Thursday, December 1, 2011

And lead us not into temptation

A few weeks back, I started helping out at the local fair trade store. Perhaps not the most logical decision, seeing as how my time here is coming to an end. But it sounded like fun, it's a very important initiative, and, unlike the other efforts I attempted to establish contact with over the past year and a half, it was simple to arrange.

Plus, I know these cashier skills will come in handy once my student loan debts have reached such epic proportions that I have to ditch these volunteer gigs and get a job at McDonald's.

The problem, however, is that I spend multiple three-hour shifts a week stocking, selling, and otherwise staring in the face of temptation.

Do you know how hard frugality is in the face of fair trade and a good cause? Do you???

And oh the abundance! There's no corner in which I can direct my eyes that isn't filled with some item of seduction - be it the scarf whose prettiness outweighs the rational fact that I already have several or the handbag who preys on my particular weakness or the multitude of other items who whisper to me what great Christmas gifts they would make....anyone want some free trade underwear?

Yet, wonder of wonders, I have so far managed to avoid falling into the hands of these tempters. The food department, however, is another story.

There are the very sensible items like rice and tea. And there are the solidarity purchases like the couscous from Palestine. And then there are the wild and crazy things like manioc chips and mango-coconut balls that I buy just because they are fun and exotic. And I'll tell you this: you haven't had salad until you've had it with a Philippinian mango vinaigrette.

Consequently, I think I have yet to leave a shift at the store without having purchased some overly fairly priced good.

Who would have thought that volunteering could be so expensive?

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