Tuesday, January 06, 2009
My sentiments exactly
Countless times I've sat down at this computer o' mine with intention to write on my blog about something that has increasingly become more bothersome to me~ but the fact is, I have been so positively livid at the situation I couldn't possibly fashion my thoughts in a coherent way.
Then, with expected company over the weekend and unexpected company yesterday, I was given the gift of DISTRACTION. Diversion from the thoughts that are pervading my moments of every day.
But here I sit, once again, seething.
I can categorize the blogs I read into four different genres.
The greater percent of blogs in ALL categories are written by homeschooling moms~so, I guess that could be considered a category too.
The last few weeks, the crafting community has been up in arms about the new "Big Brother" regulation on kid toys. (A more explanatory blog post here) This upset me with empathy toward all the ETSY moms who create, in my opinion, products WAY better than could be found in the stores or the products created by very talented entrepreneurs in other arenas. The cost to test their supplies would be too great for a VERY large percentage of them to continue. I was angry with the intrusion of government and even more angry that people were actually believing it was for THEIR benefit (or in this case, the benefit of their children). Anyone who puts MERCURY in vaccines and says it's okay clearly does not have our best interest in mind. But THAT my friends, is for another day. Better yet, I better not.)
Well~ the law has become increasingly expasive and more all-encompassing. It then was revealed that THRIFT stores would not be exempt from the testing. So. No SECONDHAND toys, either. All of the sudden~ the FRUGAL blog community became involved. But still. The imposing of the government angered me-but... toys are toys. Superfluous. Fluff. Unnecessary. It didn't really affect me because TOYS are not usually in my budget anyway. Frankly, children don't NEED toys to be entertained and quite possibly, with their lack might become more imaginative (by creating and making due), healthy (by playing OUT of doors) and even establishing closer bonds with one another (because, let's face it: entertaining each OTHER is more relational than playing with a videogame.)
Ah. But NOW.
Only yesterday was it revealed just how inclusive (and bothersome) this law is. Not only TOYS (the unnecessary) but CLOTHING. Big stores, little stores, creators and stitchers of kids clothing and accessories, AND thrift stores are all required to toss in the landfill anything worn by ANYONE 12 years old and under (just another question mark in my mind on their supposed concern for our children. What about the children that are 13 years old? Does their health not matter to anyone?) and put up the cost of extensive testing on future products sold. Period. No exceptions.
And right there is where the suckerpunch gets me. And hits HARD.
My family is clothed primarily by thrift stores or yardsales. About 5% of purchases are "brand new"~and everything besides undies and socks better be 75% off or MORE off of original price. Yes. I am a stickler. Yes. I am a cheapskate. And yes- I am DEPENDENT upon secondhand clothing. And I would not classify us as poor. Think of all the truly poor people that are going to be affected, who depend solely upon thrifted clothing. Think of all the truly poor children who are not going to have clothing, because the government is "looking out for their wellbeing".
So right now I am frantic at the thought of clothing my children in the future-without the help of secondhand stores-thanks to pesky "Big Brother" I know how to sew (and enjoy it)-but even disregarding time restraints, the fabric alone is often more cost-prohibitive than simply using gently worn clothing.
I hate talking about unpleasant things on my blog. Hate it. Loathe it. Despise it. But for those of you who are not aware:
Please DO NOT donate used clothing or toys to thrift stores. Starting February 10th, they will be the newest layers of padding to the landfill. (oh-and weren't we supposed to be trying to SAVE the earth?!?)
Rather~ save them. Give them directly to those who need them. Share them. Or sell them at yardsales.
There is only ONE beneficiary to this law and it is NOT our children.