Thursday, April 19, 2012

Business Down the Tubes? What now?

Unless I hear differently from the USPSC (U.S. Product Safety Commission) it looks like my dream business is down the tubes. I could open an online store for adult doll collectors, no porn intended, but there are easier ways of selling fashion dolls to grownups. My interest in sewing beautiful modest original clothes has taken a nose dive. And I Want very much to buy from Fair Trade businesses. Originally, I wanted to sell dolls and doll clothing. But CPSIA has got them removing dolls from their online catalogs, as they can't afford to test each component of a doll to prove its level of lead and phthalates comply with CPSIA. So now what?

I feel so Angry or Frustrated! It wouldn't surprise me if a number of safe and unique dolls and doll clothing sets are going to be removed even though they Are safe for kids, (and great educational toys besides) Because neither the artisans who make them nor the small businesses which import them can afford the cost of testing.

Almost always I avoid the "if onlys". But I have been dreaming this dream for years and If Only I had Ignored Everyone who told me I would fail, I'd have been Doing what I Wanted to do for several years now.

When Ann was alive, I saw part of my purpose in life as helping her and taking care of physical chores about house and garden which she couldn't do.

When she died last year, after all of the shock and misery began to clear a bit I decided that if I failed, I'd be the only one to suffer and I was Going for it! I sewed furiously and delighted in the variety of fair trade products I had to choose from. I bought dolls I Would not have purchased, if I had known what was coming. The CPSIA was Never mentioned by any online Fair Trade Business, I never heard about it on NPR, though I may have just missed the report. I cannot read news papers and Rehab. people had not heard of this law Either.

I find myself in a painful and deep search for something Meaningful, to Me. Of course, there are always things to do and I have some kind friends. But without anything Personally Meaningful to My heart, what's the point?

I find myself missing Ann very badly, missing a friend who died of ovarian cancer in 2008, missing my old neighborhood and the house Ann and I rented, and missing a friend who has withdrawn, with whom I shared many interests and had many meaningful conversations.

Something new has come along, but I do not know where it will lead, if anywhere. Still, when an opportunity presents itself to teach me something, who am I to Waste it?

With long, strong flexible hands she speaks to me. They move fast as a bird's wing, but with many parts.

I have Finally found an instructor for ASL. My instructor is deaf-blind. A friend works here in town, from a more rural community, and drops off my teacher at 6:30 Am., then goes to work. I am in Immersion ASL until my instructor is picked up at about 3:45 P.M.

Now I can stay Up until 5:00 A.M., (with a nap for an hour in the afternoon) but Getting Up at 5:00 A.M., That is Hard. I don't usually fall asleep early, Even if I go to bed early.

After my first "class" this week I ached all over. My head ached from trying to remember so much, my neck and back ached from sitting up stilll and perfectly straight for so many hours, my eyes hurt from being Open so long, BUT, I Learned! I now have a vocabulary of about 60 words and numbers, practiced each day. My instructor is excelent! And a slave driver! She has more energy than me.

Since my first language is spoken English I am learning ASL signs but am using them in English word order. ASL IS a different language, with its own syntax and world view.

In the past I have encountered deaf people who refused to converse with me because I didn't know Their language. I already leave out many unnecessary words when signing, "the" in "Close the door" etc. But I have to wonder, with most deaf-blind people being deaf first and their first language being ASL, how many people will communicate with me?

I can understand the problem, like when most political candidates butcher Spanish in their attempts to speak it.

But I did Not choose the order in which my disabilities would occur. I don't know how refined my ASL will become, or how long I can run on this treadmill, one day a week for ASL means other activities, especially those using my hands (everything, I don't have a dish washer, gardener, electric can opener, etc.) must be pushed onto another day. My hands hurt most of the time now. But it is something which might be helpful both for me and to others if I learn to communicate well enough.

I hope to get at least to the stage of using what the founder of the National Theater of the Deaf, in Washington D.C. called meslish, a mix of ASL signs, some English word order, and some fingerspelling. But right now, even though I am Dedicated to doing this, it just seems hard and physically painful, when combined with the loss of both Ann, others, and the thing I want most to do.

But working with someone deaf makes me Very thankful for the hearing I have! I can still use audio books, turned up loud and with headphones,still hear music, birds if they're close, and conversation with one person at a time, if they are willing to repeat a few things.

We worked out our communication ok, my instructor knows some Braille and I know fingerspelling, though the way each person makes the letters is a bit different, depending upon length and shape of hand and fingers. Also, there are some regional variations in ASL, just as there are with any language. When either of us got too frustrated we'd grab the Braille writer and write a short phrase, "don't understand" or "When is lunch?" So that's what I am doing right now. I just Hope someone will talk with me when I have learned more.

You who are kind enough to read these posts know some of my objections to Facebook. I feel like Facebook invades my privacy, My next post will contain another reason Not to like it. But if I had been able, or will be able to begin an online store, I will have to set up a Facebook page, Bummer!

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry to hear that the selling doll clothes to children business may not clear due to CPSIA.

    I am impressed that you are learning ASL. Have you considered creating a How to booklet about your efforts? That could be an unexplored avenue for you. You have lots of other experience that could be packaged as e-books or that could be submitted as need to know information for special interest groups who in turn could submit your experiences/findings to government or other agents.

    Facebook ... I am on it. I imagine more information than I would like is leaked there, but it is a way to keep in touch without directly contacting everyone you know. Facebook would help if you opened an online store, but it isn't an absolute must have.