Thursday, September 23, 2010

G(d)um(b) Habit

If you know me, and I don't even mean know me well, but if you know me at all, aka you've met me more than once, you know I love gum. People are always amazed to learn that I chew a PACK (yes, 14 pieces) of gum a day. From before lunch to after dinner, I basically have gum in my mouth unless I am eating. Some call it an oral fixation, some call it a waste of money, but honestly, I just love the taste and consistency of gum. And not just any gum, but, more specifically, Orbit Peppermint. It is the best gum I have ever had, and I have been chewing it obsessively since high school. Before then, it was Spearmint Extra.

I remember my love of gum's clear beginning. See, my dad always chewed bubble gum- you know, the kind in the hard shell, colored balls that came in thin clear packs of ten. He always had gum in his car, so I remember sneaking into his clove compartment when I was outside playing with friends and taking his gum like it was something really bad to do. My mom also chewed the sugar-free bubble gum sticks, so I remember going into the cupboard at my house in Ohio asking (or sneaking) for a piece. Then I remember really starting to like it in middle school. I probably asked my dad to buy me some, when we were out once, and I found that I liked the Spearmint flavor better than bubble gum. My interest in gum got him interested in the sugar-free kind, since it was better for his teeth, which also got my mom more interested in the minty flavors. A trend was born.

I had a pack of gum with me in school everyday. It started catching on with friends that I always had gum. They asked and asked and asked and I gave and gave and gave, until I was giving so much gum that I didn't have enough for my obsession. Friends in school quickly learned I did not give gum away because that would mean giving it to everyone. So they in turn started bringing their own packs, and I would give them pieces only on special occasions. I was known to get angry when people asked, but when you need all the gum for yourself because you're addicted, my anger becomes understandable.

I also distinclty remember the flavor of my first piece of Peppermint Orbit. I believe it was my good friend Sarah who introduced me to the gum (the commercials were all over the air with the British lady). I was hooked and have been buying it religiously ever since. I chew gum so much, that I can tell when a pack isn't "good" (you would think gum flavors are pretty consistent, but like with any food, there are good and bad batches), and I learned how to get away with chewing gum in school (or even at work) with people not knowing. I also have perfected the art of taking out a piece of gum, only to replace it with another in one full swoop with no one the wiser.

Favorite gum circa 1997

Gum of choice for almost 10 years

You may call it a dumb habit, but gum is like my cigarette. But a lot cheaper and healthier (hey, it even cleans my teeth)!
Post a Comment