I'll try to get one of my earliest memories of wanting gum...I was probably around late three or early four years old. It was definitely before I started kindergarten. My mother would chew gum once in a while...it was always Juicy Fruit in that bright yellow packaging that smelled like fruity candy. I just remember my mom chewing gum and smelling it....wanting it...but never getting any. She didn't do it that a whole lot...but I do remember vividly wanting it so much and never getting any.
We were very poor growing up...a large family of 5 girls on a small income ~ only my step-dad worked. My mom was a stay-at-home mom (she did work when we were at school by taking in ironing and cleaning homes to help put us through a Catholic private school with scholarships to help foot the bill.)
My mother was also an extreme health-food nut. We ate healthy, home grown vegetables, fresh unprocessed milk from a local dairy out in the country 10 gallons a week for us kids...we made our own butter from the cream, we had brewer's yeast in our orange juice every morning (I still gag when I think of the smell of Brewer's Yeast in orange juice), carob-chip cookies with wheat germ and flax seed instead of your normal Toll-house chocolate chip cookies, sea-kelp on our popcorn for Friday T.V. nights instead of butter and salt. There are so many "health-food" things we ate that normal kids didn't eat...I know we were better off for it and rarely sick, but I felt different at school because of it.
When other kids went to Johnson's pool all day in the summer with nickles and dimes for the snack machines and hot cinnamon pepper candies and Bazooka bubblegum and licorice whips...we went with cut up cucumbers, and bell peppers, and snap peas from the garden for snacks.
One time we went to the drive-in movie by our house...we got the kelp popcorn from home and snap peas from the garden, while the neighbors we went with got snacks from the snack bar that looked and smelled so much better than our home-grown snacks.
Yes, it was much better for us...but we didn't know that as kids...we just knew that all the other kids had stuff we couldn't have. The only time I remember getting candy was at Christmas.
We would get oranges, apples and nuts in their shell in our stocking and my mom would buy a pound of Brach's mixed candies and split that up to put in our stockings with a single little candy cane. My favorite from that mix was the pink, white & brown coconut chews and the butterscotch candies.
So...when I smelled the Juicy Fruit gum my mother would chew on occasion, I wanted it so badly...always asked, but was told there wasn't enough for everyone, so none of us would get any.
The sad thing is that being a kid I did something crazy just trying to get some Juicy Fruit gum...too embarrassing to put on here, and can't believe I did it....but I did, in my desperation to get some...Thinking of it makes me tear up a bit...so I don't want to post it on here.
I wanted gum so badly...so I think that once I moved away from home to get married, I somehow connected being able to have the ability to get gum whenever I wanted it, with being able to have the same thing other people could get whenever they wanted. It made me feel in control....but more about that and the stories later. I'll be needing more information for the the next 17 days of posting. 4 Days Down At Midnight...17 Days To Go.
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