The Price You Pay

This past week I went to Camp Desoto to teach crafts for a retreat. The retreat is called Camp Take Me Away and I will tell you all about it. But not now. Now is not the time for that.

Right now, I am going to tell you about how I paid $21.34 for this tube of chap stick.

I'm going to level with you.I have a lip balm addiction. I have approximately five tubes stashed in strategic places around our house and I keep one tube on my personage at all times. There are two tubes in my purse, one in my nightstand, one by the couch, and a back-up supply in the bathroom. Putting on chap stick is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before I go to bed.

I am aware that I have a problem. I am not ready to change.

I use Burt's Bees Lip Balm Replenishing (the pomegranate kind). I love it. It treats me right.

Due to a series of unfortunate packing events, I found myself at camp with only one tube of Burt's. This would have been just fine, I mean I really only NEED one, but on Friday night that tube ran out.

I panicked. I pushed the stick all the way up and ran it over my lips, the plastic edges scraping my mouth, to try and get the last little bit out so I could sleep.

As soon as I had a free moment the next day, I drove out of camp and into town on a mission. Camp Desoto is in a teeny weeny town in Alabama. The nearest drugstore or grocery store is about 45 minutes down the mountain. I went to the little market in town, sure that they would have SOMETHING. I would have been happy with just generic chapstick. I was desperate.

I looked around and all they had was Carmex. The kind you put on with your finger. I am adamently opposed to applying lip balm with my fingers. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I got back in the car and drove a little further down the mountain. I knew that the next town had a Dollar General, just a few minutes away.

I pulled into the Dollar General parking lot, quickly grabed my wallet, hurried inside, and found good ol' cherry ChapStick. Thank goodness. I paid $1.34 and headed back out to my car.

The car doors were locked.
The keys were inside.
The motor was running.

How does that even happen?
I opened up my chapstick. Applied it about 5 times and thought the situation over awhile.

I determined that things were not so good.

I swallowed my pride, went back into the Dollar General, and explained to the sweet cashier what I had done in the name of lip balm.

She told me to call 911 and see if the police would come. I didn't think that they would, but I called 911 anyway because I had never done it before and I'd always wanted to. (Did you ever watch Rescue 911 on television?)

The police would not come unlock my car. I understand their reasoning... lawsuits and whatnot.

Then, the manager of Dollar General came out of her office and the cashier told her what was going on.

The manager, who was about my age, asked me who my husband was. To me, this seemed like a weird question, but I figured I had time, so why not.

I said, "David Dark" and applied more chap stick.

She said, "I thought so."

It turns out, she had known David when he worked at Alpine and lived on the mountain. Her name is Lori. Thank goodness for small towns.

She called a fella named Skippy. Skippy arrived clad in his overalls and with toolbox in hand. I felt better the moment he stepped on the scene. He was the type of person you inherently trust. Within 20 minutes Skippy, with the help of several other concerned Dollar General patrons, had unlocked my car. Everyone yelled "ROLL TIDE" in celebration (I was in Alabama and it was gameday).

I hugged Skippy, Lori, and the sweet cashier.

Skippy only charged me $20 for unlocking my car. Just enough to cover his gas. He had driven his big wrecker truck from 15 miles away.
I am so grateful for kind and helpful people in my path.

For the love of chap stick and good people.


  1. I completely understand and would have done the same thing! I have an addiction that I'm not ready to let go of yet either. Although, I haven't quite made it to the level of strategically placing chapstick all over my house. But I like it!

  2. Melissa,
    I understand completely, mine is lipstick. I have several tubes in my purse, and chap stick next to the bed as well. I have to have "slippery lips" as I call them. I loved the story.

  3. I love the who's your husband comment. HILARIOUS!!

  4. I love your story...these kinds of things have happened to me all my's so good not to be alone...


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