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The Truth About Peeps
By Deborah Stoll

We're standing in the aisle of the Sav-on when I see them. "Oh, look! There are the Peeps I've been looking for." The bright, yellow packaging stands out among all the other candies as I race down the aisle towards them. Grabbing a box, I nestle it gently in between a ten-pack of toilet paper and the sundries already loaded into my basket. "These are the original ones too," I continue. "You almost never see them anymore."

My boyfriend walks up behind me, "Those aren't the original Peeps."

"Yes, they are."

"No, they're not--the bunnies are the originals."

"No, the chicks are the originals."

"No they're not."

"Why would they call bunnies 'Peeps'? I mean, originally, wouldn't they have called them something like, 'Pffts Pffts' instead?" I retort, making the universal bunny motion -- fingers cutely curled under, hopping a bit in front of chest.

My boyfriend rolls his eyes at me, which usually means I've said something stupid. Conversely, it's His way of getting out of something He knows He's wrong about without having to concede His wrongness.

He turns the corner and starts down the next aisle. I pause for a second and then, with a surprisingly sudden anger, turn and walk quickly past the rows of sweets and hustle up behind him. He stands in front of the Budweiser display. They're on sale, and his face has that particular glaze to it that only happens when something he really loves is within sight.

"I hate when you roll your eyes at me."


I point to the docile yellow marshmallows resting innocently in their box inside the cart. "Those are the original Peeps."

He rolls his eyes. AGAIN.

"Jesus Christ! Think about it. Look at how old-skool they look."

I instantly feel stupid for using the term "old-skool," but it's true. "See? The chicks have a totally vintage feel that the bunnies…" here I hold up a box of the offending non-vintage bunnies for emphasis "…just don't. And look at the colors! The yellow of the chicks compared to the blue, pink and purple bunnies -- I mean, how much more modern a color can you get than purple?"

He squints his eyes at me with a look that says this is the stupidest conversation I've ever had. Then he says, "This is the stupidest conversation I've ever had. Are you really intent on ruining a perfectly nice day? You did wake up kind of crabby, you know."

"I DID NOT WAKE UP CRABBY!" I yell. Then I bring my voice down a notch. "You always do this--you're wrong about something, or you don't know something but you can't just admit it, even if it's totally meaningless!"

"So I'm wrong."


"About what?"

"The Peeps! THE FUCKING PEEPS!" I'm gesticulating wildly now, using the Peeps for emphasis. "You're wrong about the bunnies--" (pushing the bunnies into his face) "--being the first Peeps when it's obvious that the chicks--" (grabbing the chicks out of the hand cart before he can crush them with the case of Budweiser) "--are the first Peeps!"

"And you're not in a bad mood?"

"No! I'm in a great fucking mood, I mean, I was until you started acting like --"

"Can we not do this here?"

I realize that some of our fellow shoppers are starting to take notice, but I've always hated being shushed just because someone might hear, so I start hissing instead. "You're just saying I woke up in a bad mood because you don't want to admit that you know NOTHING about Peeps."

He looks at me, for all the world, like he's sorry I'm so confused about my life. "I think we have everything we need," he says, and walks up to the checkout counter. I have no recourse but to join him.

We stand at the counter. And wait. We wait on what must be the SLOWEST MOVING LINE IN THE HISTORY OF SLOW-MOVING LINES AT SAV-ON, which is to say it's really fucking slow. In the silence, my mind reels with all the times we've disagreed about things: There was the brown recluse spider argument (they do not, in fact, kill people) and the idea that fencing is an acceptable major in college. After boiling spaghetti you DO NOT run hot water over it to get rid of the starch. And pizza bagels are just not considered gourmet. By anyone.

It all gets me thinking: Maybe these arguments have a deeper meaning. Maybe we've got nothing in common. Maybe I'm just fooling myself that we're totally in love. And then I hear my mother's voice: You've never learned to compromise. EVER. In anything. Relationships are a give. And a take. (She says it just like that, too -- "A give. And a take.") You're looking for perfection, and you're never going to find it. And I wonder, for the first time in my life, if she actually knows what she's talking about.

I look over and notice that my boyfriend is standing in line. Totally content. Just standing there. He's not thinking about anything -- he's not even reading a magazine. He clearly DOES NOT love me, or he'd be feeling as distraught as I am right now. COMPROMISE MY ASS! Couldn't he at least seem upset? He should be worrying that I hate him, that this is the end, the last straw, the coup de grace, as it were. He could be losing me forever, RIGHT NOW, THIS VERY INSTANT. The fact that he CLEARLY doesn't care AT ALL throws me into AN EVEN GREATER RAGE than before. Also, I feel sad.

The Checkout Boy completes his first transaction. We inch forward in line.

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