I have been battling with my phone company since Wednesday -- both my voice and data lines were dead. They were able to fix them briefly, but until just moments ago it was silence. No phone; no internet. While I am thankful that the service has been restored, getting service with the "new" Cingular folks was like pulling teeth; and I think it all has to do with the At&t merger. (I cross my fingers hoping this will be the last time my phone service is interrupted.)
Corporate buy outs, over expansion; good for investors, bad for customers. I think it all means less competition and more of "the same" with a huge drop in customer service. At least this is what I have been thinking for the past several hours while I worked on a special vest for my son to wear at his "Butterfly Mass" tomorrow.
I remember a time -- early 1990s perhaps -- when each shopping mall I visited promised "new to me" stores selling merchandise that reflected upon the uniqueness of the area. Today finding such "individuality" is not as easy as it once was. Every shopping mall, from coast to coast now has the same stores; the same merchandise. One must now search for small "mom & pop" stores that carry hard-to-find items, or opt to create "uniqueness" for ourselves.
I think this is why I enjoy shopping at individual yarn shops that specialize in higher end yarns -- they'll have something unique there that no one else has! They'll have that perfect fiber waiting to be worked up into that unique project for that special occasion. If it's a wedding we're attending, we're going to want to wear a wrap (or carry a hand bag) that shows off our personality (and matches our attire); something that no one else will have. If it's a baby shower, we want to give a gift to the little bundle of joy that cannot be found at the local Babies R Us.
As I neared finishing the vest, and as my son tried it on for one last fitting, it occurred to me perhaps this is why there is such a huge surge in people wanting to learn how to crochet or knit -- that is besides the benefits of reducing stress, and enjoying the process -- it's an opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind item that declares "I AM AN INDIVIDUAL!" without saying a single word.
As I sew the last button on the vest and run my hands along the fabric I created, I smile. I know my son will be proud to be wearing his special vest -- crocheted out of a fiber he personally chose from my stash (a short red & black "haired" fiber called Safari from Tahki yarns that was discontinued last year), complete with buttons that reflect who he is: an awesome little boy spreading his individualism wings!