My addiction began when I was 14, and I can remember it almost down to the day; it was one week after 8th grade ended. See, I spent quite a bit of 7th grade and all of 8th grade thinking really dark lip liner and white lipstick was a really good look for me. And I bet it was. Along with my baggy jeans, tight short shirts and sexy strands, prowling the mall on Friday nights. But that’s a whole other story.
I finished 8th grade and it dawned on me: I’m kind of an idiot and should stop dressing that way. First thing to go was the lipstick—but for all that time I was so used to slathering the stuff on my lips every class period, (had to look good for chorus… those boys were so fly) I felt naked without something on my lips. I tried turning to my old standby, ChapStick. Me and cherry ChapStick go way back. We used to sneak off to the spare bedroom when I was seven, and I’d think it was candy and try to eat it. I’d get mad it tasted like petroleum jelly, but we’d always kiss and make up later. But, after white lipstick topped with a little vanilla Bonne Bell, I felt much too classy for boring ChapStick. This is when the hunt began. The hunt for the perfect lip balm.
I started at the very top of the teenage totem pole. Bath & Body Works. They had those fat tubes of lip balm. One was a sort-of-minty flavor, and it was white, so I went with that because it reminded me of my sticky past. I didn’t like it. At all. But I couldn’t stop using it. I’d be putting that stuff on every 15 minutes. The pockets of my not nearly as baggy jeans took a beating. They were fraying in the shape of a tube of lip balm in all five pockets.
At this point in my balm addiction, I was buying two tubes a week, but it’s not like I was flying through them. They were just piling up because I never found my beshert, so I’d ditch it and move on. I found one that was close. It smelled like a cherry popsicle stick. Not the popsicle itself, but the stick when you were finished eating it. It was hard to find and when Kroger stopped carrying it my nights became restless and my lips dried out in seconds. You know the feeling. When your lips are so dry they hurt and licking them only makes it worse but you can’t stop licking them. I needed a new balm.
And then that miraculous day came four years later. Wal-Mart was the only place that had it, ChapStick Lipsations strawberry kiwi. And it was so strange because in the beginning of this whole hunt I had immediately turned away from ChapStick and it ended up being beshert. Was there a lesson learned here? This was a tube-shaped miracle. I’d buy six at a time, and I had people across the country as far as San Francisco buying it for me. As soon as I discovered it, there was a weight lifted from my lips. I could focus on important things again. Like less baggy jeans and longer T-shirts.
In the past eight years since I found my true ChapStick love, I’ve calmed down about lip moisturizing. Good thing because it’s been discontinued. I’ve moved on. I still look for it whenever I go to Wal-Mart, but I know it won’t be there. And I’m ok with that. I still regret not stock piling several years worth, but it’s ok. Really. I’m fine. I’ve moved on. Really.