Thursday, August 12, 2004

Stitches Getting Caught in a Bunch

Several months ago I came across an article that stated impoverished women of Poland, and other countries, are stopping their crochet of traditional items such as doilies.  Since most men don't "slick back" their hair with grease as they once did, the need to protect furniture has dropped (doilies, also known as antimacassars, were drapped on the backs of chairs where the heads would rest, and on the arms of chairs "in case he got the urge to run his fingers through his hair and forget about the grease"). 

This means that these women are not making money.  So they looked at what was hot on the market, and that would be weddings.  In all due seriousness, here in the States, I believe this is a mulit-billion dollar business, so there's apparently room to get in on the action if you have the right product.

So they started crocheting thongs.  Yes, that's right, those "weggie" undergarments.  And business was good.

Now, they fear their church, as the church is  "So unhappy, in fact, that the local priest has even been naming and shaming the thong-makers in church on Sundays."  (you can read the article for yourself by going here: Pope's altar cloth makers turn to a more profitable line - thongs)

The story has a good point, the ladies are making money that they need, and with that money they are helping fill the collection basket at their local churches.

I know, looking across at my own children, that if I were so in need to make ends meet, I wouldn't be ashamed to crochet whatever the market dictated. 

I hope the Church and these ladies can come to a compromise.  Life is short, and something like this is no reason to get "stitches caught up in a bunch."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dee!

I'm so glad to hear you talk about this subject.  At first it was a hillarious little news quirk, but now it seems more serious.  I'm ethnically Hungarian, and that means my culture is similar to the Polish.  They do indeed take sin way way too seriously.  

My grandmother was one of the most skilled needleworkers I've ever known, but she would scold you if you told an off color joke.  She forbade my aunt from volleyball and taking a lucrative job as an actress because only "whores participate in sports, or have jobs."  Recently, my aunt has come to the realization that the cheating weasel she married was the larger of two evils... she is now 70.  That's a poisonous regret to have at that age.  

My own mother was an olympic athlete, and participated in the first Olympics to admit women.  But she did it despite repeated beatings and being locked out of the house if she came home from practice too late.  It wasn't until one of the neighbors met with my grandmother in a store that she changed her mind.  The neighbor was saying something like, "Gee I really hope I can afford all of this equipment and sports clothing.  I hope my daughter qualifies for the team.  I wish she were as talented at sports as yours."  My grandmother told me that it changed how she saw the situation, and I've heard other versions of this story from my aunt and mom.  I think my grandmother apologized (!!).  

It's a different world, Eastern Europe.  People take sin very very seriously.  They make it such an issue that it has life changing effects, and the fact that the Communists forbade the Church to operate with any amount of strength (and sometimes it had to go underground).. only made things worse.  People clung to the Church while it was somewhat outlawed, and now that's it's "free" they take it even more seriously.  

I don't know what to make of it, re