The summer between eighth grade and ninth grade was the worst. My grandma was determined to bring my sister and me back home to my mom as thin and svelte girls. I was also pretty determined to get thin. Puberty was hitting hard and I really wanted to finally be the cute girl that all the guys liked.
As grown up as I wanted to feel, I still was a kid and I loved to collect stickers. I remember the conversation I had with Stacey very vividly:
Me: Listen, Stacey. If you buy these scratch n’ sniff stickers, you can just smell them when you want to eat.
Stacey: If I buy candy, I can just eat the candy.
She hadn’t bought into the constant pressure to be thin and was hoarding her allowance to eat candy when we were out of sight of Grandma.
Just seeing those stickers right now can almost bring back the memory of how they smelled. My particular favorites were the pizza and the popcorn, but the pickle and the cinnamon roll helped at times as well. I remember being so hungry that I would start to black out when I stood up. It wasn’t all Grandma’s fault by then. I was starving myself as well.
Whenever I wanted to eat, I would go into my room and smell my scratch n’ sniff stickers. I would look at the pizza sticker. “Hot Stuff,” it said. “Yeah, I’m going to be hot stuff when I go back to school this year,” I would think to myself.
Seeing them now makes me want to eat everything in sight…