Chapped And Alone: 8 Struggles Every Chapstick User Knows All Too Well

by Dan Scotti

The world of chapstick is a vast one.

It’s funny, when you buy your first real tube of chapstick – and enter the tribe of regular users – you’ll suddenly find yourself very aware of chapstick. You’re intrigued by chapstick.

Now, when you enter supermarkets, you immediately find your eyes locking onto the small lip balm shelf under the register. All of a sudden, you find yourself conflicted between medicated... and unmedicated... and let’s not forget about the sunscreen family, equipped with different levels of SPF.

It's uncanny. Even those times when you already have a stick chilling in your pocket, you’ll soon find yourself tempted to buy a new one – for like $7 – solely because of its packaging (and inclusion of organic pineapple). It's even gotten to the point where you can't kiss a girl without interrupting the process to ask: "Is that pomegranate Burt's Bees that I taste?"

And while there are tons of different brands and endless different flavors – of course, there are a whole slew of “struggles,” as well.

In many ways, buying that stick of chapstick will hatch a level of responsibility you haven’t seen since your last Tamagotchi. You’ll have to clean it, you’ll have to give it attention – and God forbid you take your eyes off it... don’t even get me started.

F*ck it, I’m already worked up.

Here are the 8 struggles that everyone who uses chapstick regularly undeniably face on a day-to-day basis.

Losing it on the same day you buy it

You know that state of panic that overcomes you as you’re drunk at a club – like, very drunk – and you think you lost your phone? You like frantically pat down your pockets and, if it’s there, you let out a big WHOOOSH of relief.

And when it’s not – you generally sulk in apprehension until you get home and find pot (I don’t know any of this from experience).

Yeah, that scene reoccurs on a daily basis when you’re a regular Chapstick user – and about 90 percent of the time you’ll find yourself sulking afterward. Except, now, it’s even more inexplicable because you’re typically sober as it happens.

Washing them along with the rest of your laundry

If you forget a plain Blistex or a vanilla flavored Chapstick in the pocket of your pants... and proceed to wash them with the rest of your laundry, it sucks. But at least the long-term damage is fairly negligible.

That said, if you’re one of the many who might fancy a strawberry flavored Chapstick, or a cherry Chapstick – à la Katy Perry – well, then, you’re pretty much f*cked. Prepare for all your t-shirts that got washed along with it to resemble Patrick Bateman’s... after a long night with the battle axe.

When people ask to borrow yours

“Yo, dude, can I use your Chapstick?”

I’ll never understand this one. It’s for the same reasons I don’t lend out my deodorant – or tissues that I’ve already sneezed into – to my boys. Yet, still, people ask.

First of all, why do you want to rub something that’s been all over my mouth... all over yours????? Like, you don’t know what I have. I could have Herpes! (For the record: I don’t have Herpes) Hell, you could have the Herps, for that matter. See, that’s my point – you just don’t know.

Hence – when this sh*t happens – I usually just end up saying, “Yeah, I guess you can keep that one,” and kiss another poorly spent three dollars and change goodbye.

When the entire stick gets stuck in the cap

Nobody really knows why, or how, this happens, either. It’s kind of like a pocket-sized version of the Bermuda Triangle. Think about it. The cap is, what, like a centimeter long? And the stick, itself, has gotta be about like an inch – an inch and change – at the least, no?

HOW THE F*CK DOES THE ENTIRE STICK OF CHAPSTICK GET STUCK IN THE CAP? It plainly defies everything physics stands for. And it happens every... single... time.

Then, being the resourceful young Millennial you are, you magically transform your chapstick into lip balm – by prying out whatever's left from the cap, and proceeding to finger-f*ck it onto your lips.

The glimmer factor

One of the biggest struggles that – predominantly – male Chapstick users will face is a little something I like to call, the “glimmer factor.” The glimmer factor refers the amount of shine – or luster, if you will – that remains on the lips following said chapstick use.

Certain brands have a very high glimmer quotient – like Carmex, for instance -- so be wary. Use too much, and it won’t be long before every woman you encounter asks whether or not you’re wearing lip gloss. Like, OBVIOUSLY I’m f*cking NOT wearing LIP GLOSS. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that! *cue character from Seinfeld voice*)

The “feel around your pocket for a lighter and find the chapstick” scenario

*Stranger walks up to you*

“Yo, you got a lighter bro?”

“Pshh, yeah man – it’s me – of course I've got a lighter. I've always got a lighter on me, always.”

[fumbles around pocket for lighter]

“Here ya go, dude.”

[hands complete stranger a strawberry banana flavored stick of Starburst Lip Smacker]

“Whoops, how’d that get there! My bad, yeah, I don’t today.”

*end scene*

When you put too much on

Applying too much chapstick always leads to a long chain reaction of despair, observe. When you first realize that you were a bit heavy-handed during application, naturally, your next instinct will be to lick it off.

While it sounds good in theory, a lot of times – especially if it’s a delectably flavored variety – you’ll end up eating too much of the excess chapstick, which then, in turn, will lead to a chapstick deprivation. So, you repeat the process, generally ad infinitum – or until an awkward red rash emerges on your upper lip (like 70 percent of the kids you counseled that one year at summer camp).

Loose cap = dirt ring

When the cap of your chapstick is loose, trouble ensues. Without its cap sealed completely shut, chapstick will instinctively collect all of the dirt that is in your pocket (or wherever it is you carry it), and form a “dirt ring.”

Anyone who uses chapstick will know exactly what I’m referring to here, and probably also ignores its magnitude of disgustingness during times of desperation. You know it’s vile – and probably wouldn’t do it if anyone were watching – but your lips are cracking like a muhf*cka.

Thus, you pull out that one long hair, rub it sufficiently on your palm, and do the dirty deed without one f*ck given.

The fact that you're most likely never going to finish the entire stick

The other day, my mom was giving me one of her patented Italian-mother-guilt-trips (not a far cry from the Jewish-mother-guilt-trip). She looks me in the eyes, and goes, “Dan, you’re 22, what are you doing with your life?”

I sat and thought to myself for a second, very introspectively, and said, “Mom, I just finished a stick of Chapstick in its entirety, I haven’t felt this productive since middle school.”

I’m sure you could all relate – or maybe not, actually. Finishing an entire stick of chapstick is a rare occurrence; in fact, it’s a feat many will never accomplish in their lifetimes – like climbing a mountain or successfully bedding a woman without having to lie to her prior.