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Lip Balms On Me!

Posted Aug 25 2008 2:52pm

A while back, I found myself at Ricky's cosmetics chainlet, picking up a few necessities. When I placed my items on the counter, I noticed a basket full of lip balm, maybe 20 tubes or so, with a handwritten note on its rim, "Free."

"Are these really for free?" I asked the sales clerk. Right about now, you're probably wondering what kind of cockamamie university granted me my Ph.D. But, I kinda had to ask before taking, you know?

The whole concept of self-regulated, free products right there on the counter intrigued me. And this was good lip balm, good SPF-laced, organic lip balm. My dermatologist (and mother) would be so proud. How many should I take? What if I took the whole basket? Could I? I mean, they're free, but I probably should leave some of the tubes for others. Where do you draw the line? Funny thing is, I don't even wear lip balm!

You know, I've heard that women do this, stock up unnecessarily on products, on toiletries. Does the shampoo in the cabinet under your sink run three bottles deep? Word is, it's a vestigial feature of our hunting and gathering days. Women, as gatherers like to do, well, gather. We stock up on occasion, warding off the consequences of draught, at the expense of uncluttered cabinets, as the expense of our partners wondering why we need two back-up sticks of deodarant at all times.

But the reason I'm writing about lip balm, in case it's not imminently clear, is that I think we do the same thing with food. For those who have restricted over time, through dieting/anorexia/any other means, exposure to food often results in a compensantory binge, taking all the lip balm, so to speak, and hoarding it, because it might not be available for future demand. If we were to allow ourselves to eat when hungry and to eat some of the foods we crave, we'd be less inclined to want the whole enchilada and more inclined just to take what we need. Like two tubes of lip balm, leaving the wicker basket to its original, rightful owners. . .
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