Sarah Rosemary at Sunny Side Up and I are hosting our own Reverb11, a series of prompts to look back on 2011 and manifest the new year. Please check our Reverb11 pages for details, and join in!
Prompt for December 25: Secret: Release a secret you’ve been hiding all year. Tell us something that nobody knows. Let it go; shout it out in celebration.
Everyone has secrets. The adult bedwetters. The love children; the people who have them. The cutters; the white-knuckle million-mile fliers; the squeamish doctors. We all have our secret vices and shame; we all have our lies.
I come across as a public person; those who know me know I am somewhat obsessive about my privacy. The dichotomy is at once strange and startling, but it exists, believe me. I do have secrets — some funny, some rather dark.
But in this season (on this day, really) of slouching towards Bethlehem, I cannot help but share this shameful and significant secret. You see, in the town of Bethlehem, PA, there is headquartered the Just Born Company — manufacturer and purveyor of such “delicacies” as Peeps candies.
I hate Peeps. Loathe them. With a passion. But I somehow gave my family the impression that I loved them, and for many years, they’ve sent me Peeps for all seasons.
I don’t even like marshmallows, let alone marshmallows covered in sicky-sweet sugar crystals. When I was very young, I went to a birthday party at a candy-making place. At the party, I was forced to eat a marshmallow dipped in molten white chocolate. To date, that horrorshow amuse bouche is the only foodstuff upon which I have ever literally gagged. I managed to get it down, but oh my!
Fast forward to me being an immature 18-19 year old, and we had a kind of joke whereby we’d decorate some unsuspecting chump’s belongings with seasonal Peeps. This was funny at the time. I think I either told my parents about this, or as a result of a “peeping,” they found a number of cartons of Peeps among my things. This obviously gave them the impression that I actually liked the damned things.
I don’t. I never have.
My parents were never big on “care packages” — I went to school close to their house, and even when I moved far away, they’re simply not the type. But the times that they did send a package, they sent Peeps. Always Peeps. They’d come visit from California bearing Peeps. Peeps gingerbread men. Peeps pumpkins; Peeps ghosts. Peeps snowmen. Standard issue Peeps chicks in a rainbow of colours. They’re horrible, those candies! Just…horrid. And again, putting a marshmallow in my mouth is akin to just sticking my finger down my throat.
But I could never muster up the courage to tell my parents about this, because I liked getting the care packages. And they were so keen on pleasing me by remembering how much I “liked” them.
My secret is that I hate Peeps. For the love of all that is good and holy, please keep them away from me.
So arriving in Bethlehem today, no Christmas marshmallows, please. And if you know anything about Central Pennsylvania, you know that on the road out of Bethlehem, you must pass through Emmaus. As Christmas ends, and Easter approaches (and I again get heavy-handed with the sweet Biblical imagery), please for the love of Christ, no Peeps in my basket.