Here’s the thing, a few of my friends saw my post on Facebook with the birthday present from myself, and they have inquired as to the color of my brand new “lipstick” from Chanel, but here is the thing, I don’t wear lipstick, I never have. In all my 54 years, I’ve been a faithful consumer of medicated chapstick. There were days when I would search high and low, sometimes making several stops at various stores when there was some unexplained shortage of that little blue tube of heaven. I even passed that love onto my daughter, and often, she would find tubes and tubes in her Christmas stocking. We would even send a text to each other when we would find a fully stocked store. I would race to that CVS, RiteAid, or whatever grocery store and buy them all. Yes, all of them.
If you were, right now, go to every jacket I own, whether it is one of my light spring coats or one of my many heavy down winter coats (that’s another whole post, why I need five down coats when I live in the south) and put your hand in the pocket, you will be able to pull one of those blue tubes out. I have several in my nightstand drawer next to my bed. There is at least one in every drawer of my apartment. One right next to where I sit on the couch. There are several in my car and several in my husband’s car. Arguably, I am always within 9 steps away from a tube of chapstick.
But the thing is, I never felt like a real lady with that chapstick. I longed to lean over the counter in any bathroom, pull my lipstick case out of my purse, and put it on, staring at that lady in the mirror; I found it sexy. I found it quintessentially feminine. Pulling out a tube of blue medicated chapstick was the opposite of all that. Don’t get me wrong, I am confident in both my femininity and feeling sexy, but I really wanted that image, that made-up image that I had longed for years in my head, to be true. Then it happened as I was scrolling through Instagram. One of the people I follow posted a picture of Chanel’s hydrating lip balm. There it was, right before my eyes on my tiny phone screen, all I’ve been dreaming about! Chapstick made to look like lipstick.
So I got my computer, and without even hesitating, I plunked down $42 in the name of my 54th birthday. This little tube was the most expensive tube of chapstick I have ever purchased. The only time I have spent $42 on chapstick, I walked away with at least six or seven tubes. I was giddy and excited like it was my 5th birthday, not my 54th, during a pandemic when money is a struggle and life is hard.
When it showed up yesterday, I wasn’t anticipating it to be wrapped like it was, I should of, I mean, it’s Chanel, for fuck sake, but it was wrapped in a box like a present. A present for me from me. I stopped everything. I untied the black ribbon and opened that beautiful black and white box and just admired the contents, one little black and gold tube with the white logo on top. I practiced taking the top off and twisting the top. I went straight into the bathroom and reenacted my fantasy, and believe me it was everything I had hoped for!
This fancy tube of lip balm now sits right next to me on the couch. I don’t go anywhere these days, so there is no scenario where I can excuse myself from the table at the restaurant and go to the ladies room and “freshen up” like an1950’s movie star. There are no times these days when I’m driving my car, stopped at a red light where I can pull out my “lipstick” from my purse, flip down the mirror and apply it to my lips before the light turns green. So this fancy tube of lip balm sits next to me on the couch, where the blue tube has been tucked further back on the tray behind a book I’m reading, just out of sight but still there. At the same time, that shiny black and gold tube with the white logo on top sits prominently front and center.
In these weird times, I’ve found a tiny little splurge often reaps the biggest reward.