Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friendship Bracelet Sweatshop

I forgot I wrote this. I found it when I was working on that Glee recipe blog. This blog is a companion blog to Keep the Group Intact Now.

It’s registration time.

Remember I wrote a proposal to my former memoir classmates if they wanted to reform an intact group they would have to pay my fees to get me back into class? Then I remembered about the friendship bracelets. I’m proposing they should to this or something similar. Any handicraft would work if there is a market for it.

Perhaps you know this story or you were involved in it, and put together who wrote this.

I don’t remember all the details of this story, but here is the gist of it. A girl in my class wanted to be a cheerleader, but she didn’t have enough money to pay for it. My teacher was teaching an art class and her class made friendship bracelets out of yarn. At first we just traded the bracelets among each other in the class. Then they became popular throughout the whole school.

One day the teacher brought a bunch of fancy yarn to school, and had us make bracelets to sell. Here’s how the operation worked; the class would make the bracelets, we would hand them off to her where she would burn them to seal them. After they were sealed they were put into bags of 5 and given to us to sell. I think they sold for $0.25 each.

There were some problems first I was bad a making bracelets. I didn’t know how to braid. Nobody taught me, so how was I supposed to know? I just made shoddy “twisty” bracelets. (twirling 2 pieces of yarn together) A lot of the kids did really fancy macramé type stuff. After I did learn how to braid I wanted to braid everything. Ended up braiding the hair on my Barbies, My Little Ponies and any other toy that had hair I could braid.

After a while nobody wanted to buy the bracelets. The market was flooded with them. Then I got sick of making bracelets. There was always time scheduled in the day to make them. A thinly veiled art project.

At first I thought it was a good thing, or at least I did because everybody was telling me it was. My mom thought it wasn’t fair, and I didn’t realize what I was doing until I watched The Simpsons.

I had recently watched the Kamp Krusty episode of The Simpsons. Back then I couldn’t really articulate my ideas very well, and I was trying to say that what we were doing was very similar to the sweatshop scene in that episode except we were making bracelets instead of wallets. The teacher just brushed me off, and said I watched too much tv.

When ever I watch the Kamp Krusty episode I think of the bracelets. I don’t remember if we earned enough money or not or if it subsidized the cost.

The only good thing that came out of this was that I learned how to braid.

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