Sometimes it’s not the little things in life

By Burk Krohe

There are some things people universally hate paying for: medical bills, cell phone bills, international plane tickets and ransoms, for example.

Indeed, it isn’t fun paying for those things, but I also get irrationally upset when I have to buy certain little things. It’s not that I’m a tightwad, but there’s just something that rubs me the wrong way about having to go out of my way to obtain certain things.

ChapStick is definitely one of those things.

It’s not that I don’t like ChapStick. I do. The problem is that I pay $1 for a tiny stick of the stuff and within five days it makes its way into my desk or my car. After that, it’s gone, man. The only things I lose more of on average are pens.

Also, has anyone in the history of the world ever finished a tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm?

Honestly, I don’t think anyone besides my co-worker Katherine Wartell has ever gotten down to the plastic nub. To be fair, she spends a lot of time telling me how wrong I am about most things, so I’m sure her lips do get quite chapped. But, on the whole, most people never finish a tube because they’re virtually impossible not to lose.

Toiletries such as deodorant, soap and toothpaste are also strangely aggravating to buy. That’s not to say I want to forgo general hygiene or using those items.

No, I think I hate buying toiletries because I feel like they’re things everyone should just get. This is Obama’s America, after all, and from what some people have said a socialist state is already on the horizon.

But seriously, everyone should be using these things on a daily basis. I shouldn’t have to pay $3 to $4 for a good stick of deodorant when it benefits everyone around me.

Buying condiments is also aggravating but in a different way. I don’t think buying condiments is necessarily what bothers me.

I think it’s the fact that I always forget to buy them. If I run out of ketchup, you can bet that I won’t get another bottle for about three weeks.

When I go to the grocery store, I’m looking for things that will provide significant sustenance. Barbecue sauce and ranch dressing do not fall under that category. Additionally, I only ever want a little bit of mayonnaise, but “a little bit of mayonnaise” is not something that has ever existed in the Midwest.

Furthermore, if I’m only grabbing a few things, and a bottle of mustard is one of them, I always feel like people think I’m a lonely, sad bachelor dipping frozen corn dogs straight into the mustard bottle.

I swear I’m not doing that.

But there is no other exercise in futility quite like buying socks. I constantly buy packages of new socks to replace socks I somehow lose doing laundry, but that’s not what I hate.

The part I hate is never seeming to have a greater number of socks. Never. My supply of socks seems to stay static despite how many new packages I buy.

How is that even possible?

Oddly, this unexplained mystery of the universe does not apply to underwear—only socks.

However, I would rather be forced to buy all those things every day for the rest of my life if it meant I never had to buy stamps again.

I have never had a good experience buying stamps. That’s possibly because I seem only to buy them at the post office, even though I know they’re available at other locations.

The line is always ridiculously long, the people in front of me never know what they want or what they’re doing at the post office even though they’ve had plenty of time standing in line to think about it, and inevitably I’ll only have a $20 bill in my wallet to pay for stamps.

Remind me why we still use these things.

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