Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm All for International Business...

but when did it become the norm for our stores to be filled with items made OUTSIDE of USA??? Yesterday, I had to pop into Babies R Us to pick up some essentials for the little one. (She's growing up so fast and she needs a sippy cup and utensils of her own.) I spent half an hour looking for a sippy cup that was made in the USA. Didn't find one single cup. NOT ONE! I'd narrowed down my search to one NOT made in China. There were two: one made in England and the other India. I bought the one made in England because it was cuter. I was seriously apalled that there was such a lack of choice. No wonder our economy sucks. We stopped producing and focused our efforts solely on consuming.

Please, if you know of places that sell Made in the USA items, please let me know.

Oh and I didn't find one single utensil set for her that wasn't made in China. Last year I was so paranoid with BPA and phtalate free items, that I didn't think of buying American as much. This year, I'm focusing more on American made things. Once upon a time, Made in the USA stood for quality and pride. We used to build things to last, not to throwaway.

Last night while watching the football game, there was an Allstate commercial talking about getting back to basics, especially in time of a recession. Spending quality time with family, cooking meals at home, sharing with friends, all of those things that we grew up with and I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic. I remember riding a bike to my friends house and playing outside all summer long, bouncing from house to house. I remember hearing stories about a creepy white van filled with strangers offering candy, but I was usually surrounded by my sister's friends that I wouldn't have to worry about such things. God forbid a big bad stranger meet up with that rogue crew of rabblerousers. We invented games on a daily basis. We would fashion our own slip 'n slide out of Hefty garbage bags and a water hose. We'd make do with spare parts from the garage to build our forts, and it didn't matter if we had blisters or a splinter. We didn't wear safety goggles or gloves. My knees were scraped and scuffed underneath my pocket skirts my grandmother sewed with love for me. Birthday parties were at home with a homemade banner, balloons, and a cake my mother baked herself. I handmade all of my Valentines. I remember asking my mom why we couldn't just buy them and she couldn't articulate the why then. Now that I'm older, I understand and appreciate.

And I feel guilty. How will Mari be able to grow up in a world similar to my own with all of the modern luxuries at her fingertips, but I won't let her use them. How can I impart that handmade is a good thing. Taking the time to craft something and to MAKE something beautiful is far more important and soulful than going to the store to buy something cheaply made.

On our travels over Christmas, we were so very happy at the thought of going to Kansas, but at the same time, we were saddened by how much more commercialized it is becoming. Something that I complained about initially, is actually saddening me. All of the mom and pop shops are disappearing and being replaced. We entertain the thought of moving to a place like that, but then we are reminded why we like it here. Not for the conveniences, but for the things we can't find anywhere else. For example, Chettinad Palace has a special place in our hearts. We love that we can find a diverse mix of cultural cuisine within a 15 minute drive. I was craving some Palak Paneer and Paneer Tikka Masala over the holidays, but we'd have to wait until we returned before we could have any. The cultural diversity just wasn't there.

But I have hope. I think we can make a change and I know our generation can do better! Do you think we can?

1 comment:

chae said...

awww..I'm glad you're back. I crave palak paneer too! Lets make it make to Chets soon!

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