my chapstick addiction has been well documented, as has the promulgation of said chapstick addiction by my mum. but i only just the other day realized what a family of stick addicts we are.
as we sat in huey's gorging on burgers, my mum related to my grandmother the stirring story of how she became a stick addict. how, as a little girl when she lay in the hospital ill with an as-yet-undiagnosed respiratory infection, her grandfather exclaimed, that baby's chapped!, promptly raced to the pharmacy and returned to slather blistex upon her lips. pulling a tube of tropical twist punch (bonnie bell, summer '06) from her bag, my mum nodded sagely and said, that's when IT all began.
she went on to recount the current locations of her active sticks. her's are in the pink coat pocket, the front purse pocket, the pencil drawer at work, and the nightstand at home. it was a litany i well know. mine are in the right pockets of the blue, green, and yellow coats; the red coinpurse; the inside pockets of the yellow, leopard-print and red bags; the pencil drawer; my right jeans pocket; on the nightstand; and the silverware drawer. that's the one that made her pause. the silverware drawer? ingenious!
for years, my mum had been faithful to the medicinal sticks. the kind that reek of aloe and mint and various vapors. the kind that smell like they were manufactured in some old lady's attic. i knew the tides had changed at thanksgiving when she handed me a tube of cotton candy (bonnie bell, winter '05). but in huey's the other day, we entered an entire new era when she complained to my grandmother that target was no longer carrying bonnie bell.
coyly, all-knowing, i leaned across the table and whispered the magic word: walgreen's. her eyes lit up.
conveniently, we were going to walgreen's that afternoon- not for chapsticks, but for medicine for my stupid ear. while the family waited in the car, my mum and i linked arms and marched in. for three minutes we debated in the ear medicine aisle before grabbing the thing with the most ingredients. then the search for our beloved bonnie bell began.
they glimmered before us, a mirage of sweetly flavored chapsticky glittering goodness stuck casually at the end of an aisle alongside bargain bin wrapping paper and reduced christmas candy. my mum reached out and carressed the winter wonderland delights collection (bonnie bell, winter '06) as though it were the shroud of turin, while i dove reverantly for the vanilla creamies, our favourite from the fall '06 line.
we approached the check-out counter with a bonnie bell stash. a collective 18 sticks. so many sticks, in fact, that we crossed some personal satisfaction stick threshold that led the check-out lady to assume they were gifts. in an extraordinarily effective upsell, she led us to the glorious display of the bonnie bell christmas collection that we had somehow overlooked and from which we were practically obligated to buy an additional 10 sticks.
i am not ashamed to admit that my mum and i left walgreen's with $30 worth of chapstick. but as we were leaving, she nudged me and whispered, let's not tell the family. they don't know. they won't understand. it's bonnie bell.