Mr. Sparkle

Whoever it was that thought it would be a real hoot to make cosmetics for little girls, I hope they’re having a good laugh. It’s one thing for kids to play dress up with toy makeup, but to make eyeliner and lipstick that they can actually smear all over their face? And furthermore, was is so necessary for them to push the envelope just that much more by mixing glitter in with these products? This added touch, this cherry on top, this pièce de résistance that someone up in R and D deemed so crucial, I consider to be the equivalent of the Viet Cong dipping punji sticks in excrement in order to inflict more damage those unlucky enough to impale a foot on the razor-sharp tips of such a diabolical invention.

As you can guess, Allie and Avery already possess so much of this junk whoever purchased it must have received a bulk discount from Costco in the process. But even before owning this lifetime supply of cosmetic crap, they felt compelled to spruce up their appearances. I say this in reference to time I looked in rearview mirror during our drive to school only to notice Allie and Avery had used black and red Sharpie markers to highlight their *eyebrows and lips. Like any good stay-at-home stepdad, my response to this was to let them go to class just as they were. So what if they both looked like characters from A Scanner Darkly, I thought maybe everyone laughing at them might be a better deterrent than anything I could come up with. However, the effectiveness of such a tactic would’ve proved a moot point after they were given “real” makeup.


Fast forward a couple years to this week. It was typical day getting ready for school. Allie and Avery had finished their list of regular tasks—brush teeth, load backpacks, do chores—in which case I told them to play in their room until it was time to meet the bus. Fifteen or twenty minutes later we headed out the door, but as we stepped into the outdoor light, I noticed something… peculiar about their faces.

“What were you two doing in your room?” I asked.

The two them looked at me as if my question was the most ridiculous thing ever uttered. “We gave each other makeovers,” Allie said finally.

I closed my eyes and sighed. Their faces glistened like dew in the morning sun.

“But we’re all sparkly glow-ee!” Avery countered in response to my disapproving reaction.


I explained to them that glitter makeup was meant for play, not for going out into public, and like the Sharpie marker incident, I let them grace the school in all their sparkly glow-ee glory. What I didn’t mention was my plan once they were gone.

Walking back from the bus stop, I resolved to find the items used in this latest round of makeover mischief. My search, however, proved futile leading me to the logical conclusion that the girls hadn’t just done up their faces, but they had taken the makeup to school as well. This wasn’t much of surprise to me given that my unannounced backpack inspections have turned up a number of smuggled contraband items such as a baggie of Pixie Stick powder with a street-value of five dollars and a shiv cleverly fashioned from a Barbie doll leg. Sure enough, when the girls got home, I found the culprit—a bottle of pink glitter spray crouching in bottom of Avery’s backpack.

“Do you know what your girls did today?” I rhetorically asked Ashley later that evening. “They thought it would be a good idea to give each other makeovers before school.” I held up the bottle of glitter spray, pinching it by the neck as if it were a squirming rodent.

A sheepish grin melted across Ashley’s face. “Yeah, sorry,” she said. “I uh… I got that for them.”

In what’s become my signature expression of late, I closed my eyes and sighed wondering whose side my wife was on these days. Opening my eyes again, I saw that Ashley was all sparkly glow-ee too. It looked like fairies had crop-dusted the entire region right above her bosoms.

Glancing down, Ashley chuckled. “Must’ve been from when the girls hugged me when I got home from work.”

I closed my eyes and sighed again.

The reminder that glitter could be passed from one thing to another “thrilled” me just that much more. I envisioned Allie and Avery running around with their grubby hands touching everything and everyone like King Midas transforming the entire apartment to a state of sparkly glow-ee-ness. Understand, I am very particular about home décor (a fact you will learn about in the October issue of Errant Parent). It’s bad enough that the sparkles look is so 1960’s, but the real problem is that once it gets on something, glitter can never be completely gotten rid of making it the arts and crafts version of herpes. The thought of this caused my mind to race in search of a solution for preventing a wide-scale outbreak. Too late.

Walking into the living room, I could see the sofa had already been infected. And by the extent of the affected surface area it appeared as Allie and Avery had rolled around on the entire thing the same way cats do when using the floor to scratch their backs. Despite my best efforts, all the Valtrex in the world couldn’t clear up the glitter festering on the seat cushions. I sighed and closed my eyes, resigned to the shimmering permanence of the disease. It would never be the same again.


This morning after stepping out of the shower and combing my hair, I caught the glint of something in the mirror. No, it can’t be, I thought, leaning forward. Using my fingers, I separated the follicles of hair above my forehead. There, right below my crown, a field of glitter, winked at me, brought to life by the bathroom lights overhead.

How in the name of Orion’s leotard did this—and then the answer dawned on me. After a three-day stretch of insomnia, I had finally fallen asleep on the couch last night. I sighed and closed my eyes, adding a disheartened head shake to further express my sadness over this life-changing discovery. I mouthed a curse word at the face staring back at me.

No longer would I be known as Ron—husband, father, all-around good guy. Now, I would be forever referred to as Mr. Sparkle.

I apologize in advance to my Canadian readers if you are unable to see the videos. Is there a solution to this I am not aware or?

Mr. Sparkle

The Meaning of Sparkly Glow-ee

* Shameless self-promotion warning: The Sharpie marker story is a tale I go into more detail about in Sugar Milk

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