Today I was perusing the gum aisle, looking for the cheapest per unit gum like the eternal tightass that I am, and my search lead me to PK. At first I was like, “Ew,” because in my head I am a Millennial. But then I was all, “Hang on, this is MY GUM,” much in the same way a drunk girl might exclaim, “It’s MA SONG!” when a Justin Timberlake hit plays in da’ club.
I suddenly remembered how I used to chew PK gum on the daily for a good few years in highschool. I also remembered how I kept all the packaging and stored them in my wallet. I must have stuffed 50 in there at a time until I could no longer close it and then I would just throw them out and start again. My wallet wasn’t fat from all those bookstore dollars I was earning, it was fat with gum wrappers. For why? I don’t know.
It wasn’t a cool art project or a statement about consumerism. And it wasn’t a fad or craze that was sweeping the school, like making bracelets out of the blue plastic inside of a bottle cap. I had always sucked at fads anyway. When I tried to get layers in my hair I ended up with a Keith Urban-Carol Brady hybrid nightmare style. And when I tried to wear surf brand clothes I ended up in Piping Hot t-shirts from Kmart meant for boys.
No – this was scheme of my own design, an idiot craze for one. And you know what? I don’t get it. It was also the kind of thing where if someone had got a hold of my wallet and said, “What’s all this junk? Why do you keep rubbish? Oh my god, HOW MUCH GUM DO YOU EAT?” I probably would have been quite upset. And I really don’t know why.
If I look back, it’s not my only example of oddly compulsive behaviour that I have engaged in. I spent a lot of time in primary school with an apple sticker stuck on my forehead like a bindi FOR NO REASON. I thought it was cool… I think. I can’t really remember. I just kept doing it. If I didn’t have an apple for lunch, I would seek out someone else who had a sticker to spare. And no one ever said, “Sorry Bron, I’m going to wear my apple sticker on my face like a twat.”
The best example, though, is my stocking habit. When I was super small, maybe 4 or 5 years old, I wore stockings on my head like an off-duty armed robber in an attempt to simulate long hair. My nanna got me all different colours, my cousin made some into plaits and attached them to a jaunty beret, my mum politely ignored people telling her she had a weird kid – they were all enablers. I tied the legs to look like a ponytail and I swished it around like I was in a shampoo commercial. What a creep.
When I group it all together like this it sounds like the profile of the defendant in a stalking case, but I think I have outgrown my “quirks”. PK gum flashbacks have allowed me to realise that I am normal now. Like, super normal. My hair is rill, I put my apple stickers and gum wrappers in the trash. Promise.