My China Syndrome and the Fourth of July

When I tried to twist the Tinkerbell-themed streamers for my granddaughter’s birthday last week, I pitched a fit.  The stupid streamers would not twist.  They knotted and choked and finally made a weak looking twist after some serious futzing.

“I know I sound like an old lady,” I grumbled to my age-conscious daughter, “but when I was a kid and we decorated the gymnasium for dances, this stuff twisted like a champ.”  I opened another round of the pink and purple streamers and read on the label, “Made in China.”  I yelped, “That freaking figures!  Can they make anything right?”

You see I’ve had a thistle up my tush since the most beautiful and coolest wine/beverage chiller ever made (in China) went kaput nine months ago. It was three-months out of warranty. We installed it in our remodeled kitchen exactly 15 months earlier. 

Spouse tried to fix it and said, “I hate to tell you this, but this thing’s a piece of junk.”  He went on-line researching how to repair it and discovered that my most beautiful and coolest wine/beverage chiller ever, was a real  piece of junk.  Web page after web page repeated the same story: Great looking product, fantastic price, clever idea, and—wham—a few months out of its one-year warranty, the thing turns deader than dirt.  Repair costs—assuming someone had the product to replace the faulty parts, which no one has—are more than the price paid for the unit.  And pitch all the fit you want because the designer and manufacturer is from China and probably just loaned the U S of A funds at a tidy interest rate. 

Unfortunately, I’m a tad short on funds to buy a new unit. So this beautiful and coolest ever piece of junk is now an under-counter storage unit for fancy liquor bottles and glasses—stuff we rarely use. Wine and beverages seek space in the fridge—like in the olden days.

And then there are the China made pieces of clothing that are good for about a half-dozen washes, never mind  the leaded paint on kids’ toys, funky crud in pet food, ad infinitum.

Today when I unfurled a new US flag that my friend just gave me,the label read  “Made in China.” No wonder this country’s in a fix.  I expected to find that half of all new American flags are made in China,  but only 5% of the 150-million manufactured American flags are made out of the US.  That’s still 7.5-million US flags made in China every year.  I hope the wind doesn’t blow this weekend.  The flag may disintegrate.

Did you buy some garlic recently?  How about garlic powder?  Betcha it came from China.

Don’t get me wrong, I own some beautifully made Chinese antiques, like a classy bridal bureau that my friend, Christel, wants me to will her.  Key word: antique.

I still love Chinese food, silk, fans, incense and the traditional stuff one finds in Chinatown.  China made product is affordable, especially during these economic challenged times.  But that’s the Chinese puzzle—how does America wind itself out of this economic knot without making our own stuff?

So, we know that I’m eliminating plastics from my life, and now I’m eliminating many Chinese made products from my shopping list. 

My China syndrome explodes this coming Monday, the Fourth of July, as my made in China flag waves in the breeze and those gorgeous Chinese fireworks burst in the sky giving me patriotic goose bumps

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2 thoughts on “My China Syndrome and the Fourth of July

  1. I hear you on this one. I am still fuming about the fireworks in NM that you posted. The good news is that a lot of the young clothing designers around here are making their product here. They have more control over the product and less shipping. Second good news is that I don’t buy many clothes any more. LOVE the birthday cake. She is a doll baby!

    • Like you, I’m not buying many clothes any more. Don’t really need em. But I am thinking about maybe going back to making what I want–like I used to. Glad to hear about the young designers.

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