I believe that we can all agree that there are some traits that we inherit from our parents such as eye colour and shoe size. There is also the genetic predisposition to certain medical conditions that we each have simply by virtue of having been born into our particular families.
Then there is the whole nature versus nurture debate that still goes on as regards certain things. Am I a decent baker because my Nana was an amazing baker? And then is it a genetic predisposition or is it a learned behavior? Am I tidy because I grew up in a very tidy home? Or is that just a Sam-thing? Am I a musician because my mother was? Or would I have leaned in that direction even if my entire family were tone-deaf? Am I a reader because my father was or would I have been regardless of my living circumstances?
It's easy to ascribe some likes and dislikes, behaviours and interests of mine to my parents and even grandparents. But it doesn't always happen that way. Occasionally you find that in a family of athletes, there is that one kid who not only has no athletic ability but also no interest in it. Or generations upon generations of doctors in a family that suddenly produces that one kid who becomes instead an accountant or a drummer or a plumber. I think the jury is still out on the nature/nurture thing.
It's interesting to think about. One of my only very slightly weird behaviours that I wonder about is my passion for chapstick. Strange eh?
I have them stashed all over the house. On my "desk", my bedside table, my make-up bag, my purse, the side table next to my favourite reading spot and there is one in both Tim's car and mine. I think that is quite enough yes?
And I have all sorts: original, medicated (I'm not actually certain why I have that one), one with sunscreen in it (a very good idea) and one that is tinted with colour so it's closer to a lipstick than a chapstick. I am not a fan of the flavoured ones however. They either make me hungry from smelling the flavor (chocolate chapstick indeed) or because it's a gross very artificial scent, it kind of makes me gag. I don't need a sparkly chapstick either thank you. I'll leave that to thirteen year olds everywhere. They wear it well. I would not.
My mother was the same way, only worse. She not only had chapstick all over the house but she always had at least one tube in her pocket. And if she had more than one pocket odds were good that she had more than one chapstick. Shorts pockets, jeans pockets, jacket pockets and even bathrobe pockets. None were free of chapstick. She tucked them into little covered dishes and pencil jars, desk drawers and bathroom cabinets, book shelves and windowsills. They were everywhere.
So did I learn this from her? Or via genetics would I have had this chapstick monkey on my back anyway? I have no idea.
I generally do not keep chapstick in my pockets (anymore) because more than once a chapstick has, accidentally, gone through the laundry. It's not so bad if it goes through the wash because I usually do cold water washing and as long as the cap is on good and tight, nothing leaks out. HOWEVER, a dryer will not only melt the chapstick regardless of how well the cap is on, but it will also thoroughly spread it throughout everything in the dryer including all of the clothes and naturally the inside of the dryer. What a mess. The clothes were not salvageable. The dyer, eventually, was.
Because I have become this chapstick fiend, I do not wear lipstick. Or maybe it's the other way around. I'm not sure. I do know that I cannot seem to find a colour of lipstick that suits me. It's either too dark, too pale or too wrong of a colour. On the few occasions that I've been professionally made up, when I look in the mirror the one thing I always want to immediately take off is the lipstick. My eye goes immediately to the lips. It's just wrong.
Coco Chanel once said that when a woman is fully dressed and made up and bejeweled for her night out, she should first stand back to a full length mirror, then quickly turn around. The first thing the eye goes to is the thing that's wrong. Change it. I get that. Those dark or colour saturated lipsticks are just not for me. They look amazing on other women. They just look 12 different kinds of wrong on me.
In my last paying job, I worked with some truly amazing people. It was, without equivocation, the best job I've ever had and one of the many reasons was my co-workers. They were, each and everyone of them, awesome. One was a lovely lady named Rose. She was classy, smart, fun, sweet, talented and drop dead gorgeous. She always walked in the door looking like a million bucks. And her make-up was perfect every minute of every day. We got along great from the very first moment we met. But there was definitely one thing about me that drove her crazy (there was probably more than one, to be fair) The fact that while I dressed nicely for work, did my hair and my face, I never wore lipstick. She said it made me look unfinished. And I'm quite certain that she was correct.
But I don't wear lipstick well. First the colour thing, which I've already explained. Next I cannot seem to keep it on my lips where it belongs. It wanders all the hell over the place. It's on my teeth, the envelope I'm licking, the pen I'm chewing on the end of while I think, the cup I'm drinking out of and the paper I'm holding by the corner between my lips because my hands are full and I still had one more thing to hold. It's not pretty. Her lipstick stayed put. I don't quite know how she did it but she did. One time each day, after lunch, she re-applied her lipstick. Once. And then continued to look just as perfect by the end of the day as she did when she walked through the door in the morning. I have no idea how she did it. It's was a mystery. And if you detect a little hint of envy in my words, you are not wrong. Because by the end of my workday I looked like the wreck of the Hesperus.
Now nobody gives a rats patootie if I'm wearing lipstick or not. Tim doesn't care. The lizards don't care. If my ESL students, the library people or the visitors to the musem care they have not said so. Oh, and I'm not wearing lipstick by the way, I assure you. But I am wearing chapstick. Mostly the sunscreen one.
So I still have no idea whether my predilection for chapstick is something I was born with or something I learned.
And you know what? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that I have a full supply on hand and a few unopened extras in the hall closet for when I run out. And if those run out, I know where to buy them. In bulk if necessary. We may run out of paper towels but by god, we will never run out of chapstick. Not on my watch anyway.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.