Confessions of a Gum Junkie

Chomp chomp smakt chomp.

My purse is packed with three different flavors of gum. My pantry bulges with wintermint, spearmint, and citrusmint. My gym bag has its own package of gum. Heck, my bathroom has a stash of gum, right in the medicine cabinet.

I just can’t help myself. The bizarre, silly-putty texture fascinates me when I draw it over my tongue and blow bubbles. And the flavors! Strawberry-Lemonade, Mint Mojito, Piña Colada — it’s like dessert without any guilt.

Besides, chewing gum is a great way to keep from snacking when I’m not really hungry. I need something to do with my mouth other than eat; I swear if I didn’t chew, I’d smoke a pack a day.

The attraction to gum started in childhood, with my very first package of Bubblicious. I was five, and was allowed, for the very first time, to choose my candy at the store. I picked gum, because I wanted to learn to blow bubbles.

That first bite full of had me hooked. I chomped my way through packs of blue raspberry, strawberry and watermelon, before settling on my favorite, Dr Pepper.

My parents never complained about my habit, but apparently I was a bit more Violet Beauregard than I realized.

When I was eight, my neighbor Mrs. Hopkins was driving me to the movies. I was in the backseat of the jeep with her son, Brian. She glanced in her rearview mirror and told me to stop chomping my gum like a cow.

Now, I’m the mom in the front seat; from the seat behind me I hear snap, snap, smack. My 2-year-old is chomping gum as we drive to the library.

He chews thoughtfully — and loudly — for a while, before he asks for a second piece. I fish around in my purse and pass a piece back.

I am a gum addict, and it’s catching.

Article © 2008 by Stacey Duck