Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I WANT to be Aware...

As most of you know, most of my adult life has been dedicated to non-profits and charity work.  As you likely also know, I rather enjoy, rare though it is, a bit of shopping...and on those occasions, alright, on ALL occasions...I prefer to buy things that are wholly mine.  Custom, if you will...or won't, it's of no consequence to me.  I simply abhor the thought of wearing the same shirt that is on an Old Navy commercial every 5 minutes and is sold in bulk so that you are nearly assured that if for some strange reason you were to get lost and find yourself in a Walmart, it's quite likely you would see 5 other people in the same shirt.  That said, on these really, sort of pathetically, infrequent boosts to the economy, when at all possible, I opt for "Awareness" items and/or things that can in any way be customized.  If it can be embroidered, monogrammed, engraved...Husband will try to hide it...but I will find it and customized it shall be!!! 

*Princess Tip:  For those who find their sweet, wonderful, otherwise lovely, DHs a bit resistant to the amount of monogramming you would choose to have in your home...Williams-Sonoma custom makes monogrammed branding irons for the grill!  Take my word for it, he will become a LOT more agreeable about monograms around the house when they match his "ManMakeFireCookMeatMarkTerritory" treat!

Moving on... I was doing a bit of shopping at my dear friend's, The Preppy Poppy, to pick up a few things...I won't go into too many details...the holiday's are coming, after all...but on a few of the things I asked her to make, I asked her for...gasp...monograms AND awareness ribbons.  As these items are for different people, I decided to double check on the colors of the awareness ribbons for a few things.

Oh my...

In a million years, I couldn't have imagined the amount of causes to which awareness ribbons would be assigned...nor could I have imagined that distinctions would be made between "graphite," "silver," and "gray" or "indigo" and "blue" or that even with that distinction, there are at LEAST 50 causes/illnesses/etc. of which one should be aware upon seeing a blue ribbon!!!  Blue, people...not indigo...or light blue, periwinkle, teal or turquoise...and I'm not even going to mention the ribbons that are 2 colors.  We've got green, light green, lime green, mint green, and olive green.  There's a full circle starting at purple...to violet, lavender, orchid (I'm all for Testicular Cancer having an Awareness Ribbon, but come on, who's idea was ORCHID?!), pink, hot pink, red, cranberry, then burgundy on back to purple!  This is by no means all of them...no, really...you can't make this up!!!  Even I can't make this stuff up!!  Many of them, not just blue, have 50+ causes associated with them.  I care.  I volunteer.  I donate.  I TRY to be aware...but I feel like at this point, I can say with absolute, unwavering, surety, that I will NEVER be THAT aware!

As you can imagine, part of the reason this awareness rainbow would drive entire colonies of Leprechauns to abandon their pots of gold and drink, is that, well...some of these "causes" seem just the tiniest bit questionable to me.  As my darling Poodle said to me today when I was outlining this post for her, "Peach, no.  Blue means only two things - First Place and Pabst Blue Ribbon."

Feral Cats.  I am assuming this is an orange ribbon so that I can take aim more easily when they are outside my bedroom window at night?

Self-Injury.  I can't even lie, I googled.  I thought it meant someone like me who bumps into/trips over everything.  Nope!  Cutters.  As to whether this is to identify them to others like a pledge pin, encourage them to keep up the good work (though I think it's of note that these are worn vertically...a subtle suggestion that people have had enough with the "cries for help" and just slash 'em vertically already), or inspire them to quit, I do not know.

Targeted Individuals?  Turns out these are essentially adult bullying victims.  Good plan.  Grow up, get bullied, whine about enough on message boards to have someone come up with a catchy name that sounds less victim-y than victim, so the catchy name can earn an awareness ribbon, that you can then proudly wear wherever you go...to identify yourself to all who see you...as...wait for it...a whiny victim!!!  Why not wear a "Kick Me" sign, people?  You are not doing yourselves any favors!

Free Speech?  Like I always say, I didn't vote for it.  Sometimes, stupid shouldn't speak.

Responsible Use of Public Lands?  So much for that meth lab! 

Trauma?  Not in relation to anything specific...and believe me, every conceivable trauma has it's own trauma specific ribbon, to include PTSD.  Trauma is but one on the list of redundant and/or random.  Kindness, Harmony, Hope and Support, Innocence, Transitions, Freedom, and Growth and Rebuilding were a few of my other favorites...good luck trying to find specifics on these "Awareness" ribbons.  If Google doesn't know, how am I, a lifelong member of the Look-It-Up Club, ever to become aware?  This may keep me awake nights!!! 

For today, I'll just focus on 2.  Green and Lime Green...yes, seriously, Lime Green.  Surely you'll recall one of my favorite non-profits, The Queen of Hearts, dedicated to helping those with Leukemia (Green...alternate color Orange (Did I mention some have more than one color?)), Lymphoma (Lime Green), and those awaiting organ transplants (Green).  QoH is still in it's infancy online, though we were founded in 2003.  We hold an Aloha themed, Casino Night fundraiser every year over Labor Day Weekend, and I am thrilled to announce that our friends at Marley Lilly and The Pink Monogram were the first online to jump in and support the Queen of Hearts by donating to the Aloha's Chinese Auction!  They were a huge hit!  That was but the beginning of the generosity and support!!! For anyone that "Likes" Marley Lilly and Queen of Hearts on Facebook, Marley Lilly is offering free shipping on orders over $85 with offer code QoH...AND...there will be a Marley Lilly review and giveaway coming your way very soon!  The Pink Monogram not only donated a pair of the Original Monogrammed Clogs to the Aloha...we have a great review and giveaway in the Queen of Hearts honor soon!  In addition to these terrific ladies and their companies, two more fab women and their stores have come on board to join in helping with the online campaign to raise awareness and donating for next year's Aloha.  The Monogrammed Martini, whose delightful owner was thrilled get involved, has a great Queen of Hearts awareness review and giveaway coming up...I can't wait to see what it will be...and what she comes up with for the Aloha!  And last, but certainly not least, as she is to blame for this post, my sweet friend, The Preppy Poppy, has a review/giveaway in the works and I happen to know has something tres fun for the Aloha!

With all that can seem wrong with world on any given day...natural disasters, disease, neglect and abuse and murder of people's own family members...people parking in handicapped spots and being rude to waitresses...it can sometimes be hard to remember all the truly good in the world.  And then I am reminded of ladies like these...willing to help others...just because...

As I often say, when things seem bleak, take a deep breath and count your blessings. Someone has it much worse. Donate. Volunteer. Help them, it will help you both.



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