Go Peeps!

After a couple rather dry posts I’m going to give you a sweet one. It’s a little story about how much I love Peeps, that marshmallow dipped in colored sugar treat that first appeared at Easter as little chicks but is available for all big holidays as everything from Halloween ghosts to Christmas trees to Valentine hearts. I will eat and buy them all, but none is as good as the Easter Peep. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the eating a baby chick thing. Disgusting and yet delicious.

My favorite food group is marshmallows. I used to also love jello and cool whip and put the three together and it was positively lethal. For my insides. But let’s not attack plastic and additives just yet.

As some of you know, my former husband was a paraplegic and in a wheelchair and he used to joke that there were advantages to dating (and then marrying) a para–namely the plus of handicap parking at crowded malls. Also, at Disneyland you get to go to the front of the line on most rides–which is also, really nice. But unless you are at Nordstrom’s at Christmas or Disneyland daily, being in a wheelchair isn’t such a great thing. And yet, I did find one more advantage to being married to someone in a wheelchair, and please don’t tell anyone, because others will think I’m crass….but I could hide stuff on high shelves and he wouldn’t know. I could put things in the shelf in the closet, in the attic, and especially in the upper kitchen cabinets without him discovering anything. He never knew what I’d bought him for Christmas, or if I’d gotten new shoes or clothes (please, I’m not saying this is a recipe for marriage bliss) or if I was hiding something I didn’t want him to know I had…

Like Peeps.

Seven years ago, a week after Easter I entered a local drugstore that had a 50% off all Easter merchandise sale, and the sign was taped to an enormous shopping cart piled high with Peeps. Pink bunnies, yellow chicks, purple bunnies, multi-colored eggs. Boxes and boxes of peeps. Row after row of sparkly sugar covered marshmallow in the dearest sweetest baby animal shape. And while I was admiring the Peeps, a salesperson marked them down again. 75% off. 75% off PEEPS.

I had to have some. I had to buy them before someone else did. I love Peeps, love love love them and grabbing a basket I started piling them in. The bunnies, the chicks, no eggs. Just bunnies and chicks and 6 boxes pink, 6 boxes blue, 6 boxes purple, 6 boxes yellow. Another 6 boxes yellow. Some more pinks. Purples. Blues. Okay, a couple boxes white sparkly eggs. And a few more yellow. Maybe one more pink and purple. And pink, because next to the yellow chicks the pink bunnies are my favorite.

I took my cart to the check out. I think the total for 40 something peeps was like ten dollars. An unbelievably good deal, one of those crazy things you read about happening to other people. Never to me, never ever. Til now.

I rushed home, made sure no one was around, and hid my bags of boxes of peeps in the upper cabinets in the kitchen. Being short, I never really utilized them anyway but a Peep was worth jumping up on the counter, and then standing on the counter, to get to the top shelf.

Forty boxes of Peeps sounds like a lot. But if you think about it, each of those little Peep boxes holds 5 little Peeps and that’s really just 5 big soft marshmallows dipped in sparkly sugar. Not a lot. So if I limit myself to a box a day, I have Peeps until almost Memorial Day. BUT, if I have a box in the morning and a box in the afternoon, they’d last maybe three weeks. Tragically, not long enough.

In the end, the Peeps lasted almost two weeks. I think sometimes I ate them too fast because I was afraid someone would roll into the kitchen and discover me on the counter, admiring my stash, and so I’d shove a couple Peeps at a time in my mouth. Wasteful. So wasteful I know.

It’s two weeks after Easter Sunday. My kids still have their Easter baskets on the dining room table, their treats nearly half gone. I’ve helped them more than they know, and last night finished their Peeps for them. They were staying at their dad’s house. They were having a good time there. They don’t love Peeps the way I do, either. Is that a good excuse to eating their candy? I don’t know. It’s just the way it is.

Like last weekend in Hawaii. Ty and I were driving by a drugstore and I suddenly wondered if maybe, just maybe, they had a sale on their Easter merchandise and asked Ty to stop so we could go in. All the Easter candy appeared to be gone, but I perservered, traveling rapidly up and down each aisle looking for a special clearance section and found it…on an end cap. Easter candy 50% off. I grabbed five boxes of Peeps. Grabbed two more. Looked longingly at the rest before reluctantly paying for my loot.

My boxes lasted three and a half days. But the memory of my Hawaii Peeps will remain with me forever.

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