Saturday afternoon I learned that not all Burt’s Bees lip balms are created equal. Or something like that. We had a wedding to go to in the afternoon, so after lunch I changed into a skirt and got ready to go. I didn’t realize until we were ten minutes down the road that I had forgotten my chapstick in my pants pocket. In my sad little mind, going anywhere farther than the mailbox without chapstick is a travesty.

No, never mind. I just looked that word up, and I’ve been using it the wrong way for years. It actually means “a farcical or grotesque imitation; mockery; parody.” I thought it meant “a terrible horrible no good very bad thing.” Bummer.

So we’re driving down the road and I realize: I have no chapstick. At all. Not in my coat pockets, not in my purse; our van hasn’t had a chance to collect anything useful in it yet, so there’s no use poking around in the glove compartment. And then I remembered my recent discovery: Vic’s (BP station) has started selling Burt’s Bees! Saved.

So I sweet-talked Roger into stopping really quick for me before we picked up the kids from music practice at school. When I got there, I found out that their Burts Bees selection included A) honey – my least favorite option   B) pomegranate – my second least favorite  and C) Lifeguard’s Choice – one I’ve never tried before.  I went with:

It seemed a little odd when I opened it. It was kind of white – like those strange zinc oxide sunblock sticks that smiling people supposedly smear on their noses. But it went on smoothly and had that nice minty bite to it that makes Burts Bees so wonderful.

And then I went into the school to get the kids. I was in the restroom with my girls helping them change into their clothes for the wedding when Malin said, “Mom, I like your lipstick.”


I looked in the mirror, and sure enough, under the restroom lights, my lips were a nice pale Barbie purple. It may have been the lighting, it may have been the contrast of my bright red sweater, but it wasn’t exactly attractive. Just weird.

It’s not my favorite thing in the world; not something I’m going to make a habit of wearing to weddings. But I’d still choose it over that gritty honey flavored Burt’s Bees lip balm…

And you. If you ever find yourself with a tube of Burt’s Bees Lifeguard’s Choice in your hand, remember: it looks better with a bathing suit than with a sweater and heels.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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7 Responses to -lips-

  1. Jonathan says:

    Here is a free word you can use where you used to use travesty: disastrophe = disaster + catastrophe

    I think people usually use travesty along with “of justice”, which makes it sort of a disastrophe since justice is one of those things which should never be travestied… o) <– polyphemus smiley


  2. Ginny says:

    My fave is the pomegranate, but I haven’t tried the one you say is your fave. I do have a mint bees’ wax stick that was a hand-me-down from Joel. He hated the minty freshness. They need to invent some kind of compartment so you can keep chapstick in the car without it melting.


    • ten4ruthie says:

      I like the feel of pomegranate (and my children like it) but when I’m using Burt’s Bees, I expect minty freshness. Also, whenever I open up a pomegranate one and smell it, it reminds me of this hippie store in the mall that sold incense and stuff. It’s a weird smell to be putting on my lips.


  3. freedfest says:

    I’m with you all the way! 1 – no chap stick is unacceptable. 2 – lifeguard Burt’s Bees definitely looks weird and it tastes like sunscreen…yick 3 – honey and pomegranate are a little weird, not my fave 4 – Burt’s Bees original can’t be beat!


    • ten4ruthie says:

      This is good to know…. in case we’re ever in the same place and one of us has a chapstick emergency. We’re compatible. But only if you’re a chapstick-sharer. 🙂


  4. Ruthie, you are a true Moyer girl – we don’t go anywhere without our chapstick. And we pretty much take the rest of home with us on any outing, also.

    Hope your van has been able to collect a few things by now!


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