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Essentials Week spotlights unexpected items that make our daily lives just a little bit better.
Here’s a bad situation: You’re strolling outside in the cold, perhaps on your way to a doctor’s appointment or a performance of The Nutcracker, and you realize your lips are a little chapped. You reach into your coat pocket for some Chapstick. It’s not there. No worries; you’ll use the tube in your bag. You unzip the back pocket of your bag (best pocket for Chapstick — easy access) and root around in there. No Chapstick. God. Your lips will never feel moisture again.
Due to life being unpredictable and harrowing, it’s impossible to feel prepared most of the time. Plans change, people change, and seasons change, and there’s no way to anticipate the thousands of ways in which things could go wrong for you every single day. But there’s one tiny way you can always be prepared, a way that’s as inexpensive as it is luxurious. Place a tube of lip balm in every single one of your bags and every single one of your jackets, never to be moved. It will change your life.
The type of lip balm you prefer is not important here, though it may be easier to buy a few affordable two-packs of Aquaphor than to invest in Glossier’s full line of Balm Dotcom. If you want to add some intrigue to the operation, you could buy a few different flavors of Chapstick and stash a different one in each pocket. You could even put a tinted lip balm in one of your Fancy Purses. (You’ll probably want a tint at a Fancy Event, right?)
No matter what approach you take, though, you must follow the core law of lip balm hoarding: Each lip balm is never to be kept anywhere but its home pocket. It can’t rest temporarily on your nightstand. It can’t sit on your desk. If those spots need tubes, get them tubes of their own.
The only minor exception to this rule is an emergency where a friend needs a tube of lip balm to take somewhere and you have one available. I’m not sure when this would happen or why your friend would need your lip balm permanently, but it’s important to be generous to friends when we can and that includes Carmex freely given.
This might seem like a lot of work for little reward, and moisturizing your lips whenever you want is admittedly a small victory. But a small victory can be really nice, especially when it’s related to your physical comfort. Even if the subway’s late and you forget your phone charger and your socks are slipping off into your shoes, the lips part of your mouth will feel pretty good and you won’t have to worry about it. Some days, that’s all you we can ask for.