When I was a kid, I loved to chew gum. I loved big pieces of wildly flavored bubble gum that I could blow into enormous colored bubbles that would inevitably blow up and cover my face. I bought Bubble Yum and Double Bubble and Bubblicious and Hubba Bubba and a million others in whatever crazy flavor I could find. My gum chewing philosophy was: the bigger the wad, the bigger the glory. I smacked. I slurped. I cracked and popped. This horrified my mother who was a dignified gum chewer and never blew bubbles or cracked her gum. But, every once in awhile, she would open her mouth and laugh loudly and I would see her tiny piece of Double Mint and I would smile because, somehow, it made her seem imperfect like me. I watched and waited for those moments, collecting them like baseball cards.
It’s hard to say what my mother hated most about my gum chewing habit – the smacking or the smell of that gum. Whenever we were in the car, she would offer me a piece of Double Mint and I would politely decline before digging in my pocket for a huge slab of something watermelon flavored. I would pop the gum in my mouth and chomp away and she would shake her head in disgust and complain about the smell mile after mile. On rare occasions, however, she would come home from the store and drop a pack of some obnoxiously flavored gum in my lap and say gruffly, “Here. Thought you’d like this.” Then, she would turn quickly before I could utter a confused “thank you”.
I think about this now that I have my own kids. They love to chew gum and they smack and slurp and crack and pop and I ask them to “PLEASE STOP THE SMACKING!” but I buy them more gum anyway. I understand those confusing offerings better now because I make them to my own children. Last night, I took a piece of watermelon Double Bubble from the Halloween candy and stuck it in my bag. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk chewing it and thinking of my mom and her Double Mint gum. Let the bubble blowing begin!
Welcome to November - it's NaBloPoMo!