Chewing gum is o.k. This I believe.
I was not always this confident. I used to think that chewing gum must be part evil. It was banned in grade school, frowned upon by my mother, and I prayed not to get caught chewing in church by Ms. Ebby. She had the pinch grip of a Maryland crab and compared chewing gum to seventeenth century adultery. Twice I had to wear ABC (already been chewed) gum on my nose.
Over the years I have learned that chewing gum freshens breath, prevents snacking and can calm nerves. As a former teacher I am well aware of the dangers of bending over a student’s desk after polishing off morning coffee. It can be as discreet as a slight hand move from chin to cover nose or as loud as, “Daaaang, Ms. So and So, your breath STANK.”
The variety of scrumptious flavors is so vast I often forget that I haven’t eaten in, say, 20 minutes. On the shelves I browse over mint mojito when feeling festive or classic bubble for that James Dean attitude. Chocolate is my preference when I hope to cure a craving. So many flavors, such little time.
During deadlines, rush hour, and episodes of Lost my nubby nails are thankful for gum.
As with most pleasures several rules are attached. While chewing gum I know not to smack or pop. It’s just rude and I don’t want to attract the attention from the likes of Ms. Ebby. Too, if war veterans or frequent hunters are near, unnecessary roughness could harm innocent bystanders.
Always have plenty to share. Gum Chewers Anonymous made this rule. If I get a look from someone that shows slight disapproval while I chew I just offer them a piece. Being seen as an instant friend instead of a chomping foe has vastly improved my social life.
Lastly, I’m going to chew while I am able. There may come a time when dentures are perfected. Until then, I plan to dote upon the juicy chewy sweet treats and recommend that you do the same.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.