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My little sister used to eat my cherry-flavored Chapstick when I wasn’t looking. Once she ate the whole tube, and fearful of incurring my wrath, stole another tube from the store to replace it.

My brother, also, would apparently swipe his girlfriend’s chapstick and chomp a bite or two out of it. She must have had a sense of humor, because she started offering him the tube whenever she bought a new flavor.

I never thought this family fad was particularly couth. I use chapstick like any normal female: thoroughly, often, and with greater attention to texture and quality than taste. I have Burt’s Bees, normal and tinted, lip glosses, Carmex, Chapstick (not the cherry kind), and the cheap Wal-Mart knock-offs. I keep some in my pencil cup at work, some on my nightstand, some on the counter, some in various pants pockets (always check before you wash!) and some next to my toothbrush.

My husband has developed an allergy to all of them, he says. So he doesn’t eat chapstick, not even when he’s supposed to. His lips start burning if they come into contact with the stuff, and then peel away to reveal a nervous courtroom presence. I protest: how does chapstick make your lips more chapped? All kinds that I and only I use? (and are you sure you’re not allergic to something else? Maybe my pH?)

I alerted Amy to my situation, and this Sunday she surprised me with an assortment of “Paraben-Free” all-natural chapsticks. The bonus: they taste delicious. Ginger lemon, coconut; closer to candy than any chapstick I’ve previously tasted. I haven’t crossed the line to gnawing on the tube yet, but I have been licking my lips a lot.

Scott hasn’t passed his verdict yet, (though his face isn’t looking quite so molted) but I’m enjoying them. So thanks, Amy. If nothing else, you’ve given me a deeper understanding of my siblings.

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