The gum craze poses a sticky situation


My addiction to gum stems from my expert self-diagnosis of CBBS, or Chronic Bad Breath Syndrome. I first learned of C-Double-B-S during a family reunion when my cousins whipped out oxygen masks the second I walked in the room. A second cousin once-removed did not get the memo and passed out immediately. “A Stick for the Stink” has been my motto ever since.

After the incident I shall refer to as the “Bad Breath Birth,” I have learned to always have a pack of gum on hand—a deceptively difficult task. The terrors of C-Double-B-S make keeping up a fresh supply of gum impossible.

Between stressful academics and taxing extracurriculars, the comfort gum brings me is better than an encouraging pat on the back. Gum says, “You got this, Collette. You will never be a disappointMINT.”

I chew gum every second of the day. I reach into my pocket and find millions of gum wrappers. I go through a pack a week, minimum. I even face withdrawal symptoms. I break into a cold sweat and hallucinate when I run out of gum.

Me: *Finds empty gum wrappers in purse* […] *Hyperventilates* […] *Considers utilizing Epi-Pen* […] *Faints*

Intercom: “Attention! Will the Emergency Response Team please report to Room 304?”

I am obsessed. I can even tell which type of gum people are chewing after saying one word to them.

Kind friend: “Hey Collette!”

Me: Hmm. Orbit, for sure. Slightly sweet. Aha! Orbit Sweet Mint! I always CHEWS that flavor. *Mental high five* […] “Oh yeah, hi!”

Cool pal: “Hey girl!”

Me: Tangy—that’s a new one, maybe seasonal. Long-lasting. It’s definitely Extra. Bingo! Extra Sweet Watermelon. It’s EXTRA delicious. *Chuckles briefly to self* […] “Oh sorry, hi!”

Every person who always keeps a pack of gum on hand knows that she has the potential to be the real MVP in the room. I feel this inner pressure every day, yet I usually do not share.

colletteSEPTI have always had anxiety taking out my darling, silver-wrapped delicacies in front of others. Until I came to Marian, I never realized the power that gum harnesses. For all of 10 seconds, gum is the key to making friends.

I always go through the grueling mental conflict: Should I offer my babies to my peers, or should I pretend that they are not staring at my hand firmly gripping a piece of gum? I usually go with the latter. After all, it is a girl-eat-gum world out there, and every gum-chewer must fend for herself!

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