In a few hours, I am heading to the Amtrak station to meet some friends and get on a train to Portland for the weekend for a wedding. This is not just any wedding, though, this wedding includes a costume party, where participants are requested to dress as their favorite mythical animal. For ease, I chose to dress as a fairy, figuring I could just add wings. However, not being able to leave well-enough alone, I bought some additional items as well.
I found that in a costume store, “Made in China” could practically be stamped on the entire store. My wings, lovely, sheer black and sparkly, cost under $10 and came from China. The spinning, “Sailor Moon” style wand that I wanted to purchase, turned out to be broken, but had I purchased it, it would also be from China. The only item that was not made in China, was a mask, which was made in Italy.
Being out the necessary blinky, I went on a quest to find a wand with an LED spinner. I checked out Claires in the mall, which was horrifying, then Toys R Us, which was similarly horrifying — the smell of latex and plastics was nearly overwhelming, and it was desolate, not the overbrimming aisles of my youth. I went up to a woman who was likely in her 50’s, but looked like she was attempting 34. I asked her about the wand, and she didn’t much understand the word “wand,” and I was having even less luck with “Sailor Moon.” Finally, I get up to the register and look for someone helpful, and just as I think, “If only there was a geek around here…” a guy at the register pops into view. I caught myself — I don’t want to be making snap generalizations about people based on their physical appearance. I picked up a recent find while I was at the registers, a very masculine-looking glowy, spinny wand with polygonal casing. I showed it to the gentleman, and asked my question again, and said the magic words, “Sailor Moon” and then aside, “Do you know what I mean?”
He replied, “Yes,” covering his mouth in mock embarrassment, “I haven’t watched it in a looong time.” I then said, “I’ve moved on to better anime.” He laughed — I’m not sure if it was AT me or WITH me.
He then promptly recommended Death Note, which sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it, and then gave me a recommendation of where to check online. I asked about where to look next for my prize, and he recommended Target.
While I know I shouldn’t make assumptions about physical appearance — it was kind of comedic the way it turned out.
I spent $6.99 on my masculine looking spinny wand, naturaly made in China.
I headed to Target, and spent too much time wandering around, especially with regards to clothing. With black wings, it seemed that going the goth fairy route was the most appropriate, so I looked for dresses and accessories, which I purchased. Korea, Vietnam, China. I lost all luck with the Sailor Moon-type wand and decided that after 5 stores (the first one was no luck, but brought me to the costume store) and three hours, it was time to go home.
I cringed a bit to realize just how much I purchased from questionably ethical manufacturers.
Maybe like that chocolate cake on a diet, so long as I don’t do it every day, it’s OK.