Lip Balm Wars!

I remember my father’s lip balm from the late 1970’s.


The tubes shape familiar, with the thumb-screw on the bottom to raise and lower the balm.


Though the tube itself was made of tin.


Or steal or lead.


Who knows what the stuff we used in the 1970's was made of?


"Original" of course. A "flavor" selection I never respected. Original flavored Chap Stick; the brand of Suzy Chapstick!


And Bill Lipton.


This tube of original-flavor Chap Stick spent its life in the pocket of Billy’s brown “store” corduroys. Over the years, my father’s wedding ring and pocket change (side note: as retailers (the word fits in this sentence better than dealer, I admit) my family not only smelled of paint thinner but my father and grandfather jingled all the way.


And not just at Christmas!


Over the years I remember my father having this balm as a pocket item, his wedding ring and pocketful of coins typical of a 1970's paint retailer, abraded against the tube removing its painted label.


Billy spent his middle-years in a committed relationship with his "Original" lip balm, while I find variety is in-fact, the spice of life. The medley of tubes, tubs and sticks of wax, petroleum and fragrance is the allure. Guy, my four-year-fiancee is right: I have commitment issues!


Which requires I keep a large number of balms “in stock” at all times.


Here’s my bedroom stash!




Dad would probably say that it’s the constant blabbering of my lips which is the root-cause of my lip balm needs. That if I didn't talk so much, I could keep a lip balm for a decade.


Friction against the atmosphere as my lips try to move enough of the air in front of them to make room for the volume of words my tongue tends to create.


If Billy were reading this blog he would turn to my mother and say, “that kid is going to need lip balm on his thumbs if he keeps writing this much! Who the hell reads all this shit anyway?”


Or something very close to that.


Whether caused by my incessant blabbering or just the dangers of winter in the northeast, I treat lip balms like the squirrel treats acorns; little stashes all over the house.


The tray is just my back-stock! My warehouse used to keep the living room, office and kitchen stocked with salve.


I transport them around the house in the pockets of the pajama-bottom, jeans or gym-short which is currently passing for my wardrobe.


And of-course, since pockets are “personal space,” it’s my responsibility to take the lip balm out of my pocket before the item makes it into the hamper or worse, the laundry.


A responsibility I take seriously.


So when Guy told me that someone had left a lip balm in their pocket and she had done wash and it damaged several items the first thing which came to my mind was, "Did my new jeans get stained?" Which was NOT serious enough!


Of course, it was not hard for Guy to prove my ownership of the balm which bombed her laundry. The green label with my dentist’s name printed on it left little room for discussion of the lip balms provenance.


But providence didn’t put the lip balm in the wash.


After video review (not really) it turns out, neither did Mark!


I wrote last week about the difference between knowledge and wisdom and gave the example about tomatoes in fruit salad.


In this case, Guy knew that my jeans which she picked up off the floor needing washing.


But she would have been wise, to check the pockets!


When Guy and I moved in together, she made it clear that I wasn’t to, “wash anything but your hands!”


My laundry skills deemed insufficient to handle her delicates.


That statement didn’t just make checking the pockets wise, it made it her responsibility!


I'd argue that checking the pockets is the bedrock principle of doing laundry! What else in the family-laundry process is of that magnitude? Pressing a button? Putting in a pod?


Check THE pockets!


Last week while Guy was staining her laundry with my lip balm, I had the first public “reveal” of THE Revolution. My web and e-commerce platform for independent paint dealers.


Thrown together later than originally planned, I was still happy with the turnout. Of the 15 people who signed up to see the presentation, 12 showed up.


Not all who signed up to see the presentation were dealers, with several “interested observers” joining the 60-minute Zoom call.


This was the first in what I suspect will be uncounted dozens of these presentations I plan to make over the coming months and years.


The site performed well, though I stumbled across a few glitches for the development team to figure out over the weekend. While live, it’s still a bit “bare bones”, with just paint and sundries at the moment.


With sprayers, tools, window treatments, wallpaper and décor and Farrow & Ball still to add, the Townlinepaint.com site has a long way to go.


But it’s an outstanding beginning. And that’s not just me blabbing!





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