Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I know a lot of you agree.
I LOVE going into Spirit or other Halloween themed stores and just browsing. Hell, Craig won’t even take me down the Halloween aisle at a big box store and steers clear of craft stores from mid July on.
Even the grocery or drug store, every now and again if he’s in a hurry, he will forget and “shortcut” down the seasonal aisle. He loves Halloween too, but I still hear the muffled cursing under his breath as his 60 second shortcut becomes a half hour delay.
I have a major Halloween pet peeve, though. Not just because I’ve worked countless costume and Halloween theme stores during the season; not just because I’m a cosmetologist. Simply common sense, in my opinion.
So, here’s the deal –
Unless you fully intend to purchase a mask, hat/tiara/jewelry or wig, don’t try it on. I know it makes a great selfie and it’s a great giggle for your friends and family, but…
1. How many people do you think did the exact same thing before you, even if you “grabbed the one in the very back”?
Having worked Halloween and costume shops, I can tell you the number is higher than you think.
How many of those people had a cold, flu or lice? Yay. You’re now the proud owner of a funny selfie, a barrel of sniffly-sneezy-pleasehurryandletmepassout “liquid death” and nits. Congrats. Get the red sniffly-sneezy “liquid death” (as we call it in my house) – the green is even more disgusting than the mucus running down your face.
“I won’t get lice! My hair is clean! I shampoo everyday!”
I hear this so often, I could potentially snap and throttle the next person who uses it as some half-ass excuse.
Well, that’s partially another blog, but, fun fact – LICE LIKE CLEAN HAIR.
Its easier for them to hang on to, and therefore mate and lay eggs (nits). My advice to any parent of a school age child; even if you don’t want to use gel or hairspray in your child’s hair, use a leave in conditioner. Greatly reduces the chance of you being at Walgreen’s, at midnight, in your Sponge Bob PJs, looking for a box of Rid.
2. Its inconsiderate.
If your head or facial features are larger than the person who actually wants to pay for that item, theoretically with the intent of wearing it, you’ve now potentially stretched it. Also, perfumes and makeups can affect others, and while you may not see or smell it, that person can. Makeup can also stain delicate FX materials, as can hair products (think about all those nasty Axe hair care product commercials. That’s now on you. Bet you’re doing the “spider dance”, now).
3. Its gross.
Maybe the kid before you sneezed in it. Maybe he gave himself a quick jerk in the bathroom and didn’t wash his hands. You don’t know what the person before you did. There’s possible allergy issues (allergic to peanuts and the person before you had a bag for a snack). There’s contamination from an open sore, like a zit. If you want little Johnny’s oozing, puss filled zit all over your face, cohabiting with your Dior lip gloss, well, you’re way more into the Halloween spirit than I am.
I strongly recommended giving masks, wigs and accessories not in sealed packaging a light spray of something like Lysol (if you can smell it; my husband can’t, so I use what I do to clean a lot of my hair implements – its called Citrus 2, and can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply. Its hospital grade disinfectant and available for public purchase).
4. Its undue wear and tear on merchandise.
When it comes down to the wire, and there’s only one of whatever left, some poor person is going to pay full retail for an item you contributed to unnecessary wear on. Its like paying retail for something at a garage sale, that’s been used for a year. This isn’t the used car some granny drove once a week to get cat food. Why am I going to pay full price for something that’s seen more action than the back lot of a strip club?
Well, that’s what’s going to happen. And, if you’re the one out on October 30, trying to find that perfect accessory for you, your spouse, your child…
Yes, some retailers can return items for partial credit if they’re damaged beyond “X” point, or don’t sell by November 1. Most, however, keep them for the following years inventory, especially items that are always in demand (your standard Halloween fare; witches, werewolves, ghosts).
You’d be surprised how much Halloween inventory moves October 29-31. I’d wager to say 75% of it, in those three days. That’s 2-3 months of being stretched, tattered, stepped on, torn and otherwise abused. So you can show up at a party as the truly dead undead. Roadkill wolfman might be your thing, but it could devastate a small child who has to have this tiara for her costume.
5. Never, ever EVER…
Jewelry, especially anything that requires a piercing (i.e.,earrings), even if what you’re trying is a “clip-on”, is a giant NO.
Piercings require one to be pierced.
To be pierced, typically requires a needle.
A needle will usually draw blood.
See where I’m going here?
Anything that will come in contact with skin increases the chance of contracting a blood-borne pathogen. (Granted, its about a 1% chance, but so is getting an STD or a baby while using a condom. Think about it. Shit happens.)
If that’s not enough to make you think twice before snapping that Spirit store selfie with your BFF, or being that parent who refuses to tell their child “NO”, for fear of hurting their feelings, well, so be it.
But, if you ever have your seat in my chair (as a hairstylist) and this is your story as to how you ended up with nasty critters in your hair, or an infection on your otherwise flawless complexion, I will laugh at you.
To your face.
Because, karma is a bitch.
Images: churchofhalloween, Flickr, lehighvalleylive, halloweenmask