Many years ago, my ex came home after a long night of working at the lumber mill. When he was tired it usually manifested as grumpiness, and he was always tired after a graveyard shift. This time, however, there was also a bit of repressed laughter. After cutting amused eyes at me for half an hour, I finally asked “What?”
“Remember that thing you made a couple Christmases ago? With the purple glitter?”
“Yeah… it was a present for Tania. Why?”
“I had some on me. Didn’t know it was there until Tom saw it. Now all the guys think I have a lifestyle I’m not admitting to.”
The takeaway that morning was that purple glitter and flannel are decidedly NOT a fabulous pairing. It was also when I—and the ex—first discovered firsthand exactly why glitter has a reputation for being “the herpes of craft supplies,” to quote Demetri Martin. Have you ever encountered a random hair from a long-departed animal, or found Christmas tree needles in the carpet in August? Glitter’s worse. Way worse.
The reason I mention all this is because we’re slap in the middle of the holiday season—which means an uptick in shopping, parties… and glitter. More things are blinged out than they used to be; seasonal ornaments and decorations, by a factor of like five or so. Not that I’m complaining—it tickles the hell out of my not-so-inner magpie. But that’s just me putting a positive face on my fate. I’ve been infected for a long time now, so it’s too late for me. Don’t let it happen to you, especially if glittery stuff isn’t your thing!
Increased awareness is your friend. The shit’s everywhere, and it can very easily end up everywhere else. All it takes is a touch or a hug or brushing up against something to get it on you, and it’s light enough to be borne by drafts, too. The ultra-fine-grade stuff, which is what many decorations (and craft geeks like me) utilize, is the worst for transmittal and hiding out on your person.
If socially-transmitted craft matter, also known as unanticipated holiday sparkle residue (or UHSR) is starting to sound like a seasonal illness, maybe it should be taken as such. Look around you—it’s gotten to epidemic proportions! The worst part is, like in the story above, you might not know you’ve personally been affected by glitter until it’s just… too… late. They’re like shiny little ninjas, waiting to strike when you think you’ve dealt with them. Cleanliness won’t help you—remember the dog fur and pine needles!
Granted, these days a stray colorful scintillation from one’s shirt lapel doesn’t raise eyebrows quite as high—hell, it might even earn you a few phone numbers—but in the wrong time or place, it could be an unmitigated disaster. Go ahead, go do your holiday thing, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. UHSR is real, and nobody is safe!