Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Table Manners

I play music every night during dinner. Usually Sinatra-esq stuff. This is not because I want to create a mood, but because I can't stand to hear my family chewing and swallowing. I have table issues.

But eating and swallowing noises are natural and not wanting to hear them is just my quirk. What's not a quirk and is much worse, is dining with someone who doesn't know their table manners. Or specifically, one huge manner: chewing with your mouth closed.

Where was everyone else when this rule was taught? Undoubtably talking with their mouths full, and not listening. It is DISGUSTING. I would rather see someone cut their toenails at the table than to listen to the sound of partially chewed food and language. As long as the toenails stayed on their side of the table, of course.

The offenders are legion. They could form an army and trounce the insurgency with little effort. And people like me - we suffer, and cringe when a new coworker or new friend wants to do lunch, because you never know who an offender might be until it's too late, and you are already wise to what pepperoni looks like when chewed. Ew.

I try to give subtle hints. Last week, when a certain acquaintance insisted on asking me questions only AFTER taking a bite of food, I refused to answer until I'd swallowed mine. I took my time chewing to be sure the pause was lengthy enough to be noticeable. It didn't work. The offender continued to pepper the conversation with the disgusting sound and sight of food in an open mouth. I wanted to die.

There are very few statements which are of so much importance that they must be said before you've swallowed. "Fire!" and "The chandelier is falling on your head!" are two which come to mind. Otherwise, what is the big deal? If you must talk, don't put food in your mouth. If you must eat, SHUT UP! It's bad enough I have to listen to you swallowing.

And just to be clear, this goes to mini offenders, too. Those that swallow most of their food and begin speaking. Perhaps I should let most of a fart out in the bathroom, then return to the table to give you the rest. Or put deoderant on most of my underarm, then insist on bear hugs on a hot day. Then we would be even.

My ability to deal with this gets worse every year. I can honestly see myself having to rent out the Unabomber's old digs and just become a hermit. Never seeing anyone, and having to forage for wild berries for food.

Which I would eat with my mouth closed.

8 comments:

Ekota (kgiff) said...

I hate chewing noises too. Actually slurping noises are even worse. I never thought about putting on music. I like that idea!

MrGali said...

LMFAO! I'm sure I'm an offender... oh no.

Consider this a PSA of sorts. :p

Boutros said...

"most of a fart." I'm dying here.

Crystal (VTBliss) said...

I just cannot understand how someone, even if they were not raised to chew with their mouths closed, does not notice how much noise they make when they eat with their mouth open. I like the idea of playing music, though!

balmerhon said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with food issues. The sound of chewing drives me insane...

Dilly Dilly said...

Totally hysterical! I fully agree with your opinion on this!

RachelRQ said...

Quintessential MzMannerz! It wasn't until I was in college that I learned that biting the tines of a fork is an offensive noise to people. I've always been so paranoid about that ever since my friend went apesh*t about that annoying habit of mine.

Missy said...

ohmigosh! I thought I was the only one with chewing/swallowing issues. I must share this with my family! LOL