I have something to tell you and I'm not sure how, so I'm just going to say it.
The American Girl ... isn't ... American.
I know! I was just as stunned as you when a colleague of mine quipped to me in a meeting the other day, "You know we don't even make the American Girl doll here. She's made in China."
I told him he was Confucius, I mean confused - but he was adamant. And he's got daughters.
So, I flipped over a box containing a $100-plus doll named only "Real Me" according to her label (guess she's going to receive her official name from the lucky little gal who ultimately adopts her) only to discover the truth. She, like so many other assumed American-made dolls, products and items, was made in China.
A little more digging revealed that not only is American Girl from China, but she also apparently immigrated there from her birth country of Germany.
"What else? Is G.I. Joe made in Mexico?" I thought, distressed at the possibility.
Rest easy, friends. The beloved American action figure is indeed ours. G.I. Joe was, is, and hopefully will always be made in the good old U.S. of A. Hasbro is the company that makes and manufactures him (and all of the ensuing spin-off products including movies, video games, etc.) - and it's headquartered in Rhode Island.
Whew. That was a close one. Thank heavens we are the ones who put the G.I. in the Joe.
And just when I was starting to relax a little, another whopper reveal. Over at my day job, we are looking to add a program by which U.S. flags are given to American soldiers who come to be our consumers. We started calling around and specifically set out to purchase American-made flags.
Vendor after vendor told us, "Sorry, all our American flags were made in China."
But - huh?
That's when I did it. I said to myself, "Patricia, you are going to make a concerted effort to buy products made in America."
And, several frustrating minutes into my first post-pledge shopping excursion to the Elm Road Walmart, I hollered over to me, "But, Patty, even USA Rawhide chew bones were made in the People's Republic of China. This may be a little tougher than you thought."
Listen, I'm a patriot through-and-through, people. And while I'm all for open trade (provided we in America get as good as we give, so to speak) I really want to support American companies.
And just like that, a red, white and blue ray of sunshine shone down upon my furrowed brow. Guess what I learned? The company for which I am likely single-handedly increasing the profit margin by about 35 percent each year - they're pure America, baby.
Because when Dunkin' Donuts tells people "America Runs on Dunkin'" - they mean it. Although it's become an international coffee and doughnut retailer, it was founded in Massachusetts and is now headquartered in, of all places, the Buckeye State!
I knew I was no pinhead. Unless, of course, you consider that I'll pay whatever ridiculous amount of money DD charges for an extra-large black coffee.
Oh, well. At least the company feeding my caffeine addiction is American. You can count on me, Dunkin'!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her via her American Internet provider at firstname.lastname@example.org.