I have a problem. I'm not going to run from it, nor am I going to deny it because, frankly, I would like help dealing with it if anyone has a remedy.
I, ladies and gentlemen, can't stand to hear people eat. I tolerate people who at least try to have some manners — you know, the folks who put the piece of loud food all the way in their mouths and close them before beginning to chew. I realize these people are doing their best at not annoying me. It's the people who just crunch off the food bit by agonizing bit that really make me want to slam my head on my keyboard.
Regardless, though, I hate being able to hear a chewing noise. Eating in a really quiet room with someone else just makes me go nearly insane. Even if that person is following proper etiquette by chewing with his or her mouth closed, I can usually still hear the crunching, grinding, swishing noises of teeth crunching and cutting, of jaws moving and of tongues performing their various duties.
I've tried to just get over this, passing it off as some minor OCD-like symptom. But lately, I've had visions of actually punching people in the face or worse when I hear them eat. I'm afraid that one day it may just get out of control. Whenever I eat something that I think may be noisy, I just put it in my mouth and let it dissolve. I did this today with some chips. If I'm in a Mexican restaurant or something though, I don't do that with the chips and salsa. It's usually loud enough in restaurants that I can't hear anyone eating, so then I never think about it. It's when I'm in a quieter, closer setting that it usually is the worst.
Does anyone else out there have a friend they can't stand sitting beside of when he or she is eating? Experienced that person who shares a workspace with you that just won't quit eating lunch from what seems to be your inner ear? What about a coworker in a cubicle across the room? A parent who eats loudly at a quiet dinner table? I'd love to hear your comments and see if I really am insane or if this is a common problem for others out there. I'd also like to confirm that this blog post isn't directed at any one person I've met, it's just a generalization — I hate hearing you all eat, and I know it sounds petty, but I felt like it was time I just wrote about it. Maybe this will be the first small step in overcoming my pet peeve.