I have to be honest; I haven’t read much about supply chain shortages and the like. I remember when COVID-19 first became a thing in the first quarter of 2020, and you and your friends bought out all of the toilet paper and paper towels, and then the news started telling me that “supply chain shortages” were going to lead to something or other. All I heard was that it was about to be all bad. From that point forward, I always noticed paper towels and Lysol available at any store I went into. It was nothing to hit up the grocery store, see a fully stocked row of paper products, and then put out the Bat-signal to all the homies to see who needed some of that good Charmin booty paper; I don’t know about you, but I got tired of buying .5 ply toilet paper and basically wiping my ass with my hand. TMI? TMI. Let’s move on.
Well, lately—and according to people who tell other people things—if you haven’t gone Christmas shopping already, you’re short, which is odd to me. I be up in the Targets and Barnes & Nobles, and I still see all the things, but maybe everything that’s left is all of the stuff nobody wants? Yo no se. Point is, on occasion, I wonder just who in the hell these shortages are hitting the most because at the Very Black Shopping Experience Centers I frequent, they don’t seem to be running low.
Or at least that was until I started to notice something. Allow me to share with you what I noticed, but first, some backstory: If you’ll remember (and hell, even if you don’t), I wrote an ode to Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula because it’s been holding a brother down for something like 30 years now. I love my lotion. It brings me joy. It keeps my skin flourishing and prospering. I hope to keep that going well into my life’s victory laps. I can’t really prove it, but I feel like the reason I don’t look 42 at age 42 (according to 8 out of 10 dentists) is because I have used Palmer’s so consistently for decades. At this point, my moisturizing weapon of choice is Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Oil Body Lotion. I have no idea why I made this transition; if I were a betting man, I would guess that I picked up the coconut oil lotion thinking it was the cocoa butter, and I liked the smell and texture, and off to the races I went.
Anyway, I typically buy several bottles of coconut oil lotion to last me for a little while. Well, once I noticed my stash was running low, I made a run to the local Target, and they were out. No biggie. But I saw the same with the grocery stores. Now, none of the red flags went off for me; in my mind, I’d just come back in a few days and be fine. But a few days turned into a few weeks, which turned into like a month, at which point I’m panicking. For one, I really didn’t know what was going on. Cocoa butter was available, and they switched packaging, so I got concerned first that maybe they discontinued the coconut oil lotion. Or maybe they got stuck on that boat that was stuck in the Suez Canal or something. Then I figured that somewhere up and through the U.S. economy, maybe coconuts got caught up in the supply chain shortage, and now my lotion is at stake. One quick Google search for “coconuts supply chain shortage” tells the tale. Articles are talking about everything from BREXIT to PETA and from Vietnam to Thailand, all remarking on the up and down cycle of coconuts and the shortage (or recovering shortage). The point is that coconuts, like bacon and some cheeses, are caught up in the rapture of love.
Back to me. I was super-duper concerned about this because I love my lotion, and while I can just as finely and happily use my cocoa butter, a man’s skincare regimen is sacred. From the razors I use to shave my head bald (and all of the foolywang I’ve sampled on the way trying other options only to damn near slice my head open—I’m looking at you Dollar Shave Club) to the Old Spice soap I’ve come to know and love, having to change the game in the 9th inning is unwelcome. So it was with great joy and majestic spark that I happened upon a CVS in northeast Washington, D.C. last week that was welling my beloved Coconut Oil lotion. Except the bottles were going for $8.29. Usually, you can get them for $4.99 (on sale) or typically around $6.29 or so. And since I’m Black, you know I rounded that $8.29 to $10 and was flabbergasted at the price.
I bought two, though. And frankly, I should have bought more. I have no idea when Supply Chain Shortage (a rap name if I’ve ever seen one) will calm down and I can get back to buying my lotion when I want it as opposed to when I see it—and for a reasonable price. But for now, I’m good. The next time I go to that CVS, I’m buying more bottles. My regimen requires that of me. I hope and pray, as I’m sure most of us do, that COVID soon becomes a thing we all talk about in the past tense and for all of the right reasons. On a personal level, I imagine it will be then, and only then, that I won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get my moisturizing situation back on track.