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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Actual Hobby Lobby

One of my readers thought I was actually going to do a post about Hobby Lobby, the store, the other day when I titled my post "Hobby Lobby".  What would make a person think something like that?

I'm kidding.  It occurred to me that that might happen when I typed the title. 

 I am a fan of the story called "Hobby Lobby", although there is no Hobby Lobby anywhere near me. The only time I can peruse the myriad of  craft supplies, pretend flowers, bridal and baby shower trinkets, pot holder looms, painted plaster in various shapes for the garden....what don't they have there?..is when I'm in my home town in the Midwest.  You really don't want to go into Hobby Lobby in a hurry. For one thing, once you're in there, you won't be able to find your way out again in a hurry.  If it's a hot day, and you have the dog in the car with you, just keep driving on by.

What you may not know about "Hobby Lobby" if you even know what "Hobby Lobby" is,  was news to me, too. 

On my first couple of trips there, I took notice of the "ambient" music.  I am always very sensitive to the music that is playing at the grocery store and the Walgreen's.  Most places no longer use 'musak', those awful adaptations of popular songs played by little orchestras and piped in to stimulate you to relax and buy more.  It was also called 'elevator music'.  Most places now play the actual songs, with the original artists.  You may be hearing about someone's broken heart, but in a peppy kind of way that helps you choose between Advil and Tylenol.

I was a little surprised on my first trip ever to Hobby Lobby, that the music was a little...depressing.  It wasn't peppy at all.  It was "Amazing Grace", some instrumental version, I think, perhaps a/harp piano performance.  Even the harp wasn't making it particularly Heavenly sounding. It wasn't a particularly lovely version.  It wasn't bad.

But it certainly wasn't very peppy.  Now you might be thinking, "Well, isn't that beautiful, to hear "Amazing Grace" instead of  "Boot Scootin' Boogie".  That would be so much nicer!" And you would also surely think that of all people, I would appreciate a whole album of hymns on a harp enhancing my shopping experience. "How lovely!" But I'm here to tell you, it wasn't.  It was just a little....sad.  

By the third hymn, "Rock of Ages", I was mentally figuring what I could cross off my list so I wouldn't have to go clear to the other side of the store, which is the size of a football stadium.  It wasn't that it was hymns, really.  It was the dreary sound of it all.  If I was there to meditate and pray it might have worked. I was there to buy embroidery floss for my mother and gift bags for some party favors she wanted to put together for a baby shower.  "....let me hide myself in thee...."  

When I returned home with the goods (I offered my discomfort to the Poor Souls in Purgatory), I mentioned the unusual music to my mother and she said, "Oh, yeah, the guy that owns that is a big Christian."  This is her term for people who are 1. not Catholic, and 2. are very vocally 'born again'.  

Sure enough, I took a look at the Hobby Lobby (that's a picture of the lobby at Hobby Lobby) website.  It's not readily apparent, but if you click around a couple of times, you'll find the Hobby Lobby mission statement:

Statement of Purpose
In order to effectively serve our owners, employees, and customers the Board of Directors is committed to:
Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.
Offering our customers an exceptional selection and value.
Serving our employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals, and nurture families.
Providing a return on the owners' investment, sharing the Lord's blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.
We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future.

In recent months I've discovered I can shop online to buy supplies from Hobby Lobby, but in subsequent trips, the music was no longer a collection of hymns played on pianos and harps.  Someone must have pointed out that it wasn't making people want to linger in the store.  Three cheers for market research!


Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets said...

Oh, how I love Hobby Lobby... now I can feel like I'm supporting a good cause, almost doing charitable work by shopping there. =) I have noticed some Christian songs playing there (contemporary ones you'd hear on Air1 radio) but never knew that about their statement of purpose. Thanks for sharing!

Kate J said...

Hurray! There is peppier Christian music available, anyway. They play it at the roller rink on Sat. nights, down the street from the Catholic church, with a disco ball and everything.

Glad to support businesses which honor the Lord.

Julie M. said...

The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked at Michael's Arts and Crafts, and it was right next to a Hobby Lobby, which was so strange. People used to ask how to get into their store from ours, like it was all one store!

In line with their Christian beliefs, they were closed on Sunday, which I was always jealous of - but Sunday was the big day at Michaels, since the people arriving to find Hobby Lobby closed would invariably wander in.

Jane Wetzel said...

hi Sister- loved your description or...your moms'..of a "big Christian" ha ha ha! I too love shopping at Hobby Lobby! :)

Maureen said...

Oooh, I want to shop at Hobby Lobby - and Wal-Mart - I hear so much about them from my American friends1
We have K-Mart, but it's not the same - but I think our Spotlight is a branch office of Hobby Lobby since it is beginning to sell Lion Brand wool.
Perhaps that is the sort of thing that a "big Christian" would do!

Anonymous said...

I call them "Power Christians" and somehow I have a tendency to distrust anyone who feels the need to proclaim his/her Christianity as soon as they are introduced (in person or through the music/mission statement}. Shouldn't our behavior be enough to convince others that we are followers of Christ?

Paige said...

I used to work at Hobby Lobby. If only I was more Catholic at the time, I could have released many souls from Purgatory listening to all that music day after day. It was and still remains one of my favorite jobs i ever had, though.
Our Hobby Lobby still plays hymns. I always used to get a little giggle at the twice-an-8-hour-shift playing of Ave Maria that happened only during Christmas season.

mph said...

Anonymous, our actions should be enough, but on the other hand, it shows they are proud to be Christian and not afraid to admit it, plus once they have stated it publicly, they have to be seen to live up to it - it may be very helpful in that respect!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

So far, short of online venues, I have only been able to find rosary centers that I can afford (aka willing to pay that price) in Hobby Lobby, and it sometimes takes some searching, because they don't always stock them.
I appreciate their Sunday closing (and Chick-Fil-A's), and have found some good stuff in there.

Anonymous said...

I live in the home town of the owners of Hobby Lobby, who also own Mardel Christian stores and Hemisphere. They are truely what the propose to be. Take care of their employees and are closed on Sundays so those employees who desire are able to attend church services. They lost money when they made the change to close on Sunday but held on and are secure that they did the right thing according to their beliefs. I shop there much and have never heard any unpleasant music.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister,
Not sure how to send in a question to you. This is embarrassing to ask, but here goes: I am a practicing Catholic. My husband is a secular Jew. We were married by a priest and a rabbi, understood that the Church does not grant sacramental status (if that is the correct expression) to our marriage due to our being of "differing cults" (this was the expression the priest used - an archaic use of the word "cult" but we both understood the meaning.) Since I did not receive the sacrament of holy matrimony, would I be able to get an annulment? The grounds for the annulment are that my husband won't have sex with me. We discussed before marriage that we both wanted a family and how even back then, I longed to be a mother, and he said he wanted to be a father. We abstained from sex before marriage (my idea - he didn't like it but went along with it.) Ironically, after marriage, almost from the very beginning, it seems to me as a power play, he would withhold sex. If I initiated, I was rebuffed. Only if he initiated could we have relations. Over the years (we have been married almost 5 years) the sex has dwindled to almost none (1x every few months, when I threaten to leave.) Also, he *says* he wants children, but refuses to have sex with me during my fertile period (I chart my cycles.) I am almost 39, and my chances of being a mother are nil with this man. I feel he misled me. He is not the person he seemed when we dated (we knew each other for 2 years and dated for 1.5yrs before marrying, as I was happy as a single person and did not enter marriage lightly.) Over the past 2 years, in addition to refusing sex except for the 3-4x per year *he* desires it, he frequently belittles me in front of his family and mine. He makes sarcastic comments and puts me down. In the last year, he has been even more disrespectful of our marriage vows. He has thrown things against the wall forcefully and threateningly, blaming me for his actions (which I know is not true, but it wears on one.) I am terrified of "divorce" and have always been anti-divorce, which is why I wondered if a "non-sacramental" marriage can be annulled. Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom. My heart is breaking and I have been deeply depressed by this situation. I feel an annulment would allow me to start over in a better place than a divorce would. What is truly sad is that he treated me so respectfully and lovingly when we were dating. He courted me in an old-fashioned way, but that went out the window on our honeymoon, during which he also refused to have sex. Please help me.