Let's make a list of the important things you need before walking out the door: Wallet: Check. Cellphone: Check. Keys: Check. Lip balm?
You slap your back pocket. Nope. Rummage through your bag. Nada. Search the bedside table. Negative.
This is a problem. A huge, paralyzing problem. You are a lip balm addict, after all. And you are not alone.
Countless Facebook groups are dedicated to the "crackstick" in all its varieties: ChapStick, Blistex, Burt's Bees, Carmex. Any lip lubricant that comes in a tube or a tub. There are online quizzes that measure how addicted you are to ChapStick. (Question: When you are wearing only a bathing suit, do you have ChapStick on you at all times?) And there is a self-help Web site, Lip Balm Anonymous (http://www.lipbalmanonymous.com), dedicated to helping lip balm addicts.
The thing is, lip balm isn't addictive. Not really. Nothing in these products actually drives us to be physiologically dependent on them. Nevertheless, there are steps we can take to reduce our compulsion to apply the stuff: