Cracked

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This happens every winter. Every winter for the past 20 years. You’d think I’d learn. You really would think I’d learn.

Winter winds are dry, cold, and harsh. No matter how much snow (or slushy rain) you get in the winter, the air will always be dry. The wind will keep blowing. Every bit of exposed skin will be chapped. You can take that to the bank.

And yet, every year, I forget that hand lotion exists.

It’s not that I don’t have hand lotion. I have more than enough. The most typical gift that women give to other women is hand lotion. Don’t ask for an explanation; I don’t know why we do this. We just do—especially when we don’t know the recipient very well. Birthday of hallmate? Hand lotion. Office Christmas gift exchange? Hand lotion. Bridal shower for your mother’s student? Hand lotion. Baby shower of your best friend’s uncles adopted daughter’s cousin? Hand lotion.

As a result of this interesting female tendency, I have a drawer full of interesting-smelling hand lotion. Organic lotion. “Doctors Recommend” lotion. Prescription lotion. Flowery lotion. Greasy lotion. Lotion that won’t absorb. Lotion that does nothing more than leave your hands smelling like Japanese cherry blossoms.

No, I am not lacking in the lotion department. But every winter, I always forget to wear it, or even to carry a bottle with me. Hence my dry, cracking hands that sting a bit every time I go to wash my hands. They’re starting to look like tree bark.

You really would think I’d learn.

Maybe I’ve cracked.

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