Thursday, September 30, 2004


Last night I was called by a pollster ... I was asked a zillion questions of which I provided answers to.  But then I was asked what color I was ... I said "waffle."  The pollster said, "No, no, what color are you?  Are you white? Black?..."  I held my arm up and looked at it closer.  "Um, well, maybe pancake.  Yeah, I think I'm the color of a tasty pancake."

"OK," he said, "I don't see a spot to put that answer, but I appreciate you telling me this.  Now, another question, what nationality are you?"

"American," I replied.

"No, no, what nationality are you?  Are you white? African American?..." he interjected.

"Nope.  Just American.  One hundred percent American, actually," I responded.  And now I can't help but wonder why he would think I was anything but American.  I mean, I don't speak with a twang, or drawl, or anything like that.  Hmmmm.

So while I ponder this, it brings my mind to an issue I've been seeing with various groups I belong to and it's called "fiber snobbery."

And if the pollster were to be quizzing me about my thoughts on this, it would go something like this:

"What type of fibers do you use?" asks the pollster.

"I like them all," I respond.

"No, no, that's not what I meant.  I mean, what type of fibers do you use?  Acrylic? Wool? Cashmere?..."

"I like them all," I repeat.

"Would you say that you're one that likes to purchase high end yarns, or the cheap stuff?" the pollster would ask.

"I'd like to purchase them all," I reply.

"No, no. You can't do that.  You have to tell me which one you prefer, high end, or the cheap stuff."

"It depends," I'd reply.

"I don't have a category for depends, " the pollster would huff.

"I don't know how to answer your question.  I'm American, I'm the color of a pancake, and I don't care which fiber I use as you're not giving me enough information for which I'd use the fiber for," I state.

And this would, naturally, confuse the dickens out of the pollster of which he'd thank me for my time and hang up.

"Fiber Snobbery" is a real attitude that creeps up once and a while.  There are those that can afford the high end fibers, and those that cannot.  Some of the ones that can afford the fibers, that have this attitude, will, shall we say, "gently tease" those that cannot afford the finer fibers and make them feel inferior.

My position on this, since I'm being polled anyway, would be that those in the position of being able to afford the finer fibers should consider sharing with those that are, gently stating, "financially challenged" -- I'm not saying that they should foot an entire bill, but to perhaps share some yardage so that others can experience it for themselves and see what the reference is.  And, that if that person still wants to utilize the less expensive fibers (be it that that's all they can afford, or that's what they prefer), then they should be accepted "for which they stand" and be applauded.

I think there's enough room for everyone ... and if we stop breaking ourselves down into little groups, and instead call ourselves "Fiber Artists," then I think we'd be united to enjoy this fantastic art form happily together instead of discriminating over differences.

If you've gotten from this a bit more than a fiber reference, then good for you.  Tell your pollster your color (name it after a food you like), and tell them your nationality -- American.  Then, use whatever fiber floats your boat.  J


Anonymous said...

I read your entries daily and enjoy them.  I too am an American and depending on the season my color changes.  I really do not like snobbery of any kind whether it is race or yarn.  Thank you for a wonderful well put entry.

Anonymous said...

I NEVER get polled for ANYTHINGgggg....<whining a little>takin' my blanket and wandering off back into shadowy JLand.....


Anonymous said...

great answers!  who cares what color one is or what fiber they use?! I've never been polled, but if I am, I'll remember your answers!