Here is a brief list of things I love: the crunch of a salt and vinegar chip, Bananarama, creepy old movies like “Rosemary’s Baby,” and long car rides. Here is an even briefer list of things I hate: horses (like the animal) and Peeps (like the abominable candy creature). Since Easter last Sunday, I’ve been reflecting on the reasons why these monstrous little marshmallows frighten me, yet have arrived at no conclusion.
More things I love — elevator music, picking up tufts of grass and putting them in the lap of the person next to me, and blue raspberry Dum Dums. It isn’t the taste or the texture that turns me away from Peeps, but the entity of the treat as a whole — the mere idea of a Peep — that shocks me to my core. Let’s start with the packaging. Regardless of their shape, Peeps seem to strain against the plastic wrapping only to unleash their wrath upon my kitchen table. Their eyes are also startling. Those beady black specks taunt me and their dark gazes linger, be them chicks or bunnies or whatever other springtime animal the Peeps company decides to destroy.
There’s another reason why Peeps have my disapproval — they’ve ruined the season for me. I already have my personal qualms with spring. As beautiful as this time of year is, every time April and May roll around I get overwhelmed with seasonal sadness.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore everything about leaves and greenery and tiny weedlike flowers (more things I love), but all of this reminds me of the passing of time. Suddenly it’s warm again, and things are coming to an end. I keep my window open so my dorm room smells like the aftermath of rain and purifies everything that built up this winter. And boy, was this a winter (freshman year, man). Little daisies, people I don’t know wearing sandals, worms on the sidewalk — all of these things signal the turning over of a new time and hit me with a moving sense of emotion.
My point is that maybe Peeps cause me such despair because they remind me of this residual sadness I can’t describe. Or maybe I don’t like them because they’re just unnatural. Sticky confectioners sugar and a gooey marshmallow middle? Who wants all of that residue stuck to their fingers?
Regardless of my fear’s mysterious origin, my dislike for Peeps run deeply alongside my melancholy grief for spring. Whoever you are, I wish you well with your seasonal gripes. Stay away from those critters.