Downtown Sarasota, Flordia

This week I…

… broke my mouse.
My computer mouse, I mean. Not an actual, real-life mouse. Because I don’t have an actual, real-life mouse. If I did, though, I’d be advising that actual mouse to get the hell out of my actual house, or I’d probably end up breaking it, too. Seriously, it’s been that kind of week. Because a few days after I broke the mouse, I…

… spilled coffee on my keyboard, thus rendering it inoperable
Keyboards don’t like coffee so much. Which sucks for them, because honestly, if you’re in my house, you’re probably going to get coffee spilled on you at some point. Possibly at multiple points. And if you’re clothes, and you happen to live in my house, you’re probably going to get a Mark of Death on you at some point. Remember the White Mark of Death? Well, this time it wasn’t it. No, this time I…

… discovered a Black Mark of Death on one of my dresses
Yes, A BLACK mark, readers. Not our old friend, the Common-or-Garden White Mark of Death, but a black one just like it. And no, I have no idea what the Black Mark of Death is. All I know is that when I put the dress on, it was in perfect, pristine condition, but when I took it off? Whoop, there it is! Black mark of death right here! Unfortunately for me (and for my dress, now I come to think of it), the BMOD is made of far sterner stuff than my keyboard, say, or its accompanying mouse. The BMOD survived two trips through the wash, and a fair amount of scrubbing with various detergents without fading even a little bit. The dress is now under the expert care of my long-suffering mother, and you will all find out its fate when I do. If, of course, the suspense doesn’t kill you first.

That dress wasn’t the only item of clothing to suffer this week, though. No, shortly after that happened, I…

… discovered a second Black Mark of Death on a pair of jeans
At this point I’m going to give you all a few moments to just sit there and silently bang your heads against your desks in sheer frustration. That’s certainly what I did when I discovered this Second Mark. (And again, no idea what it is or how it got there. It is one of the great mysteries of our time. Well, one of the great mysteries of this blog, anyway.) And seriously, I have to admit I’m actually starting to feel victimised by my clothes now. It’s like they’re out to get me in some strange, malevolent kind of way. I’m being TARGETED, people: targeted by black and white marks of death, and it’s now reached the stage where I can’t seem to wear ANYTHING more than once, because as soon as I put something on, I almost instantly ruin it. GOD.

[Edited to add: I’ve tried numerous different stain removers on these Marks Of Death, but the problem with jeans is that most stain removers don’t just remove the stain – if, indeed, they DO remove the stain – they also remove the dye from the denim, so the mark is gone, but I’m left with a faded patch where the denim is lighter than the surrounding area. It’s a dilemma.]

Those jeans weren’t the only thing I ruined that day, though. No, just a few short hours before I made the grizzly discovery of the BMOD, I …

…spilled an entire bottle of heavily perfumed body lotion on my bed.
Yeah, don’t ask. Now, under normal circumstance (or if, you know, I was a normal PERSON, say…) I’d just have taken off the bedsheets and put them straight into the wash. On this particular day, though, we were having some friends round, and they were due to arrive any minute, so I didn’t have time to start wrestling with bedsheets and changing duvet covers. Instead, I scrubbed frantically at the body lotion (I say “body lotion”. It was really more of an oil, which explains both how it managed to empty itself so damn quickly, and what happened later…) with some tissues, and to my joy, it seemed to work. The duvet was dry to the touch, the lotion didn’t seem to have left a stain… the sheets were now absolutely reeking of perfume, but I figured we could live with it for one night, and then I’d change the sheets first thing in the morning: sorted.

It wasn’t until Terry and I stumbled to bed at around 1am that morning that I peeled back the duvet, and… came face to face with a GIANT, heavily-scented stain, right on my side of the mattress. Yep: the reason the duvet had felt dry to the touch was that the body lotion had sunk right through it, and ended up on the sheet underneath it. Which, naturally, had to be changed, but not until it had made the entire mattress smell… well, really quite lovely, actually, but damn, that stuff was strong. And there’s a reason they call it “body lotion”, not “mattress, duvet and everything else” lotion, you know?

That wasn’t all, though. No, on the same day I perfumed my mattress and discovered the Black Mark of Death on my jeans, I also…

… broke two glasses. Yes, simultaneously.
And no, I wasn’t even drunk at the time.

Finally, in what has to be my stupidest act EVER, I…

…got out of bed on Tuesday morning and reached into the bathroom cabinet for the small, white tube of eye drops the optician prescribed for my very dry eyes. I tipped my head back, squeezed the tube…

… and only as the liquid inside made contact with my skin, did I realise that this was NOT the small white tube of eye drops I was holding, but the almost identical small white tube of eye CREAM. Which is not designed to be applied to the eyeball, no siree. Also: ouch.

Luckily for me, the consistency of eye cream prevents it from spreading too far in a hurry (unlike my old friend body lotion, say…), so it didn’t actually make contact with my eye, choosing instead to cling helplessly to my eyelashes going, “The HELL? What am I doing HERE? How can one woman be SO STUPID?”

The eye cream poses a good question. It’s a question I have yet to find an answer to, although one thing I DO know is that if these things come in threes, as people always say, I’ve had more than my share, thanks, universe. In fact, YOU OWE ME.

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books by Amber Eve
  • It’s like you have malevolent closet elves or something. I think I would have cried when I found the spot on the jeans. We already know you don’t have jeans to spare. You might try taking a picture of the BMoD and showing it to us maybe one of your readers will recognize it?

    (On selfish happy note I really appreciated your and Shoeper forum’s help styling my green polka dot capris. I’m just waiting for it to get light out here so I can take a picture.)

    September 14, 2012
  • You need a Tide to Go pen to deal with all these marks of death. Those things get pretty much everything but grease spots out. Sometimes they even do get grease spots out. Google it, you can buy them online from the US. My sis got some the other week, possibly via Amazon.

    September 14, 2012
      • Nope, Tide To Go is basically magic (well, liquid washing powder – Tide is a washing powder/liquid brand in the US) in a pen and gets out dirt and spills but not the colour of the clothing. Well I’ve never had a problem with it anyway. Allie of Wardrobe Oxygen uses one often too (that’s how I knew about them) and she hasn’t mentioned that it fades fabric either.

        September 19, 2012
  • With the marks o’ death, there’s a weapon I’ve used on pretty much every stain and had it work. (except renegade dye from dying another shirt.) (EVERYTHING I own gets something on it, at one point or another. I am not known for my grace.)
    Hit it with a spray stain remover. Then liberally smear dishsoap on it (Do y’all have Dawn? If so, use that, in the original scent/ blue formula.) Then sprinkle a liberal dose of Oxyclean or Oxyclean knock off on it and scrub it with you fingers (not a toothbrush, or it leaves it fuzzy.) Let ti sit there for a few minutes and think about what it’s done. Throw it in the washer on longest cycle. Repeat for particularly heinous stains.

    September 14, 2012
  • Ugh! Marks of death! I managed to get superglue on a dress a few weeks ago – what’s even more annoying about it is it’s one of my handmade dresses so I feel like a big old dunderhead. Also this week I managed to lose the outward portion of a train ticket I spent £66 on so, as I still want to go to the place I bought the ticket to, had to spend a further £40 on train tickets to get there. GAAAAH. I’m hoping this recent bout of stupidity is short-lived 🙁 Also that you get the black mark of death out of your clothes but I’m sure your mum will be able to help there xxx

    September 14, 2012
  • Jessica


    Now you won’t have to share a button, lol!

    September 15, 2012
  • Caitlin


    Is it possible it was from a black purse? I celebrated my anniversary a few days ago, and wore my ivory wedding dress. I noticed yesterday that it had a nice black stain where my fancy Gucci purse had decided to leak color onto it (You’d think paying a lot of money for a purse would guarantee that wouldn’t happen, but no. My Mom said it was probably dyed improperly). I have taken it to the cleaners in hopes they can work their magic, but they told me they’re not sure.

    September 15, 2012
    • Oh, that’s terrible! No, I hadn’t been carrying a black back with this dress – it’s a complete mystery where it came from! (And actually, it turns out there are multiple marks on the dress – my mum thinks it looks like I’ve leaned against something, but I can’t think what!)

      September 15, 2012
  • it’s hard to promise this will work without knowing what CAUSED the dreaded black mark, but as a pen snob i will only use fine point felt tip pens. these write beautifully, but they also have a bad habit of slowly bleeding out if i am careless about putting the cap back on. one day i was trying to act professional in a business meeting, ready to take notes with my fancy pen, only to find out later that for about an hour the permanent black ink had been slowly leaking onto my favorite green dress. NOOOOO.
    a few google searches later, i came up with an unlikely solution, but i figured it was worth trying as the backup plan was going to be to draw a big black circle on the dress and pretend that it was part of the pattern.
    you will need hairspray (which i know you have!), a toothbrush you don’t plan on using again, and some kind of surface that’s easy to clean. i used the top of the toilet seat with a paper towel over it.
    spray the mark liberally with hairspray, then scrub with toothbrush. you should see the ink (if it is ink) start to dissipate. rinse, repeat spraying and scrubbing, and after about 10 minutes you should see the spot miraculously gone. seriously, this is up there with the time i found out that baking soda plus a few detergents (i’ll have to look up the exact recipe) could actually remove red wine stains from a white rug.
    no promises that it will work as the spot has mysterious origins, but it’s worth a try! good luck!

    September 15, 2012
  • As we say in the South, bless your heart. I’ve accidentally put the contact lens cleaner instead of saline solution in one eye. Not only humiliating but sooooo painful 🙁

    September 16, 2012
  • Ghalia


    This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. You had me giggling all the way through, & actually laughing out loud when I got to the bit about the eye cream (at which point I also thought, “Oh dear, what is wrong with this lady?!”). I’m sorry you’ve been having one of those weeks, & I hope your clothes manage to get saved. Thanks for making me smile today!

    September 26, 2012
  • I’m sorry, but I have to admit that I giggled a bit at this. I can not believe how many things were ruined/broken in a week! I feel your pain about your jeans though! Where on earth do these things come from?! My bet is that you probably sat down somewhere and that’s where you got them from.
    I hate it when I have one of those days, let alone an entire weeks worth of them!
    Hope your mum got out the stains for you!

    September 29, 2012