03 May 2017

Windows: Pink Prom Dress – III – Twinkle, twinkle, little star...

hile writing up the other two parts of this pink post, a nursery rhyme came to mind.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

The first two lines made think of a chain of incidents connected to the prom dress concerning sequins, glitter and other ‘twinkles’. As I started to put it down I realised that it was becoming rather long to integrate it into the main story, so I thought I better make a separate post out of it.
But first a little about detection. If, as in my case, the other half is not aware that their partner goes fem when the chance arises, then leaving telltales around the house or on ones person can be at least awkward, if not disastrous. One has to make sure there are no perfume smells lingering around you and the house. No misplaced panties or tights that turn up uninvited on wash day and no traces of eyeliner in the corner of the eye or varnish in the corner of a nail.

[Ed: see Twilight Zone: Nails II for a close call.]
Following an ‘Abi session’ I check myself in the mirror to see if there are any traces of Abi visible. Usually if anything then it would be lipstick and a little powder. In my days working in medical labs I had to make sure nothing was allowed to contaminate my cultures. Here I have to make sure that nothing leaves the cellar other than me, well and truly de-con-tam-Abi-nated.
Well one day, as hinted on in part II, something did leave the cellar and 'the one with the eagle eyes' found it. A speck of 'twinkle', a rogue sequin that must have hitched a ride on my person out of the cellar and into the washroom where it unhitched itself fell to the floor and scurried off ..

Ok rolled..
Ok ok, too light to roll, then just lay there twinkling..
[Ed: ✔ ]
Now what made me jump, apart from her coming stealth-like up behind me in the cellar and saying quite loudly "Look what I found!!" was that, on turning round being presented directly under my nose on the end of an upturned index finger a red sequin of pink prom dress fame!
As I starred at it, a part of me mind said ‘Oh bugger!’ and the rest started to go into panic overdrive working out possible responses to a range of possible questions that very soon would be uttered from her nibs. Just as I started mentally jotting down a few responses, there came almost verbatim, the question first on my list.
”Now I wonder where that came from?”
To gain a few extra seconds to calm down, I went into loop mode.
“Where did you find it?”
“In the washroom”,
“In the washroom??”,
“Yes, in the washroom!”,
“Now, how did it get there!(?)”,
”That's what I asked!!!”,
“Oh! So it was ...ah .. really I have no idea..”

And before she could start to self-speculate I blurted out..
“Maybe it's from one of the Christmas boxes where the old Christmas cards are stored. I was clearing out making room for the new ones we got this year. You know with some of those cheap cards you only have to look at them and they lose their glitter and stuff, it gets everywhere! Maybe it got rubbed off while I was sorting out. I had emptied the boxes completely and repacked them again and probably it fell out and got stuck to me foot or something..”

Now this scenario was rather a good one as Christmas and the New Year were just over and I had decided to have a proper clear out before packing everything away again and storing it in the attic. Apart from the fact that over the years sequins were the last thing I had seen stuck on Christmas cards the story was quite plausible.
I took the sequin from her and pretended to scrutinise it under the light. I was trying not to show it but I was still in panic mode following the third degree from 'eagle eyes'. This was quite reasonable because I thought I had found all of the twinkles that had detached themselves while handling and wearing the prom dresses! Not only that since the middle of November I hadn't unpacked, let alone worn it. This was nearly two months before this blighter turned up!

[Ed: If you haven't read part II, then dresses in the plural and not dress in the singular may confuse somewhat.]

Exhibit a
I'll recap to the prom dress sessions in November but skip over the ordering, trying on, frustration, sending back, reordering, trying on again and finally packing it away for a rainy day. What happened between ‘frustration’ and ‘sending back’ was I found a large 'twinkle' under a chair (see Exhibit a).

Ok I wasn't that concerned until I saw it had two fastening holes for sowing it on. I suspected I had caught myself in it and ripped it off while getting in or out of the dress. I blamed myself that I should have been more careful with a dress of this type and not as usual been in hectic mode as with all Abi sessions.

Exhibit b
I went in search of the gaping hole it must have left in the bodice, but for the life of me I couldn't find it! Much to my relief as I had by this time decided to return it and go for a smaller size. What I did find when looking for the hole was that a few of the little stuck-on twinkle stones decided to become unstuck by just looking at them (see Exhibit b).

As I was going to pack it for returning anyway, this was a good opportunity to not produce any more contamination of the cellar through what I thought was spontaneous shedding. After packing and stashing out of sight, which took quite some ingenuity using the original bag and a complete roll of brown duct tape, I went in search for any other twinkling debris.

Exhibit c
I started with long range scans: walking around head down looking for tell-tale twinkling under the halogen lights followed by short range scans: down on me knees nose to the carpet with my trusty magnifying glass sleuth like. To my astonishment I found quite a few sequins (see Exhibit c) and a few more now unstuck stuck-on twinkles of Exhibit b type. 

I put away my little collection and vacuum cleaned the cellar to the astonishment of MrsA. Who because of the noise had come down and asked what I was doing. I just gave her a blank look and indicated the cleaner. As it was now obvious that a wonder had happened, she promptly turned and disappeared upstairs. I hoped this out of character manoeuvre would remove any twinkles I had overlooked.
That was that, so I thought.
Well it was until that red rogue sequin was rubbed under my nose months later.

One evening while I was rummaging around in the cellar not long after the nose rubbing incident which ended with us parting in silence, I through I saw just inside my peripheral vision a flicker of light coming from the floor. I moved slowly around in long scan mode hoping it wasn’t what I thought it was until it twinkled again.
I was immediately down on my knees in short range mode and grabbed it before it could disappear into the carpet. It was an Exhibit c type twinkle - the dreaded sequin! Having my mobile in my pocket I documented the procedure. I’ve marked the culprit in the first picture followed by a close up. I added it to the collection hoping it was now complete, although I had the feeling it wasn’t.

Sometime in February as I was again rummaging around in the cellar ‘eagle eyes’ entered swooped down and again presented me with a repeat of
“Look what I just found!”
“Have we gremlins around here that deposit these things to annoy us!!?”
All I could think of was ‘Oh no, not again!’ and the famous bowl of petunias. She left with a bewildered look and nothing more, no speculation nothing. I didn’t want to press it, so I left it at that.
I didn’t even get it for the collection..
Well a couple of weeks ago a repeat performance with the famous finger and my nose. I’m not sure what play she is rehearsing at the moment but her appearance was quite dramatic!
I really don’t understand this. I’m almost every day in the cellar and even with my eyes to the floor so as not to keep bumping into things lying around, I see nothing in the twinkle dept! And on the rare occasions when she comes in to see what I’m up to, promptly she finds one!
This time she added a critical full frontal scan of my features.
“Is there a conspiracy going on here?”
The question was straight between the eyes and had nothing rhetorical about it.

I just stood there gob smacked, mind a blank having no idea how to react. My shoulders when up in auto mode and I made a lot effort to at least shake my head in disbelief. Before I could even start to rack my brains for an answer it was about turn and she was off. Again nothing was said. But as she went up the stairs I though I heard a low, almost inaudible mumbled chant. All I could make out was I think the word ‘double’ and maybe ‘trouble’ and I could swear with a Scottish accent..

Around the time of this sighting of the third kind as I was putting the other two parts of the post together, I was selecting and resizing the pictures I wanted to include. As I didn’t have the dress to hand I looked at the pictures and realised that I couldn’t see any sequins on the bodice! Examples of Exhibits a and b, but not c. Had I been panicking up the wrong tree? Maybe the sequins had another source! I decided to get to the bottom of it.

[Ed: If instead of panicking you had looked at the other pictures of the dress you would have seen the sequins in the skirt.]
True, But I hadn’t, and hence the following..
I had to wait until I was alone for a few hours, and made a bee line straight to my stash and systematically went through the boxes looking for the prom dress and of course Murphy was throwing his law about again and it was in the last one. Along the way I had the chance to check all my glitter/sequin sources.

My Dorothy Perkins heels were a classical source for spreading glitter about. Every time I handled them my hands were contaminated. I washed them of course but it was bound to happen sometime that MrsA saw a twinkle on the back of a hand and went for it. It looked like glitter makeup which it wasn’t as I don’t have any. The Christmas card trick wouldn’t work due to the time of year, but my backup was birthday cards and I got away with it.

Ok no sequins. Next I found my pink heels, the ones I used to go with the prom dress. Here were sequins in pink, not red, and they felt and looked like they were sown on pretty tight, so no loss here.
I moved on.

A pair of orange platform sandals bought in a fit of ‘anything orange’. A time when I was orange mad which has moved on to the current madness – Mint (see my pin boards). The heels have a bit of glitter and are totally unwalkable. Not the height or the platforms alone but just no control. One slides around in them all over the place and rarely in the direction one wants to go! A professional walker could probably do them justice, I can’t.

And then the last box right at the back and in the corner. I opened and there at the top my mint dress with sequins and mini twinkles, I had wondered where it had got to. Again no red in sight.

I dug deep and there it was, my precious. I removed it from its outer bag and very carefully opened the inner transparent bag just enough to get a proper look at the skirt without it exploding into full size. And there they were, red sequins strung out like a peal necklace. 
I took a closer look and could see no fastening as such; it looked like they were just kept there sandwiched between two layers of the material. I could not see how they could get lose without a hole in one of the layers. It look like the examples that had escaped were from the making of the dress and had hitched a ride in the packing and not unhitched themselves from the dress through wearing it. 

As I was closing the inner bag I spotted just inside the bag seal a twinkle getting ready to jump to freedom! I went for it but on opening my fingers it was gone! I sighed, packed everything away and went into search mode again. Thankfully I found it almost at once, directly under where I had opened the bag. I grabbed my mobile and took a few pictures zooming in on it. 
The first picture doesn’t show much but it is there. Next at a slightly different angle and a bit closer, now one can see the twinkle. 
The third picture a close up before digging it out and adding it to my collection.
So that’s it! No more ‘sightings’. No more nose rubbings. And to date no more prom dress sessions to get fully dressed and see how it really fits. When I get the chance to go pink again, then I’ll let you know about it. Also I can then check my theory if my collection of twinkles was from the packaging or directly from wearing the dress.

Following the experience with twinkles & Co.
the following came to mind.

Twinkle, twinkle, little stone,
Fallen from a pink dress I own,
In the cellar out of sight,
Until eagle eyes turns on the light.


  1. Looks like you're going to have to be careful, especially when it comes to moulting glitter and sequins. (Do dresses moult?)
    I have a black glittery top that managed to shed a trail of sparkles all over the duvet when unpacked it on the bed. I thought I'd got it all cleaned off, but lying in bed reading, I could definitely see a trail of sparkles across the covers under the bedroom light.
    And I have sometimes been less than scrupulous (or perhaps just more blasé) about removing all traces of Susie - sometimes leaving traces of eyeliner under the lower lids or corners of the eyes, and once (OK, maybe more than once) leaving a coat of clear nail varnish on and only noticing it on the way into work.
    Perhaps you should take up a craft hobby, one that involves a bit of glue and glitter, like hand made Christmas tree decorations, that can explain anything accidentally trailed into the house.

    1. I doubt if moult is the right word Susie, but I'll make sure not to get it out and wear it in Autumn!
      I must say after the event, I was not that surprised that I was losing twinkles from the dress, it was not that expensive and the workmanship could have been better. With dresses in the 4 fig. range I would not expect the dress to lose anything, here well ok. Following the prom dress buy, my panic shopping didn't stop, far from it. I lashed out and bought a lovely elegant cocktail dress in navy blue. It has twinkles but not so many and with it came a little plastic bag with spares. Which is thoughtful - or is it? doesn't this mean if you happen to lose a twinkle we have conveniently added spares or as the dress is going to 'moult' anyway here is a bag full to keep you from complaining when it does! as for telltales I have nice shinny nails the last couple of weeks due to my 'cure'. funny enough I was thinking of a hobby with glue and glitter it was nail art!