Every morning I would take the bus to elementary school. I lived on a cul de sac and my neighbors and I were close in age which was really nice for playing before the bus came to take us to school. I would always make sure to talk to the parents. They made small talk with all of us and supervised our games of tag.
Anyway, my favorite shirt at the time had Snoopy on it. I don’t fully remember what it looked like but it was a white— almost see-through— t-shirt with a giant snoopy on it. It might have had some word on it like “happy” or another character like Woodstock on it, but I can’t remember the details. All I remember was that it was my favorite shirt in fourth grade and I wore it at least once a week.
One morning I was obviously wearing my favorite shirt to school and while all the kids were waiting for the bus, one of my neighbors’ dads struck up a conversation with me. He said his wife, who would often be at the bus stop but wasn’t there that particular day, loved Snoopy and loved him since she was around my age. This crushed my dreams. First of all, I didn’t particularly like her so having something so crucial to me in common with her was a low blow, or it seemed like it when I was 10. Second of all, you can’t be associated with “old” people when you’re that age, it’s like a universal rule or something. So in my stubborn, self-conscious fashion, from that day on I never wore my favorite Snoopy shirt again.
Not really. Snoopy managed to work his way back into my heart somehow. I honestly don’t know when I started liking Snoopy again. I remember my sister made an off-handed comment a few years ago about how Snoopy always reminded her of me. I guess whenever we went shopping I would always point out things with Snoopy on them. I distinctly remember one time she and I were at the mall and there was a Vans x Peanuts collaboration. I think I made her look around with me for an hour. But once she said that, I wanted to care again. Her thinking of me when she saw Snoopy made me think of her when I saw Snoopy too. I realized how much seeing Snoopy made me happy.
Since then, I have about 4 or 5 Snoopy related items in my possession; I have a little collection of sorts. It started with my sister getting me a Snoopy Build-a-Bear last Christmas. She even put a cotton candy smell in it when she ordered it, so now it’s even more of a comfort object to me. Then, she got a tote from Cotton On that said “Take Care of Yourself” with Snoopy hugging a heart on it. She got this for herself because it reminded her of me. I liked it so much I went and got one too and now we have matching ones. This Christmas, I asked my boyfriend for anything Snoopy related to keep with this theme, so he got me a shirt and his mom got me a bucket hat with Snoopy on it too. I even just ordered a phone case that’s Peanuts themed.
Maybe that seems like a lot— even I think it’s becoming an obsession, but it’s one I don’t mind having. I can’t say that I’ve ever looked at the Peanuts comics in the newspaper. I honestly miss every Christmas or holiday Charlie Brown special that’s on TV. Even though I was never that interested in those things, from the time I was a little kid something about Snoopy always makes me smile. From that fateful moment at the bus stop, I lost sight of what made me happy and the confidence to like something unapologetically. Growing up has taught me to take whatever makes me happy, no matter how silly or childish, and hold on to it. At the ripe old age of 20, I am not afraid to say I love Snoopy. And I hope the next time you see Snoopy, it makes you happy too.