25 December 2006

Baby did a bad, bad thing

Some years ago I was in three shows in short succession that all had lots of glitter in them. Not glitter as in the shows just sparkled, they were so good, but actual, little shiny gritty dust, glitter. So I learned a fair about about the theatrical and real life properties of glitter:

1. It won't stay on and it won't come off. So I left a trail of glitter everywhere I went, but when I tried to remove it, nothing worked. I could take a good, long, exfoliating shower and still emerge looking like an amateur Cher.

2. It ends up everywhere. After a cast party at the house, we found a smear of glitter on the wall and the dog sparkled, too. I found it on my phone at work.

3. Put glitter on your face and it's just a countdown until you glitter in your eyes. Glitter suspended in gel probably doesn't do that, but we were using loose glitter. Getting *that* behind a contact lens is an experience I won't forget. Especially as it happened more than once.

4. Unless you use the exact right amount of glitter - an amount, by the way, which is a deep secret to all but stage make up professionals - it will either not read from the audience or will look like sweat.

5. If you are a man and are in a room where glitter has been used, even if days earlier, you will end up with a piece or two on your face, deeply reducing your Gary Cooper/Clive Owen brooding masculinity. Don Knotts in "Three's Company" had more testosterone-driven animal magentism than a guy with a couple of specks of glitter on his face.

With all of this experience I have developed a, well, let's call it a desire to keep a healthy distance from glitter. So this next is all the more tragic.

I needed some wrapping paper and picked up a roll with narrow pretty stipes of blue, green, and red at Target. When I got home and long past the hour when I was willing to go back out into the fray for other paper, I discovered that the paper had glitter embedded in one of the stripes.

I wrapped carefully, but that glitter was leaping off of that paper like Titanic passengers who've just spotted a coast guard cutter in the swimable distance. I've swept up the glitter here, but I'm taking a bag of festive, ** sparkly ** presents over to my Mom's, where they will be opened rather than simply piled up and admired, so a couple of tablespoons worth of shiny will transfer to Mom's carpet. And onto my mother, aunt, nieces, brother-in-law, and nephew.

Good thing that my aunt is visiting. She's German enough that she won't rest until it's all vacuumed up or removed by tweezer or simply willed out of existance. But Travis (my nephew) is in danger. Travis is 23 and lives in Luray, Virginia where straight men don't encounter glitter outside of strip clubs.

I was able to locate some other paper for Travis's present and I even put it in a separate bag from the others, but the danger was still clear and present (not to mention sparkly).

Angela and Travis were helping me carry stuff in and when I mentioned the one of the bags of gifts had glitter, you'd have thought that I had told him that it was radioactive. Angela carried that bag.

I think he left Mom's without any glitter on him, but I won't know for sure until tomorrow when I see him at Dad's because his immediate family has enough interest in teasing the life out of each other that I can't imagine that they'll let that pass.


Stan Harding said...

This was so worth sharing I read it aloud to my Mom yesterday while we were waiting to open presents.

Maureen said...

With belly dancers, it's sequins and bugle beads. Just as insidious, and dangerous - nothing like dancing barefoot and finding a broken bugle bead the hard way. Murphy's Law will guarantee that you find that bead when you're doing a repeating pivot on the foot that just found the offending item. All you can do is hope you don't bleed on the costume. ;)