It all started out with a post from Michelle Ward, leader of the Crusades encouraging artists to collect socks for the people of Japan. And since it didn't make much sense for me to send socks to Michelle in the US, I thought I'd take it upon myself to do a little collection here locally and send a small parcel to Japan directly.
To make a long story short, the first person I went to with my grand vision tore the idea apart. By the time she was done with me, I was a shaken frustrated mess. This is one of those things that start out one way but melts into a big dramatic pile of something else. And when I relayed the story to my German hubby he informed me that in Germany if you are going to take up any kind of collection you need to go register officially with the courthouse for permission and get some kind of allowance to be able to give people receipts for the donations they make. Really Germany? How nice. But c'mon, go tell that to Japan.
It's not that I couldn't go through the motions and go about this correctly. It's that after nearly five years of living here I'm so exhausted from the all the relentless effort. Every single thing I try to do here leaves me feeling like I'm out matched. As if I'm Rocky Balboa in the 8th round. Saliva pouring from my swollen mouth, but nevertheless clinging to the ropes refusing to lay down on the mat.
So when I met my girlfriends at a cafe for lunch and started explaining my sock predicament to them I completely lost it. Tears streaming down my face, red-blotchy nose complete with snot candlesticks. It had nothing to do with Japan or socks anymore, I had just reached the pinnacle of pain from my ideas and efforts not coming to fruition. It was a full blown foreign flip out.
Now Jemma happens to be Irish, and she rushed in immediately offering to go to the courthouse and the Governor himself. It was so awesome and sweet, my tears turned to laughter which seemed to make the Italian waiter a bit nervous. Then Pat, my other English girlfriend who'd just presented me with a tassle-embellished jumbo Deutsch-Mark price stamper said she'd go buy socks for the collection as well. They got me through my melt-down and got hope back in my heart.
And the outcome? Check out what came in the mail! Complete with an envelope full of cash from Pat's friend, a German insider we'll refer to as "Hombre" and decorated with a sticker saying, "I love socks!"
I hunted down Ziploc Zipper baggies which in itself could be it's own blog post, and cracked out a slew of Japanese ATC love. I stamped those cards with so much gusto you'd think I was trying to single handedly reverse the effects of the tsunami by myself. I would if I could. Instead I just switched up to orange cards with embossed purple cows for the kids socks. Studio Mailbox, thanks to the help of a small but determined foreign smuggling ring, contributed 30 pair of socks. A small gesture but with big heart.
For anybody interested in the Sock for Japan project, here is their website as well as the Socks for Japan facebook page. It's looks like they're ramping down and that the last day for shipping socks is May 16.