Monday, December 18, 2006


A friend from my teenhood (not childhood) left a very strong impression when she told me her father would never by a Toyota or a Honda, because he fought a war against "those people." I had notions about a global community that were based on a 1970s view of the world shaped by "It's a Small World," International Day at school, and Girl Scout Thinking Day -- I couldn't imagine that past wars meant so much, that we weren't all friends, now. (The very same friend "researched" Bangladesh with me one Thinking Day.)

Not many years later, a family member confused me by preferring American-made goods as Christmas gifts. I was still just young enough to avoid pursuing what seemed to be a touchy subject. It seems likely to me that she would have friends and family in threatened manufacturing jobs at that time. I hope she has relented that position: it went from difficult to honor to impossible, even as I have become increasingly able to afford to shop in "better" stores, stores that might be willing to stock pricier American-made goods.

One of today's errands was to buy candy canes. Step-daughter-to-be will spend Christmas with us, so, as did my Mom, I plan to put some canes on the (aluminum) tree on Christmas Eve night. She's thirteen: old enough to roll her eyes at the notion that Santa left them, but Mom only quit humoring me with that tradition a few years ago, so. . . . So, there I was in the CVS avoiding eye contact with enticing flavored treats in cane form -- nothing by Jolly Rancher for me! -- and honing in on 99 cent peppermint canes. Phiance's cookie story always in my mind, I looked to see who made them: "Made in China." Now come on: that's a long way to ship something that does not do well in the damp. I put them back. At Ukrop's, the canes said "Made in Mexico." I bought them . . . because Mexico is a less absurd distance to ship sweets? Because I think Mexicans need lucrative seasonal candy work more then the Chinese? No, mostly because I am in no mood to chase around town reading candy cane boxes.

Capital City weather: 71 degrees

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I'm reasonably certain that very few candy canes are made in this country anymore, in any case. Most of the candy made here now, I suspect, is a)a small local venture or b)ludicrously expensive. There's a possible c)things such as JuJuBes that no one really eats anyway.