Category Archives: clothing

Dressember in April

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So I told you that you would hear about this whole “slavery” thing again and that it would likely be a recurring theme across my blog from time to time.  Well, here it is popping across your feed again.  Recently it came to my attention that IJM was doing another awareness campaign.  They have called it #stand4freedom & it is a 5 day campaign to let people know that slavery in the modern age needs to end.

I have decided to take this campaign and do a #dressemberinapril campaign since I cannot stand for the whole 5 day campaign.  I have to work. While I do stand a lot when I work I do not stand for the whole time.  So, in lieu of standing all day I will be wearing dresses and writing every day this week.

Here is my epiphany from the last two days…

Christ died.

Christ has risen.

Christ will come again.

He came for ALL of us, not just the few elect and prestigious.

But he also asks what have we done for the least of these.

What have we done for the hurt and the sick.

That what we have done for the least of these we have done for him.

I am still trying to figure out how I can really, actually make a change in the world where slavery is concerned.   I know awareness is a very tangible way to bring about change.  How can you change something if you do not know about it?  So I am making my small step toward making my little part of the world aware of slavery and it’s impact on our world.

This week my classroom of students begin to wade its way into the research project that I have decided needs to be a social justice project.  My students & co-workers will see me AGAIN wearing dresses.  They will again hear me talking about slavery.  They will hear me talk about ways to combat slavery right here in our own town.  I’ll fill you in on that as it progresses. (it will last till the end of May so bear with me).

When I was posting in December the number of slavers was estimated at 27 million.  It is now estimated at 36 million.

I have learned that one of the best and EASIEST ways to combat slavery is to buy from the thrift store.  No money goes back into the store you bought it from or subsequently to the plantation that grew the cotton. AND many thrift stores are local and help around your neighborhood.

BONUS!!

PS if you want to see my pictures from this week you have to head over to my instagram (imacurlygirl), twitter(syndlazo), or facebook profiles.

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#unselfie or #selfish

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Yesterday started with me thinking about what to write, yesterday.

I wrote in my journal, planned what I would talk about and then yesterday.

Yesterday I did few and many things. yesterday

So many things, yesterday

I didn’t blog yesterday.

Yesterday was day 21 of my daily writing for Dressember. Yesterday

So today I will write about what I was going to say yesterday.

School was out Friday and thus began our glorious winter break.

One of my co-workers said, “I know you’ll be glad that this is over tomorrow.”

“Why?”

“Well you won’t have to wear dresses anymore because we won’t be at school.”

“No, this is Dressember.  That means a dress a day the WHOLE month of December.”

“So you have to keep wearing dresses?”

“Yes”

“Man, I feel sorry for you.  I couldn’t do that.”

I keep running into people who are fastidious about their diet, exercise, work ethic, religion, etc and “do it” every day without fail or accolades yet never complain. However,when they hear I am wearing dresses for 31 days straight they balk at that as if it is something virtually impossible without people paying attention.

It is as if (without putting words in their mouths) they are expecting me to stop wearing dresses because “people” aren’t around to notice.  This journey, while it hasn’t been about others noticing ergo #unselfie, it has been rather selfish.  It has been about my learning about myself without the necessity of others attention.  No-one really needs to notice my growth for it to happen.  I have grown.  I have changed.

It has been a scant 22 days since Is started this but I am already planning next year, already thinking of what to write in my blog in January that will keep my new 40+ subscribers interested, & how else I can work to end slavery around the world in the next 334 days.

I know that despite the presumed attention I have received from friends and followers, “no-one” knows what I am doing. Oh, there are those in my inner circle, those who are participating in Dressember, & a small minority who are curious, but on the whole (out of the several hundred (700+) friends I have on facebook they have NO idea!)…

That doesn’t matter because I am not doing it for them.  I want them to know, yes.  But it is not for their praise or attention that I am wearing a dress.  I do not have a need for attention or praise (although most of us, me included, need that and we lie to ourselves if we say we do not). I do have the need to change.  Don’t we all?

I do not consider myself a selfish person (most of the time). I feel I am fairly giving in many ways.  This exercise of spending the month of December focused on slavery has made me feel…. well…. selfish.  I have several dresses that I have rotated through. I do not have 31 dresses.  I have worn several of them several times over. I am able to wash them when every I want.  I am taking photos of myself everyday (except yesterday when I forgot). OF MYSELF!

I am then aggrandizing myself

1. to widen in scope; increase in size or intensity; enlarge; extend. 2. to make great or greater in power, wealth, rank, or honor. 3. to make (something) appear greater.

by promoting my instagram, blog, twitter, & facebook accounts to tell what I am doing.

I have to constantly remind myself; Mother Teresa didn’t set out to aggrandize herself.  In fact, her aggrandizement only meant that the impoverished were finally seen as humans who needed love and care.

I am by no means Mother Teresa.

I cannot even hold a candle to her kind, humble spirit.

But what I am is one human who had no intention to make much of myself, just like Mother Teresa.  My only goal here is to let as many people who will listen know that human slavery still exist and in a grander proportion than we believe.

If you have read any of my blogs and have learned that you can help by seeing what IJM is doing, by donating to my campaign supporting IJM this Dressember, or by spending some time in prayer for the enslaved,those who would set the free, & the slavers then I have done my job.

My job is to reach one.  To help one person see that this is wrong and we should be doing something about it.

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vertigo & understanding bosses

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So last night while I was blogging the room began to spin and my fingers forgot how to type.

This morning I got up and went to work, still spinning.

When students have prepped for a presentation and the teachers isn’t there to see and grade the presentation then some trust is lost between the two. Plus, I didn’t want to write lesson plans! We are two days from a break & I wasn’t feeling bad enough this morning to call in so I went to work.

During first block my brain wasn’t connecting to my mouth and I felt sluggish and dizzy. I had them do vocabulary while I tried not to fall out of my chair.

Luckily 2nd & 4th block were presenting their career research and I just had to grade their work as they presented.

I came home during my planning, (after I finish with students) crept to the basement and slept for 3 hours.

I am blessed (always!!) to have a boss and family that care about my well being.

When I messaged (I had to rewrite the email a few times due to finger brain lack of communication) my boss to let her know I was headed home due to extreme vertigo she asked if I could drive and also to take care and rest.

I have worked at the school for 9 years now.  At my old work, which shall remain nameless, my last boss was heartless (for the record I had more AWESOME bosses there than this last one but he is the one who drove me out!).  I would have to justify absences and it was often easier to go to work and stay for an 8 or 9 hour shift and put up with him than listen to him passively a aggressively complain about my absence. It is so nice to work for a boss who cares.

As soon as I got home my son came out a greeted me at the car to see why I was home.  He also asked to make sure I was OK and to see what he could do to help.  (My boys! I tell you I am raising an awesome pair of men.) My husband and other sone went and got dinner.

Now it is the end of the day.  I am going to work at my second job (I teach online school too).  Then bed.

My vertigo is annoying more than anything. For instance as I look at the keyboard, it is moving back and forth like a boat on the water.  It makes me nauseous. I can’t talk properly.  There are other problems that the vertigo poses too. That is a post for a more lucid time.

What became clear today is that I have options.

I left my old job because I didn’t like the boss.  Is my new boss perfect? No-one is! But is she understanding?  Yes.  She knows I get my job done and take care of my students.

I have choices.  I get to choose to wear a dress to work or not every single day!

Today I made the choice to wear black and white houndstooth leggings, a black and white dress, with a velvet-ish jacket that has flowers on it. I added a green scarf to the ensemble.

I make choices everyday.  Some are good & some are meh. But the point is I still get to make them.  I own them.  No-one makes me do things I do not want to do.

There are so many people in this world who do not have that luxury and many of them are in bondage.  In slavery because they needed to feed their family and this long term solution seemed the good thing to do so their family can be fed. In slavery because their parents sold them due to a promise of a “better” life.  Working for pennies a day unable to see the end of the tunnel, plan for retirement, a vacation, a sick day, a mental health day.

My vertigo changes my day.  I am unable to do things I want to do.

My boss changes my life.  I do not call in sick for random things nor do I call in often.  But when I do I am not afraid to take the day to watch my kids or to heal myself.

Check out what IJM does for people to free them and then after they have been freed from slavery.  A bondage that they could not escape without our help.  My Dressember donation site is a good place to give.  As a collective we are raising $500,000 for IJM.  That money will go to help so many people discover a freedom they may never have known. Of course you can also pray, always, for the enslaved, the people working to free them, and the people who are helping the free in after care.

A new dress

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I woke up late again.

Seriously, is this a Dressember thing?

Maybe it’s because I am staying up late blogging after my family goes to bed.

They are so distracting during the day.  Wanting this and that.  A girl can’t get a break to write. 😉

But maybe it is just the writer in me that wants to stay up late when inspiration strikes best then the sleep deprived teacher gets up late for work.

Due to waking up late I wore a dress you haven’t seen yet.  I know the dress I wore on 12.13.14 was new but you knew that was coming ;).

Anyway, the dress today wasn’t a new dress it was just one I hadn’t planned on wearing this Dressember.  It is to summery. You know the dress that has the amazing color and is sleeveless? The maxi that wants gold sandals and makes you feel like a Grecian princess? Yeah, that’s the one I wore today.

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Ok so maybe the sitting, the cat, and the c cardigan don’t really show off the princess BUT what you can’t see is the polka dotted leggings OR the polka dotted pink and green fuzzy socks.

Really this isn’t about the dress but I am having fun owning my own quirky style of clothing (or is it I need to have clothes on, quick, what’s clean?)

Today one of the assistant principals said, “I heard you were doing a dress thing?”

We were in the bathroom and I proceeded to tell her all about IJM and their mission in life and the fact that after they rescue the enslaved people they give them after care and make sure they are reasonably safe.  She seemed impressed by that part.  I don’t think many of us give a thought to what happens after.  Are they given a safe place to go or do they just get released to fend for themselves and we all rejoice? Let’s be honest, most of us don’t think about people who are living in slavery every day.  We don’t consider that our clothing may have been made by slaves.  The dress I am wearing in this picture may have been made by slaves.  I am coming to an awareness that most of us to not want to face because it is a hard pill to swallow.  Where did my clothes come from? I don’t like to shop for clothes much anyway but now when I look for clothing I am questioning their origin.

I, like most Americans, buy my clothes on the cheap or at sale prices.  I don’t “have” money to spend on expensive clothes.  But do I have money to spend? The answer to that is yes. Yes I do! Could I work towards trying to spend my  money with more conscience? Yes I can.  It is a choice like every other one we make in the day.

Will you join me in making a choice this month?  Instead of buying something you may not need will you help out my donation campaign?  That is what dressember is all about for me.  It isn’t about all the pictures of me wearing dresses.  It isn’t about my quirky sense of style.  It is about helping to free slaves from around the world.  It is about justice for those enslaved and about helping those who cannot help themselves. Will you help?

The busiest season of all…

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…Is the holiday season.  It doesn’t matter what you celebrate.  I happen to celebrate Christmas in all it’s glory.  We enjoy time worshiping and fellowshipping with family, friends, eating delicious meals together, and of course the giving and receiving of gifts.  My children are old enough to know exactly what they want and usually pick it out.  We have always had a very limited budget on their gifts and have made that clear to them.  We started this when we couldn’t afford much but continued the tradition because we didn’t want Christmas to become a “want” fest or a “pout because I didn’t get it ALL” fest.

This limit means that they sometimes can choose to have grandma and mom collaborate on a gift that may be more expensive than my budget allows. It also means that they can connect money from birthday past or future to get a larger gift.  The limit also makes them very aware of the cost of their toys and the power of thinking about how you spend your money.

Our family has always been a giving family.  We have family in El Salvador that we help on a regular basis.  It is nice to know that they benefit from what we are able to give.  Recently we have also been helping out a family from our community with some basic needs and building relationships. I believe that our frugality in giving to our children (during holidays) has allowed us to save and be able to give to others more generously.

The hardest part of the holiday’s is BUSY-ness.  I hate that we are so busy during this season of the year.  So busy that we wake up tired, go to bed tired, don’t get done what we want to (see boxes of Christmas ornaments STILL in boxes in my living room), and then end up feeling incredibly stressed out and cranky.

I want that to stop.  I want to have an afternoon like I did today.  I went to visit a friend because our boys had a sleep over.  I kept looking at the clock thinking that I had to rush but time nearly stood still for 2 hours. We chatted and laughed.  We listened to each other and chatted with our children.  It was a wonderful rest in an otherwise incredibly busy time of year.

Tomorrow I go back to the grind.  We have 5 more class days left until “winter break” AKA Christmas break for 2 weeks.  That will be filled with busy too.  (I know I will eventually write about that so you’ll have to wait and see what that busyness looks like.)

The best part of all this busyness is that I can control my busy.  My friend at work had nothing planned for the weekend, on purpose.  She decided that she needed to control the busy in her holiday season.  I admire that ability to control the busy.

What if you couldn’t control the busy? What if there were someone telling you when to wake up, when and what to eat, if you could sit or stand to work, and you had no choice but to listen? That sort of busy you couldn’t control.  I know I have said this statistic before but the number kept rolling around in my head, according to IJM there are 29.8 billion people in slavery.  They are kept busy without controlling why or how they are busy.  It isn’t because they are taking children places or making fun gifts for family and friends.  It isn’t because they are working at a job they love.  It is because they are in bondage.  I am trying to help make a difference for people in bondage.  I am asking that people who read my blog this month learn more about modern human slavery, say a prayer for those who are fighting slavery and those who are in bondage, or donate to my giving campaign. I am wearing dresses all month.  This is way out of my character but it is my choice.  I am able to choose to wear a dress.

Please consider stepping out of your comfort zone this month and learning about this human tragedy that is a very real and pressing issue.

What a wonderful Saturday!

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Today began with an alarm that was set for 6:22 PM.  I had a meeting to be at at 7:30 am and a friend who needed a ride to the meeting coming at 7:00 am. ACK!

Still wore a dress though.  Didn’t feel like it and it would have been so easy to just wear some sweats and a tshirt.  It was 29 degrees when I went out this morning.  Not my kind of dress weather.

Got home from my meeting and went to a wedding for a very dear pair of friends.  Such a beautiful celebration of love. I made a point of taking a picture with the bride so you could see how beautiful she was today.

On the way home I had to stop and get gas from the “cheap” gas station.

For some reason, we are always in need of entertainment at every moment of our days.  There is a TV on the gas pump that shows news and other clips of interest.  The first time I saw this I was a little ticked that I couldn’t have the outside noise while I pumped gas, have a few minutes away from the constant bombardment.

Tonight, when I stopped for gas I heard an interesting article about instagram.  Apparently they have a lot of people who use instagram. Try 300 million!

What if all those users took a stand for something they believed in as opposed to making it all about themselves?

I have to say I post pictures of food, my cats, kids, and random tchotchkes.  Every once in a while (when it isn’t Dressember) I post pictures of myself but usually there are other people in the pictures.

I had an immediate thought while I was at the gas station: what if all 300 million people posted about freeing slaves once an hour, a day, a week, or even a month?  What if?  People I talk to are surprised that I am doing this project.  Maybe because it is me or the dresses.  I think it is more because of the slaves.  It is something we teach our children is history.  It is the now story though and needs to be addressed.

I know I cannot save everyone who is enslaved but with your help I can help to rescue one. Go to my Dressember donation site, say a fervent prayer for those enslaved, or go and check out the IJM website to see what else you can do to make a difference.

I know today’s blog wasn’t really moving or an epiphany like past posts but seriously, if we are on social media’s we shouldn’t just play the PC line and “not step on toes” but try to show people how much we can love others and use it to help as many as we can.

I am working on it and trying to be brave by stepping out. You should join me.

Exhausted on day 12

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I am exhausted. Like take a nap at work exhausted (I didn’t BTW). There is no reason for me to be exhausted. None at all, but I am exhausted. I started my day planning my nap.

I woke up this morning so tired. I was also cold.  I stumbled out of bed and to the shower.  Turned it on so the water, warm in the basement, could travel up the pipes, cold from disuse for the past 24 hours, and be moderately warm when it hit my back as I washed myself for the day ahead.  The water covered me with warmth like bed sheets keeping me from the cold December morning. I don’t remember most of my shower. My eyes were burning like I hadn’t slept in days. I felt like the morning after being up all night for finals, a baby who wouldn’t sleep, or any number of other reasons people don’t sleep and feel tired in the morning.

I thought about that nap all day. I left work on time and went to my mom’s to take a nap but instead ended up doing other things. When I left to go get my son at school I napped(-ish) while I waited for him to come to the car. Then headed to target for milk (I have teenage boys,  need I say more?). Finally. I get home and to my bed. A nap!

But that was to be put off so I could help get something from the carport and into the basement. Finally, after wanting a nap since 545 this morning….at 455 this evening I get a nap. A laying down, under covers, pillow under head nap. But I could only rest for 20 minutes because I had a wedding rehearsal to go to.

Normally this sort of day would be one to complain about due to having to cram so much into one day. But reflecting on my purpose this month I have no reason to complain.

I get to choose all of those things. I have the luxury of napping. I have the luxury of buying milk for my children. I have the luxury of attending weddings and celebrating beautiful things.

All of this because of a nap.  I wanted to just nap.  I had the blessing of working with students all day at a job I enjoy.  I could quit if I wanted to do so.  No-one would track me down if I quit.  I would be able to find another job with reasonable ease.  I may even make more money at the new job.  I am truly blessed.

In case you haven’t noticed I am raising money for IJM to free people from bondage.  People who do not have the luxury of showers, warm comfy beds, jobs they want to go to in the morning, weddings to attend, and so many things I often take for granted.

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Today’s dress is a repeat.  I am already deciding what next year’s campaign will look like.  I don’t know if in a year I will finally be brave enough to wear the same dress 31 days in a row.  That is a big commitment with all the holiday festivities and teaching high school.  Making the commitment this year to participate in the adventure has been eye opening and refreshing for me.  I am so glad I am not even half way done and more is yet to come. The writing every day is helping me stay focused to my purpose.  If even one person can be freed during the campaign then that one starfish has been saved. I don’t want to take things for granted any more.

That being said, I am still exhausted and I have another long day ahead tomorrow.  I am going to bed.

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday the 11th day of dresses

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If today’s dress looks familiar, that’s because it is.  I wore it on Saturday.  I have had people comment on how they don’t have 31 dresses or how they just could’t do this because they would be uncomfortable.

Last year, I thought the same thing and that is what kept me from participating in Dressember last year.  Quite frankly, if this Dressember event was only about fashion or a dress I wouldn’t be participating in it.  I am not one for being fashionable (enjoying fashion is another story!  I love seeing amazing designers work come down a runway).  I am typically a “is it clean? I’m wearing it” kinda girl.  It really doesn’t even matter to me if I match, Because matching is, well, overrated IMHO.

I also don’t like to do things because the crowd does them.  This however, is very different.  I am wearing dresses because other people in the world are disenfranchised and need a voice.  I have a voice and it has an audience.  It may be a small audience of 10-15 per day but it may grow it ways I couldn’t imagine.

Here’s where I tell the starfish story.

Each year in my sophomore class I have my student’s do a county required research paper.  Topics have included but are not limited to: what college do you want to go to, what do you want to be when you grow up, where do you come from, how to buy a bed (or other furniture), etc.

Anyway, last year I began to hear more and more about people around the world who were hurting.  Why hadn’t I heard about them prior to this or maybe it just didn’t register with me (self-centered often?)? In January of 2014 I got the book The Locust Effect and I have to be honest, I have yet to read past page 20 it is a raw and tough book to read.  All the sorrow and suffering contained in those first few pages was enough for me at this point (I will try to finish it because it is important information).

I shared a few statistics from the book with my students because last year I decided the random research paper needed to be something of worth and my students wrote papers about social change.  They were in awe with the statistics and the paper idea.

To encourage their teen abilities (because they are larger than we give them credit) I told them the starfish story:

A couple was walking down the beach in the coming darkness of evening.  Every few minutes the man bent over to pick something up and throw it in the water.  This happened 5 or 6 times before the woman asked, “What are you throwing in the water? Shouldn’t you put that in the trash?” The man didn’t immediately answer but continued walking and leaned over again shortly to pick something up and showed it to the woman. “See, it’s a starfish.” And with that he threw the starfish back in the water.  The couple continued walking along the shore line and again the man bent over to pick up a starfish.  The lady asked, “Why are you wasting your time?  It is likely that the starfish is already dead.” The man took the flash light that they had been using to help them see a few feet in front of them and show the beam out farther down the surf.  “See all the other starfish that are out there? What if they aren’t dead yet and just need help getting back in the water? They all need help. While I may not be able to save all of them, if I try and save one or two or as many as I am able, I have made a difference for those starfish.”  With that the lady bent over and picked up a starfish and threw it in the water too.  “Now there will be twice as many starfish that will be saved” she said as they continued to walk along the beach picking up starfish and throwing them in the ocean as they went.

You may have heard that story before. My students hadn’t. I embellish it and change it a little bit every time I tell it but the basic story stays the same: you only need to rescue what you can and that will be enough. My students took away the biggest part, they can be world changers even if they only reach one person with their desire to make change in the world.  You never know what will happen with that one person, how far their reach will go.

IJM does what it can but it can only do so much without the help of people like you and me.  We are the other person and IJM is the man throwing the starfish.  We think he is crazy for a few minutes and then realize his work is important to the greater good of the world.

What greater good will you do today?  Will you learn more about IJM’s purpose?  Will you pray about the people that IJM helps free from suffering and slavery?  Will you donate to the cause through my giving site on dressember? Will you find and read The Locust Effect? (link to my daughters bookstore website is HERE) What will you do?  Please help in some way. There are people out there who need a voice.  Be their voice.

Day 10

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Today is the beginning of a very busy set of days for me.  I won’t bore you with the details.

I have nothing profound to say today.

I feel bad for that.

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Me and mah honks!

 

 

What I do have is support.  A feeling that I am cared for. A knowledge that I am loved.

That in and of itself is a profound statement.  If you have that you have a lot more than many people in the world have.

That is what I have for today.  I know it isn’t much where the written word is considered but it is a lot in the grand scheme of things.

There are people in the world who don’t even have the support of their parents or other family members, let alone friends who they can count on for love and support.

Support is a big deal for everyone on the planet.  It reminds us that we are important, because we are.  Every one of us is important (yes, even the ones we don’t like). We all have purpose and will impact someone on this planet.

If I could have a wish granted (that didn’t have all the movie caveats) it would be that the world would be free of slavery by the time that the pope has proposed and that all the people who are now free would have support.  That they would have at least one person they could look to and say, “They care about me. I matter to them.”

But what do they say about wishes? If wishes were horses, beggars would ride?

Instead, we work tirelessly to work toward justice.  To find a way to support those who cannot support themselves.

The way I am working toward this end is by wearing dresses this Dressember.

How can you help?

Check out the IJM website to learn about advocacy, donate to my Dressember campaign, and or pray.

It’s day 9 and Christmas is coming!

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This blog today has been a hard one to process.  I have to be honest, reader, I am writing without planning.  That is a no-no according to your local high school Language Arts teacher (wait, that’s me!).  One should always brainstorm, outline, write in complete sentences, and make sure the reader NEVER is confused or you will loose them in the fray of your work.  The work should always be focused, well researched, and without emotion so that the reader will feel that you are unbiased. Well reader, I am ignoring all those conventions this month.  I have committed to wearing a dress daily, raising awareness for IJM and the modern human slavery epidemic, help get donations for the cause, and personally writing about it.  Writing daily has been difficult in and of itself. But I have managed to do it and I have actually grown my blog and twitter following by doing so.  This isn’t a popularity contest but people are following me WHILE I am posting almost exclusively about this world crisis called slavery.  That makes me feel like I may be making a little drop of a difference in the big bucket of the world’s problems.

SO…. for tonight’s topic….

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I wrote a little today in my journal while I was at school as suggested by my lovely daughter but what I processed tonight while I was out shopping is a little more pressing.

Shopping is not my most favorite thing to do.  But, alas, it is a necessary evil.  I needed to get an outfit for a wedding and for my grandmother’s 90th birthday later this month, so a shopping I went.  I bribed my lovely husband to go with me.  As I was out I began to think about what I needed to write about for my blog post.  After shopping my husband and I went out on a little date. In the car on the way to eat we heard an NPR post about an Irish writer who came to the US and her first visuals of all the strip clubs (there is more to the article but that is what stuck out to me). This made me realize that I needed to post about commodities.

We live in a society that is driven by commodities.  We “need” things daily.  There is apparently NEVER any food in my house, ask my two boys.  I always “need” to go to the store and buy new (FILL IN THE BLANK)__________. Commodities.  They are what drive us daily.

We always look for a deal.  We want the cheaper version of the same thing somewhere else.  I confess I am this way too.  See the tag in the lower right of the picture?  Yep, I bought that marked down dress! I didn’t really NEED another dress (I have more than I need, I am realizing that this month) but (enter invalid justification here) _________.

When I went to purchase the dress (yes you will see it later this month) the lady at the counter asked if I had any coupons.

I said, “no.”

“What about retailmenot?”

“I don’t subscribe to those because they made me want to shop more because I would be ‘saving’ money.”

“You are a wise woman.”

I looked at my husband and said, “I like to keep him around so we watch what we spend.”

She smiled wider and said, “Yep, you are very wise indeed!”

With the dress purchased we were off to the next store, my husband “needs” new running shoes.  We are visually stimulated to buy. So we look for that section of clearance priced shoes in the back.  However, if you are a savvy shopper you know to look for the real clearance section on the rack in the middle.  Here are the questions that ran through my head as I looked at ALL the clearance items, “Did the workers who made these get paid? How much did they get paid? It is a living wage fore the economy they live in?” We walked out of the shoe store without shoes, he didn’t need them that bad, he said.

The next store we went in was a barrage of images.  Images that hyper-sexualize the clothing, not to mention the people in the clothing.  They are really what’s for sale.  I know that our culture doesn’t think of it that way but it is true.  We wouldn’t buy that man’s shirt it it didn’t “read” well on a model.  We don’t want to purchase something that might make us “look” bad.  Walk past a V.S. or any other store that sells lingerie and you will see that particular brand of salesmanship.  It may not be the literal trading of humans but it is just that in so many ways. Now, think of those images with sale signs on them it is a crippling though.  What, exactly, are they selling?  It is difficult to decipher.  A lifestyle? A body image? A particular type of skin and hair color? The actual product? What is the commodity? (This reminds me of an art exhibit my daughter did in her book store a few months ago but I’ll talk about that in another post.)

What does this have to do with Dressember?  Well, quite a lot actually.  Images of hyper-sexualized females and males promote the issue that Dresssember is working hard to fight alongside IJM and their work freeing people from sexual slavery and slavery in general.  Slaves make many of the commodities we use. I know that if we carefully select the products we use we can get away from slave made products but it usually means we spend more money and cannot shop the deals (that is a huge and hard sacrifice!). It means we buy from retailers who care about the same issues we care about.  It means we talk with them about the hard issues.

As I there yet? I am working on it.  It will take time and a concerted effort on my part. But now that I am aware, I am working harder to do my part in the economic arena.

And now for the real reason you read this blog…. 😉

Yes, this is a real dressing room selfie! At least I looked at the mirror and not that phone.

Yes, this is a real dressing room selfie! At least I looked at the mirror and not that phone.