Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Vintage Dilemma

Last weekend I was presented with a rather weird vintage dilemma. Though I am slightly (horribly) embarrassed by it I thought I would share it here with my readers and ask: what would you do if this happened to you???

On saturday Fernando and I were at the Queen Mary. Our friends Emily and Jesse had gotten married and we were waiting for the reception to begin (blog post to follow). We had toured the ship and taken pictures and were waiting in the lobby. I decided to go by the ladies room. I went into the stall and attempted to hang my purse on the hook attached to the door. I say 'attempted' because I did not succeed. My purse popped open, spilling almost all of its contents onto the bathroom floor. I say 'almost' because one item in particular, my vintage Stratton powder compact, landed somewhere other than the floor. Somewhere awful.

Can you guess where it landed, dear readers???

Its haunted because the Queen Mary is haunted.


Yup. You are correct. My vintage compact landed at the bottom of a public restroom toilet. It even opened on impact, leaving my pretty MAC sponge floating sadly on the surface of the gross water. I cursed loudly, probably scaring the other ladies in the restroom.

I leaned over the comode in a state of shock as a thin layer of powder coated the porcelein bowl. I had just refilled it the night before. Horror is not the right word to describe how I felt.

I debated over what I should do. It seemed to me that I had two, very clear options:

#1-Leave my trusted compact at the bottom of that toilet for some housekeeper to find and uncerimoniously throw in the trash. Talk about being buried at sea!

Or:

#2-Fish it out.

I really did not want to leave it there. I've had this compact for about 10 years and I use it everyday. It is not the prettiest compact I own but it certainly is the most convenient. Its nice and light and fits modern sponges. It also doesn't leak like some of my other ones do. Also, I am always sad when I manage to destroy a vintage item that has survived 60+ years. I feel like I have killed an endangered species or something.

So I figured that the only thing for me to do was to fish it out.

I surveyed the situation. My compact was laying at the very bottom of the bowl, completely submerged in water. I was in a public restroom with no tools or anything to get it out. I also didn't want to ask for help because it was too embarrassing. The only thing I reasoned I could do was to stick my hand in that nasty, germ filled water and pull out my now forever tainted compact.

So that is what I did. I was positively grossed out by it but I did in fact stick my hand into a public restroom toilet bowl to fish out a vintage compact. I did, however, and for all that it is worth, leave the sponge. I washed my compact in the sink with soap, making sure to remove all the powder residue. I scrubbed my hands raw with hot water and lots of that foam soap stuff and shuffled out to the lobby. When I told my OCD/germ freak of a boyfriend what I had done he looked at me like I had literally bathed in toilet water. He asked if the car keys had fallen on the bathroom floor. Yes they did. Did I wash them? Yes I had. Ok, but we're cleaning them with the Wet Wipes we have in the car. Ok.

So even though I managed to save my compact I will never look at it the same way again. Its kind of like when your boyfriend cheats on you. You can forgive, but you will never forget. It is completely soiled in every sense of the word.

So again I ask you, readers, what would you do if this happened to you? Or, has something like this happened to any of you and what did you do about it? On the one hand I am happy to have saved a vintage compact, but on the other I will never use it again so it might as well be dead and gone. So even though it was disgusting, did I do the right thing????

Stratton Compact
Circa 1950s-2012
You never failed me. 
You left us much too soon.
You will always be remembered,
As a loyal friend.
~RIP~

40 comments:

  1. I would still use it, tv shows are always doing those test to see what are the dirtiest things we come in contact with and everyone thinks it the toilet but it's not. If you think about it, you got the compact used right, well maybe it fell in the toilet before you got it, ever think of that? Germs die within a 24 hour period just empty it out clean it with some alcohol and your good to go.

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    1. Can you tell my boyfriend that? He thinks germs are everywhere! Especially on the gas pump. I don't think he'd ever kiss me again if he knew I was still using that compact! Lol!

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  2. Honestly, m'dear, I'm with you. There is no way I would have let something I've had with me for so long be taken away unceremoniously like that. If you're really concerned about germs, I'd say to clean any of the leftover power out, give it a bit of a clean with Lysol, and then set it in jewelry cleaner. I don't know any germ that would survive that. If you're still freaking out about it, maybe move it to the "Collected" pile? Place it in a pretty spot where it will get the attention it deserves, and you can use it as a conversation starter by telling the story.

    Whew, that was long, but I hope it works out for you!
    Cheers!
    ~Paige

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    1. Ok, I'm glad you agree. I thought most people would have just left it in there. But we collect and love vintage partly because we do not like to just throw things away so it made sense to me to save it. No matter how gross it was!

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    2. I completely agree with Paige here: rescuing the compact was the right thing to do. Retiring it also makes perfect sense, given your man's germ aversion (justified or not). It's still a lovely compact.

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  3. eh cha! You'll be fine. It will be fine. A bit of loo won't hurt you, it will only make your immune system stronger.
    Did you hear any ghosts? Was the wedding lovely? And how come when I stayed in long beach in 2007 I couldn't find vintage clothes for love nor money and now it's a hotspot? What's up with that?

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    1. No ghosts but I will certainly be doing an October Spookfest post about the Queen Mary. The wedding was gorgeous! I will post pics of it soon. And if you ever get back to Long Beach you better hit up vintage row. Its sooo good!!

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  4. The thing with vintage is, how do you know some lady never dropped this in her baby's poopy diaper while changing them before you got it? I think that everything is dirty, but few things in the world are so dirty that some seriously hot (or boiling!) water and strong germ killing cleanser can't fix. I would use it!

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    1. Funny story---my good friend little e got some awesome vintage mens pjs. Upon closer inspection he noticed a very obvious stain on the inside of the pants. It was a 60 year old skid mark!! He scrubbed those pj's and wore them even though he was a little grossed out.

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    2. Ha! It's amazing how gross we are as humans and have to deal with it.

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    3. Hahaha, that's so funny! I'm surprised he wore them after that. ;)

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  5. Darn! that is frustrating. Here's my 2 cents...selling it is an option but I'm with Trina44. Vintage is used and used needs to be cleaned think about it that way and treat it like something you bought off ebay -eventually it will again be your trusted compact and you won't think twice about. If you put it on a shelf it will always be the toilet compact never to accumlate more history which would also be sad.

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    1. This is true. I think no matter what I do it will forever be my toilet compact. At least I got a funny story out of it!

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  6. I'm not a germ freak in the least so I would just give it a good rub down with some rubbing alcohol and leave it at that

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    1. I agree. But I also think it gives me a good excuse to shop for a new one :-)

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    2. Ahaha, there's the real reason you wanted us to say "Eww gross": you wanted a new compact!

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    3. Well when you put it like that, I would never turn down a reason to buy "new" stuff! :)

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  7. I would wash it again and then use it. I agree with the above person who said that you don't know where it's been before so why worry now? It's the memory that makes you uneasy, but if you can put that behind you...

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    1. I think its the idea of using something on my face that has seen the inside of a public toilet bowl. That freaks me out just slightly...

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  8. My husband dropped a cell phone in a septic tank once. His boss didn't understand why he didn't fish it out. I dropped my cell phone in a toilet once too. It never worked again......

    I think you can clean it. But if it grosses you out, don't use it. Hopefully you'll get over the "ew" factor because it's lovely.

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    1. Oh yeah. A phone would've have gone in the trash. There are too many little crevises that you cant clean. I was really happy that my brand new camera didnt fall in!

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  9. OMG that is the funniest/most awful story! You poor thing...I was seriously sitting here with my hand over my mouth, simultaneously aghast and dying of laughter as I read this post.
    Public restrooms, in general, skeeve me out to no end, and I think I would have been absolutely paralyzed if that had happened to me. It would've been like an hour later, my friends would've come looking for me and I'd be standing there staring in horror at the toilet! My husband is an RN, and he just told me that rubbing alcohol won't do at all...apparently there's a hideous germ called C. Diff. (plus several others)that live quite easily through rubbing alcohol. He suggests a diluted bleach solution or boiling the compact. I'm so sorry!! At least you do have a really funny story :-))

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    1. I'm pretty paranoid about that nasty flesh eating virus thats been going around. That would seriously suck, so I will never go zip lining. I think I can clean the compact ok, but it still freaks me out. I really think I just need to buy a new one!

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  10. I remember that compact well! As a doctor, you'll be fine. Wash that stuff in HOT WATER with soap and you're good to go. As a friend, of COURSE you did the right thing. If you'll never use it again, sell it. At least you hadn't gone to the bathroom yet. Germs ARE everywhere but the dirtiest places are where you least expect them: like sponges, pillow cases and where you put your mouth on water bottles and cups...and your mouth. The human mouth is SUPER dirty. And not just cuz we cus like sailors :D

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    1. You sure I cant catch that flesh eating thing from a toilet??? That freaks me out. I got a paper cut on a box at work and I worried my flesh would fall off. That would most likely never happen right??

      But seriously, I think about all the nasty bar bathrooms that I (and Tara) have puked in and I'm sure the floors there were dirtier than the toilet my compact fell in. Tara passed out on the bathroom floor of Anodyne. Like face to the linoleum. I doubt she'll admit it though.

      XXXOOOO!!!!

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  11. I'm so sorry. Sorry about your beautiful compact, and about laughing as hard as I did. :P It's awful what happened but for what it's worth it's a good story. :) I just imagine you standing all dolled up in your stall wondering what to do. Uff!
    I would have totally done the same. I'm not a germ freak and I say continue using it and loving it. It is so beautiful!

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    1. Yeah it was pretty hilarious. so I knew I had to blog about it. Maybe the Queen Mary really is haunted!!

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  12. Hello from Aussie land ! Use it again - the life your compact had could tell maybe funnier tales !

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  13. I'm sure you'll be fine! There are dirtier surfaces out there - at least you know where this has been and can take countermeasures! It is way too lovely to go like that.

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  14. I´m with everyone else- I think we get too freaked out by germs- tina´s advice seems damn sensible to me- and if your other half gets all weird on you- point at his clothes (I assume he wears vintage?) well who knows what stories his clothes hold from their past lives? enjoy the compact- great story- I would have been in there fishing it out for sure!

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  15. I'm definitely with you, I'd have fished that baby out too!

    I would give it a good wash and then once dry give it a thorough wipe over with an antibacterial wipe, has to be antibacterial not just an ordinary wet wipe and let that dry on it and then use it and use it and use it.

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  16. That's the most gorgeous compact I've ever seen. I would have fished it out as well!! I would take it home, soak it in alcohol, use q tips to disinfect every nook and continue to use it. Sure, it fell in a toilet but it's washable. Your hands wen in the toilet too but you gotta use those no matter what :P With vintage items, you never know what the previous owner did to it anyway :)

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  17. I have dropped two mobile phones into public toilets. Both times my phone fell out of my pocket. Both times I retrieved my mobile. I cleaned it well with alcohol wipes until the idea of using it against my face didn't make my stomach turn.

    If that were my vintage compact, I would clean it really well and start using it again. It would be a shame to put it away forever. Plus it landed in clean water in a toilet that was probably cleaned earlier that morning.

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  18. You did the right thing. And I agree with others in saying you could totally keep using it! I would just dunk it in some boiling water or something and rub it with alcohol. Should be good to go! It's such a beauty!

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  19. My husband has a cannister for some stuff called 'barbicide'. I would stick it in the barbicide to kill all the germs, and wash it off then use it :)
    If you cant get barbicide, try lysol...

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  20. I would have done the same thing for sure! I would have taken it home and soaked it in rubbing alcohol and wipe down and let it air dry for a few days (so all the nooks and crannies could properly dry out). I would use it again. I am a germ freak too. I get mad when I see people at my gym use weight and/or cardio equipment and walk away without using the sanitary wipes! I also get irritated when I see women not washing their hands in the public bathroom! GROSS! I also refuse to eat birthday cake with candles on it. Just watching someone blow out the candles I get wigged out! All I can see is DNA and oogies getting on the cake! Ahhhhh!! However, back to the topic at hand. I would clean the HELL out the compact like crazy and use it. It is too pretty!

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  21. I think you did the right thing, that compact is gorgeous! A little bit of dirt and a few germs wont hurt you too much :) like everyone else has said, give it a good clean and keeping using it or sell it...I'm sure there is someone out there who wouldn't mind taking it off your hands ;)
    x Molly

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  22. Thanks for all the fabulous comments ladies. I will definitely give it a deep (DEEP) cleaning and use it again in the future. For now though, I have been using my lovely pink Art Deco compact that I love, love, love! It is not as convenient as the Stratton because it is rather small, but its so pretty it doesnt matter. Also, it has an extra compartment for rouge!!! I will post about it soon :-)

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  23. there is no way you could have left that little beauty behind! rubbing alcohol it to death and me happy you still have it <3

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I love reading your wonderful comments and opinions!! Feel free to ask questions and I will happily answer them as fast as I can! Any negative comments will be deleted.

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