nose, I hurried past the security screening where a guard helped me to the bathroom. As I leaned over the sink, my nose gushed blood, streams splattering the porcelain basin. Before long I’d attracted a small crowd of security guards, all eager to see Old Faithful gush on demand and to offer care and opinions.
“You’re losing a lot of blood there, honey. I think you better sit down and put your head back.”
“Sit tight and pinch your nostrils until the ambulance gets here.”
Although shocked at the amount of blood leaking from my body and the whiteness of my usually olive-colored skin, I had no intention of going anywhere in an ambulance. Who the hell calls an ambulance for a nosebleed? Apparently, the security guards at the Circuit Court of Cook County, that’s who. So much for being inconspicuous.
When three attractive, engagingly funny male paramedics arrived, I couldn’t believe my luck. I wished I was having a heart attack or suffering from a broken limb; anything but an unimaginative, messy nosebleed. Granted, I was married, but that level of male attention doesn’t come along often. Other than in romance novels and romantic comedies, that is.
Although I ultimately declined to go to a hospital and returned to jury duty that afternoon, I enjoyed every second of the paramedics’
sexy expert care. Taxpayers of Chicago, I thank you. Keep up the good work.
My next jury duty summons arrived in the mail yesterday. I’ll pack tissues, a change of clothes and some lipstick just in case. I can hardly wait.