Materialistic Multiculturalism

Originally Published: December 03, 2010

It was a morning like any other, crisp November air freshened up my room. “Mom, you have to shut my window. You know I can’t do it for myself.” Slipping my hand through the IKEA blinds, I slide the window shut. Bending down to turn the heater off I notice a label attached the bottom of the white shade. Made in Korea, I laughed to myself, “at least they weren’t made in China.” Turning around, I thrust my foot into my plush reindeer slippers from La Senza – Made in China. “Oh,” I mutter.

Sitting down at our Superstore table, I ask my Mom where she thinks it was made. She laughs, “Well, I don’t really know. Probably China, I would assume.” I smile and nod, picking up my utensils. “Just like those,” she says gesturing towards my fork. Flipping it over, ‘Made in China’ flashes brightly at me in the reflection of the oven light. With the last of the milk leaving my glass, I notice on the bottom it was made in Europe. I wonder where in Europe, as I pick up the English Muffins sitting on the counter. “These come from Vancouver!” I exclaim, showing my Mom. She doesn’t pay attention, “and these!” I say opening the fridge to show the eggs. My Mom sits down in her own chair, “that’s because they’re from Safeway.”

Walking into the bathroom and turning on the light I grab my toothbrush. Two dollars from Walmart, and it was made in the US of A. “Well, at least I’m only putting America in my mouth.” With the water rushing into the porcelain sink that was made in Korea, I apply the peppermint toothpaste on to my American toothbrush. Jumping into the shower and almost slipping I notice my floral printed shower curtains are from China and the Dove Body Wash from Walmart is from Canada. Surprisingly, I was a little shocked as I pushed the faucet in and grabbed my towel made in India. After wiping down the foggy mirror covered in the result of proper hygiene, I pull off the cap of my Revlon liquid eye liner from Price-Mart. It was made in Italy, and the NYX eye shadow was made in Germany. “You don’t say,” looking up to apply my Covergirl mascara. “Do I want to know?” I wonder, turning the mascara around – Made in USA. A wave of uncertain relief pushes me out of the bathroom.

Grabbing my American Eagle jeans I take a glance at the tag, “Sure enough.” Made in China is sewn into the jeans which really makes me question why I spent $83.49 on them – never mind the prefabbed holes. I do the button up pulling my Superstore shirt over them, which was made in Cambodia. “At least there is some cultural diversity here,” I laugh pulling my sweater over my shoulders that came from Sirens but was made in Bangladesh. Tugging a white tube sock onto my foot I wonder how many people have touched these socks; the ones that are now on my feet that were made in Haiti.  I shudder a little bit as I put each foot into its’ respective moccasin. Previously knowing, these were made in Canada and are real moose hide which sends a streak of satisfaction into my system. Out of curiosity I flip the tongue out of my Converse shoes to see they were made in Vietnam. My Aldo purse hangs behind the door, and I reassure myself that this is an American product – pretty silly when you think about it. Digging through the mess, a flimsy white tag jolts out at me and I see it was also made in China. I shake my head, “well I think I’ll stick with my sixteen dollar cloth bag.” Grabbing my leopard print purse that I bought from a street vendor in downtown Vancouver, I turn the lights off and grab my iPod. Noticing on the back, it was designed in America, made in Korea, and assembled in China.

With the sickly sweet dingle of my Blackberry singing, I answer it, “hi.. yeah.. sure, I could eat.. somewhere that buys local.. uhh.. I’ll google it..” I hang up to get to the internet and of course curiosity kills the cat often; I wonder if that’s why they have nine lives. I take the back off of my very expensive Blackberry and pull out the battery. To my surprise, the battery was made in China, the Blackberry was made in Mexico, the Memory Card was made in Korea, and the SIM Card was made in Japan. I mean, I understand this world focuses on cultural diversity and diverse equality but this is ridiculous so I put my Blackberry back together and take one last look in the mirror. With a can of hairspray from Walmart, I touch up a few stray pieces. At least I’m polluting the ozone with a Canadian product but to get rid of the stale air I spray Paris Hilton perfume. Checking the bottom I see it’s from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “That’s a nice change,” I say setting it down.  Leaving the lights on, I make my way to the front door. “Don’t be silly,” a shrill voice says behind me. The background goes dark and I look to see my Mom standing in the bathroom, her hand still on the light switch. “Oh sorry, Mom. All this out-of-nation learning is really filling up my brain capacity.” Rolling her eyes, she makes her way to the kitchen, “Just remember who to salute.”



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