a.k.a. Possibly The Most Important Conversation I Had At Work Yesterday

Because this has become a place I feel comfortable over-sharing, I think it's only fair to tell you about my ChapStick thing. It's one of those brands that has become synonymous with the product itself – like Kleenex or Q-tips or McNuggets. And it's not hard to see why. I personally take great care of my ChapStick. After years of trial and error I am now fiercely loyal to the blue tube – Moisturizer, though there was a fairly significant phase in college during which my friend Jenni and I scoured every possible store for the coveted STRAWBERRY.  I buy them in the triple pack and keep the extras in a kitchen drawer beside other essentials like flashlights and rubber bands. I have blue ChapStick EVERYWHERE – purse, diaper bag, car, winter coats, bedside table, office desk drawer. I try to be prepared. And when I open a new tube I am really careful to peel off the little plastic seal so that there's a clean break and a smooth edge on the remaining plastic. I go to more trouble than I should probably admit to get this just right. And after I get the little white cap off I spend some time shaping the top of the tube so it's nice and round. Again - just right.

See? Over-sharing.

I can't help it. I love ChapStick. And apparently I'm not alone. I spent some time last night doing all the appropriate research. And you're looking at the newest member of the Official ChapStick Fan Club. Benefits of membership are a little vague, but we'll see what happens. Next, naturally, I checked it out on Facebook. There are 193 pages about ChapStick on Facebook and over 1100 groups. And (what appears to be) the Official Fan Page has over 160,000 fans! And I'm one of them.

And where did all this nonsense come from? I'm so glad you asked. My very serious, grown-up job of course. Yesterday, the following all-important question was discussed, at length, at my office: Do you share your ChapStick?

Well? DO you?

I will reserve my answer so as not to sway the vote, but I want to hear your take. I will tell you that I think there's more to it than a yes/no. The question is wide open. Shades of gray. Disclaimers everywhere. What if this? and What about that? and Only if it's my wife/child/boss/roommate/total stranger. I want to hear it all. Bring it on. Leave a comment making your case. Do you share your ChapStick?

Separately, I'm thinking of submitting an entry to Urban Dictionary and would like your help with that, too. One of my disclaimers is that it depends on whether or not it is a "ChapStick Emergency", and I need some help fleshing out my definition. Determining a ChapStick Emergency is tricky. And subjective.

So here's my first attempt:

ChapStick Emergency -

1. A sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence requiring immediate relief – that which can only truly be provided by ChapStick.
"Woah, the wind is brutal today. This sudden storm is going to cause a ChapStick Emergency."
2. Any situation which impedes the process or progress of applying ChapStick.
"I have lotion on my fingers and can't get the tube open. This is a ChapStick Emergency!"
3. Any circumstances whereby one has not made the necessary ChapStick preparations and finds oneself without an adequate supply.
"Man, I can't believe I'm halfway through this movie, all alone in a dark theater with a bucket of salty popcorn, and no ChapStick! This is a ChapStick Emergency!" 

Thoughts? You may or may not be surprised to know just how many entries in the Urban Dictionary contain the word "chapstick". I counted eleven. With your help, I could be number twelve.

Ok, I'm done. Now feel free to go find something that will restore those IQ points that just slipped away. 

6 Responses to a.k.a. Possibly The Most Important Conversation I Had At Work Yesterday

  1. Nancy Bunch January 14, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Change the blue tube to the red CHerry one, and I could have written this post.

    I share with family and friends if they need it. I am the exact opposite of a germophobe, though.

  2. Natalie Carter January 14, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I do not share. Occasionally I will share with Ryan. And I really don’t like to even share with my girls. They get sick more often than I do. Ryan is brave enough to share. I still get grossed out with sharing a drink with anyone though. It all stems back to junior high when a popular girl pressured me to let her use my lipstick. And two days later she found out she had mono and missed school for a couple of weeks. Luckily, I never got it. It scared me straight, though. No more sharing.

    Ooo…and that time in junior high when someone borrowed my friends water bottle. AFTER EATING OREOS. I will NEVER forget what I saw that day.

    So, no, I really don’t share.

  3. Autumn Parker January 14, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    I am the same with my Carmex. I want the top to be clean and not all gunky with the extra so I have a particular way I apply it if it’s in the squeeze tube so that it doesn’t get all over the place. And I have tubes everywhere! I’ve only recently discovered the Chapstick-like version in the in roll-up tube. I like it too, but it’s texture is different so I have them both.

    As for sharing, I’m with Nancy. If I know you well enough for you to ask to use my Carmex, I’ll probably share.

    Here’s to soft lips for everyone!

  4. Lisa F January 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    And thanks to this post…I have reapplied my cherry chapstick that is constantly in my pocket. Seriously, I rarely wear pants without pockets because I am lost without it in the left pocket. (my school keys go in the right pocket during the day…just so you know.)

    I will share with CJ, and possibly my mother if it was a major chapstick emergency #3. Other than that, keep your cooties to yourself.

  5. Dave Martin January 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    I share with anyone. I know what it’s like to “NEED” the stick. I have 1 in my work bag, I have 1 in my work pants, I have 1 in the pocket of what ever pants I’m wearing at the time. And I keep a couple extra around (my desk, the kitchen drawer). When I share, mostly with kids & grandkids, I just take a moment upon return to rub it on my pants leg to “clean” it.

  6. Lonette January 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Sitting here at work with tammy and both of us just felt the need to reapply after reading this. She says chapstick-the green one and shares with family and friends (which I’m greatful for when I’m the one suffering from the CS emergency. I’m a fan of blistex. I share more hesitantly but only with close friends. Also, I thought my lips were going to shrivel up and fall off yesterday. In the moving/packing I somehow was left without a trusty soothing balm I’m my pocket and no chapstick to be found. It was a true emergency and I had to unpack boxes until I found where I packed my stash. All is well today three sticks have been located and dispersed around the house.

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