the answer to everything is "lollipops"

at around the age of 10, i made a life-changing decision.

every year, my family and i would travel to sunny florida for our spring break (we were living in connecticut at the time) and rent out a family-sized condo for a week and do family-type things. back then, i had notsomuch "curly" hair as it was wavy. this hair stage in my life required me to brush out my mane every day; nowadays, if i attempted to brush this shit out, it would look almost identical to this:

and people wonder why i give them death stares when they ask me if i have a comb or brush on hand? side note: i feel kind of weird that i got this picture off of google images by typing in "curly hair brushed out." this is an actual, living and breathing stranger girl. and it looks like she's in a gym locker room. and there was a date on this photo "april 5 2005." OMG I HAD JUST TURNED 18 THE DAY BEFORE. and i was grounded. because of drinking...

back to the post now. on this particular vacation to the great state of retired Jews, the humidity was out of control. brushing my hair was like running a comb through metal; exactly - you can't actually do that. so, one morning, in the midst of getting my comb stuck in my tendrils for the upteenth time, i lost it.

"THAT'S IT. I WANT TO CUT OFF ALL MY HAIR," i screamed in my bratty 10-year-old manner.

"emily, calm down. you can't be serious," mother ellen. always trying to talk sense into me to absolutely no avail.

"I AM. I'M SICK OF IT. I WANT IT ALL GONE."

and you know what that woman i call my mother did? she called the salon from florida, made an appointment for me and drove me to the salon once we were back home and watched as her 10-year-old, clueless and unassuming daughter got her entire head cut off. i shit you not;

i was a 10-year-old with a legitimate pixie haircut in 1998.

fast forward through the name-calling and incessant bullying from all of my peers to when my family found out that we were moving to dallas. then fast forward through my first year in texas to when my mom discovered a summer camp called "camp longhorn," signed us up, and drove us to the camp bus stop that morning during my 2nd summer as a texan.

i was scared, because my hair was still super short and the only person i knew going with me to this new summer camp was my sister who is two years older. knowing how nervous and semi-fragile i was, my mom had come up with a genius idea.

to break the ice and make instant friends, my mother had supplied me with chupa chup lollipops. and it wasn't just a hefty handful of the suckers, no. it was a tin:

she figured if i had treats to hand out, i could more or less bribe girls into becoming my friend between dallas and burnet (the town in which camp longhorn resides).

i walked onto the bus, clad in my UT longhorns sweatshirt, pixie cut and tin of lollipops and you know what?

IT WORKED.

it was like i was a crack dealer and the entire bus was full of homeless, one-eyed street dwellers. pre-pubescent girls of all shapes and sizes flocked around my lollipop tin like pigeons around bread. with my sweatshirt pulled up over my knees in true 11-year-old fashion, i handed out every flavor chupa chup until they were all gone and i had gained instant best friends. truly, i still remain incredibly close to the first girl i ever handed a chupa chup to.

so, my question is: what if life was still that simple? what if you were able to make friends, get dates and start a career solely by way of lollipops?

scenario 1:

"i just want to know where this relationship is going" - girl

"look, i like you, of course. i just don't know right now. can't we just keep having sex, i mean fun?" - guy

"i guess so" pulls out a tin of chupa chups "do you want a lollipop?"

"do you want to be my serious girlfriend who i'll love forever and always put first?"

scenario 2:

"well, beth, it seems like you have decent credentials, but we just aren't hiring right now" - potential employeer

"i understand" pulls out handful of chupa chups "could i interest you in a chocolate banana chupa chup before i go?"

"could i interest YOU in a 401k plan, 3 weeks of vacation and 5-minute back massages at your cube everyday?!"

scenario 3:

"i really want to get a group of girls together to go to dinner this weekend. would you be interested?"

"oh, um, this weekend? well who all is going, ya know... besides just you." - bitch

"probably some of my coworkers from walgreens" pulls out tin of chupa cups "want a strawberry and creme lollipop?"

"want to be blood sisters?" cuts hand and offers it.

if only the world worked like it did back in 1998 on that bus. nowadays, i'm sure new campers would probably have to offer tory burch flats or free neiman marcus gift cards to 11-year-olds to befriend anyone. but, back then, it was the catalyst i needed and that camp ended up being one of my favorite places on earth.

you never know; next time you're in a pickle, i.e. you got caught cheating, you can't make rent or someone posted a picture on Facebook of your one week stint with Girls Gone Wild, offer up chupa chups. they may just be able to LICK your problems.

-emma

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