I have a friend who is addicted to chapstick. I won't post her name here but she knows who she is.
I screen my friends carefully. I know this sounds odd but it is true. I'm introverted by nature - no one believes me but I really am.
SIDEBAR: This reminds me of a 4 year old I used to know. She came into my office one day and began interviewing me about the objects in my office. "What's that? Why do you have it? When did you get it? Can I have it? What's that? Do you like pink? Pink's my favorite color. What's that?" This went on for a while and I kept up pretty good. Eventually I turned back to my work and let her entertain herself with the chalk and chalkboard in my office. She talked the whole time. Not to me ... just sort of to herself. Or to the chalk. Or to her feet. You know, whatever. Eventually she got louder. I could tell she wanted more attention. I was busy. "I'm drawing again!" she called out. "uh huh!" I said. "I have pink chalk at home!" she said "Okay!" I said. But apparently my little responses weren't enough. Next thing I knew, she was tugging at me, at my shirt. "Hey, hey, hey, hey" <tug tug tug> "hey ..."
I finished typing and turned around to face her , "yes?"
I burst into laughter. "Are you?" I said and laughed again. Then I said "Sweetie, let me let you in on a secret ... if you like to tell people you are shy, you probably aren't." And I scooped her up and we went to the lobby to count the flowers.
So that's kind of how I feel about saying I'm introverted. No one really believes me because most people see me up in front of a crowd or teaching a room full of execs and I'm sure most people reading this are saying "if you have to convince us you are introverted you probably aren't" but I really am. Really. I AM!
Anyway, this is why I'm very selective about my friends. Because I have limited energy and I want to make sure that I'll be a good friend (and honestly, that they will be too). So I have sort of selection criteria. I won't expose my criteria but I will say this, chapstick addiction is a plus. Not just because I love chapstick but also because I want my friends to be eccentric. I want them to be a little - off. I like it when they shamelessly have a quirk.
By observation alone, I have counted 7 different lip balms in her possession. They've gotten pulled out of purses and desk drawers and my personal favorite - out of an arrangement on the coffee table in her living room. And what's even better? We've NEVER said anything about it. She's never said "I'm addicted to chapstick" and I've never said "Don't you think you have a lot of chapstick?" But inside I jump up and down like a little girl getting a pony every time a chapstick appears. You never know when it is going to happen or where they are going to come from. It's just the BEST!
This isn't her only quirk. She doesn't know this but the first FOUR times I saw her she had on the same sweater. The first time was when we met at her office. The next time was at a lunch. Then we ran into each other at an office downtown and then a few weeks later I had to stop by her office again. All these times she had on the same sweater. By this time, we had quickly become friends and had scheduled a dinner with spouses. On the way to her house I kept asking The Husband "What if she has on that sweater again?" and we developed a plan for him to distract her while I snuck to her closet to see if this was the SAME sweater or if she had a army of them.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed to she her dressed all in black and the sweater was no where to be found.
She and her husband were over the other night and we played Hoopla - my favorite game. In Hoopla you are required to draw. You draw and everyone tries to guess what you are drawing. Like pictionary. Lipbalm had to draw an elephant. She started at the back, which, admittedly, is not where I would start. She never picked up her pencil. She drew the whole thing without stopping. It was one long line. It was a side view. It looked EXACTLY like
a septic system.
Somehow we got the clue. I don't know how exactly but someone called out "ELEPHANT!" but it was more like "elephant???" I do remember asking about the elephant's brain tumor and being told that was its ear. About this time we all burst into laughter. And kept laughing and kept laughing.
And then she reached into her pocket, pulled out a tube and applied Medicated Chapstick to her lips.