I have done something bad. But wait! It was in a moment of total desperation. I never would do something like this if my utter life hadn't depended on it. It all started about 4 or 5 days ago which really seems like years and years to me. Here's what happened. I ran out of chapstick. *pause to wait for gasps to end* My LAST chapstick. *pause again* (Actually, it's Natural Ice but I call it my chapstick just as a generic term. And let's face it, though I love it, "Natural Ice" is kind of dumb name.) Those of you who know me understand the gravity of this situation. How did I allow this to happen? you may be thinking. I did the same thing. Jen, you fool! I have what I call a "fun addiction" to Natural Ice. Nothing, but I mean NOTHING compares to it. Chapstick brand is way too waxy and anything else just wears right off. Natural Ice is perfectly soothing and seeps into my lips and makes everything right in the world.
Now, there have been moments where, in between my using up the last ounce of my current tube and purchasing a new one, where I went to the store and discovered they don't carry my brand so i had to buy an alternative of lesser quality to hold me over a couple hours before I went to a place that did have it.
Then i moved to New York where I made the startling--no, terrifying discovery that they don't carry my brand at ALL here. I've looked EVERYWHERE. So what I've done up until now is, when I go home to Utah, i would visit Albertsons and order a box of twelve tubes which would keep me until the next visit, at least. I guess that's where you could say mistake #1 was made. I failed to do that at the last visit which was just a few months ago. But let's not focus on the past. I feel bad enough already.
But then a couple weeks ago my mom called me to ask a very important question. She was out and about and wondered what exactly my Natural Ice looks like. Hope! At this point, I was still on my last tube but was running out and had been denying that. So when she called and told me to pretend i didn't know it was coming, I couldn't, for the knowledge of the soon-coming death of my current tube lay heavy on my mind.
So before now, the longest I've ever gone without chapstick is 4 hours. i thought that was pretty darn good. And that's because I had gone to work having somehow left my chapstick home. I had a small freak-out moment but I calmed myself down and forced myself not to lick my lips or interfere with any natural moisturizers my lips may yet have. I considered this a small triumph, though vowed never to leave my precious at home again. I mean, my chapstick. I didn't say 'precious.' that would make me crazy and i'm not. (to my chapstick: please forgive me.)
So now you're probably wondering how I've even been able to function these past 4-5 days. Well, it has not been easy. In the beginning, I did what I usually do. I had a back-up lesser brand to fall on. Chapstick brand Lip Moisturizer Conditioning Lip Balm-my A. Yes, that IS the full name. It is waxy and smells like...what? Vanilla trying to smell like vanilla but actually smells like rotten lemons? It scares me. But worse than this is the fact that it actually and very literally makes my lips chapped. I put it on, chapped. I have chapped lips with chapstick on. This made me realize my addiction to Natural Ice was maybe more physical than emotional that i had previously thought. But what could I do? Packages from my parents had arrived and I took tiny peeks inside but didn't want to ruin any surprises. From what I could tell, no Natural Ice. Now I was getting really desperate. I went to the store to find something else and came back with Soft Lips. It is made by the same company of Natural Ice but it's a bit wetter than i like. It just wears off too fast. And, as i feared, it too caused my lips to feel uber-chapped.
Plan C. And this occurred to me finally. The thought struck me and I wanted to strike myself for being so dumb. Of course! My stash of old empty tubes!!!
Fortunately i've been keeping used empty tubes in a box that used to hold checks. These were "just in case" tubes and people accused me of having this strange obsessive compulsive tendency. Yeah? Who's OCD now?? I KNEW these would come in handy one day! I'm not THAT crazy though. I don't keep ALL of my tubes. (if i did, i'd have a LOT more than the 20+ here in the box) Some i throw away. It really depends on my mood at that moment. Anyway, I rifled through them and discarded to the side tubes that had already been scraped out by my pinky. i found 3 or 4 that were still scrape-outable and have carried them with me for the past 2 days. Today i had scraped out the last one and was contemplating how "Death by Chapped Lips" would look in the paper when lo, the doorbell rang. UPS. He handed me the package and the familiar handwriting of my mom greeted me. Mother! I took in the box and set it on the table. I stared at it for several minutes. Dare I? No, Jen! Don't ruin the surprise! Bad, Jen! Couple more minutes. Well, maybe there are pre-wrapped things inside. So in another freak-out moment ignited by my desperation which has interfered with my rational thinking capabilities for the past several days, (I had once pondered concocting my own Natural Ice in a giant pot, late at night, with only the stove light to keep me company. How hard can it be? i said. Dimethicone, Octinoxate, and Octisalate are totally common household items.) i grabbed a big knife from a drawer and sliced open the box in record speed. (pause. Ha ha. Like anyone would time that. Igor Sakievich: reigning champ in box-opening. Excuse me. I need to let the lameness of what i just said pass.)
As I'd hoped, inside were various packages wrapped in holiday paper. I scanned them all until my eyes rested on one: "THERE IT IS!" i exclaimed. "I would know those measurements anywhere! four and 3 quarters by five and a half by 3 and a half!!!" I was saved! And then here was the true test. Jen, don't open presents before Christmas! I NEVER did this when i was small. I would never do it now.
Unless I was in a constant state of feeling like my lips were on fire. And, my sanity was on the line here, let alone my physical well-being. I was going through accidental withdrawals. i had been forced by my own idiocy to go through painful if not torturous detox that was never supposed to happen. I should have known better. But what was done was done and i was dying! So i carefully unwrapped one end of the package, opened the box, and took out a brand spankin' new tube of Natural Ice (and kissed it, i mean, shhh. no i didn't). I closed the box, retaped the package shut, and put it under the tree out of my sight. I fear my name has been transferred to the Naughty list. But, at least I know I will survive to see Christmas. Aren't YOU glad I'll survive to see Christmas?? What's more important here???
If there's something I've learned through all of this it's this: Never take your addictions--or, rather, the things you are addicted to and have had fairly easy access to up until now--for granted.