Friday, February 13, 2009

107 - People who eat loudly

When I was seven years old, I spent my winter holidays in Toronto, Canada. I have two aunts there, and one of them once took me to the movies to see The Prince of Egypt.

On the car ride to the cinema, I was chewing gum, and my mouth was open, so my aunt could hear that horrible sticky snap every time my upper jaw and lower jaw moved away from each other.

When we reached a four-way junction, she stopped for a red light and turned around suddenly and screamed at me, and told me to stop chewing so loudly. She looked so angry, and I cried, and I never chewed gum with my mouth open again.

This goes for all food, in fact. I don't slurp my soup. I try not to make those horrible noises with my straw when I've nearly finished a beverage. I don't create nails-on-a-blackboard sounds when I'm using a knife to cut food on a plate. I don't make sucking noises when I'm trying to get all the meat off a chicken wing. I eat crackers, and potato chips, without crunching. I don't suck up long pieces of spaghetti. Even something as simple as gulping water has to be silent as well.

My best friend says that these noises make a meal more enjoyable. The noise adds an acoustically pleasant component to the dining experience.

I think that's a load of bullocks. Eating should be quiet.

A lot of things should be quiet for me. I hate the sound of high heels, and whistles, ruffling sheets of paper, dogs barking, people sniffing, everything.

My best friend jokes that in my ideal world, everyone would be ninjas.

And you know, that is precisely what I want. Don't you think that would be awesome if the world was all as stealthy as ninjas?


Hail To The Thief said...

My Dad is the worst for this. You honestly have to make an excuse to leave the room.

It's made me worry too much whether I do this; I eat much too slowly now.

JoJO a. said...

I think eating loudly and seeing people's chewed up food in their open mouths are two of my major pet peeves.

World of ninjas... now that's THE dream!

J.J. in L.A. said...

Half the fun of eating is doing it loudly - as long as you keep your mouth closed. ; )

The thing that irritates me is when my mom takes her pills. She swallows so loudly I, at first, thought she was choking. lol!

Madame DeFarge said...

Michael, this is the most irritating thing in the world for me, I loathe noisy eaters and I cannot stand sitting anywhere near anyone who makes a noise as they munch or slurp or chew. It is simply the worst experience. I'm going to have to go and lie down now that I've even thought about it :)

Marcy said...

Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves is those who eat loudly. I hate it. I grew up in a family where you were ridiculed if you ate with your mouth open (Were you raised in a barn?).

The ninja thing is a funny idea...I sometimes wish my kids acted more like Ninjas.

Douglas said...

Is it the Middle East where it is good manners to belch loudly after a meal?

Anonymous said...

Finally someone from the same planet as me!
I sit at the other end of the table, away from my family so I can't hear them chew so loudly. I am always telling them to stop making crunching, slurping sounds...but it never works! If I can do it, why can't they?
So I just leave the room and eat somewhere else when they purposely make those noises to annoy me. It is probably the biggest pet hate I have. The sound of eating or drinking in any way makes me cringe so much!

Comic Superzero said...

I absolutely hate loud eaters. I've never agreed more with you on a blog ever. I have a friend who has sinus problems (probably because he's allergic to goose feathers but insists on sleeping on a goose feather pillow), so when he eats, he does all of his breathing out of his mouth while he eats. SO not only is it the obnoxious chomping and slurping noises typically associated with chewing with your mouth open, but he also has an added "vacuuming" sound as well as he tries to breathe over the food.

Michael said...

Hail To The Thief: Eating too slowly is another thing. But I pick slow over noisy any day.

JoJO a.: Seeing the contents of the mouth is a horrible experience.

J.J.: Something as simple as swallowing pills? My goodness.

Madame DeFarge: People just have bad table manners, don't they? There's a whole load of these I could blog about... I'll have to go lie down, too...

Marcy: I often tell myself that my kids will follow my rules. (i.e., they will never do anything that I blog about here.)

Douglas: I remember something like that, not sure if it's the Middle East.

Liz Sedai: I'll never understand why parents never teach their children to stop being audible when they eat. It's great to know that there's a bunch of us here that all hate it too.

Phil: The breathing thing, I have a good friend that always has to clear his throat. I'm sure he has some problem, but at times, I find it so difficult to tolerate it.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loathe it! Uhh!!! My brother chews like a horse.

Michael said...

A horse you say? Wow.

Vilges Suola said...

Noisy eating is my longest standing pet hate. It inspires in me not just irritation but RAGE. I can't bear to spend a minute in a lift with someone who's squelching a wad of gum. Glad I am not alone.

Joe said...

The sound of chewing/breathing... forks and knifes clanging against the plates during a quiet dinner with family members. Again, sounds of chewing/breathing... chew, chew, chew, saliva breaking down the food in their mouths, squish, squash... breathe... swallow... grunt... UGHH!! What did I have for dinner? Was it good? I didn't even enjoy it... Time for a midnight snack. I am glad I am not the only one that cannot stand these sounds. I can't stand people with huge lips eating and smacking against each other either.

pmoorhouse said...

Oh man ... I'm totally with you on this. My girlfriend's daughter is the worst (I found this blog because I'm searching for advice on how to bring the subject up without breaking up the relationship). She's 7, and she chews as if she's intentionally trying to find out how much noise she can make. Every single chew is a top-volume smack or slurp. I was raised with good table manners, and I've raised my son the same way. It's to the point where I can barely stand to eat with my girlfriend's family. HELP?!?!

Michael said...

Vilges Suola: I feel you too. Gum chewing is the worst.

Joe: What an expulsion! Great, Joe, come back again, please!

pmoorhouse: Tell your girlfriend honestly? I always promote honesty, I can understand it can be hard, but just do it?

Sam said...

I just found this because I googled "WHY DO PEOPLE EAT SO LOUDLY?" I have the LOUDEST eating roommate ever. I have mentioned that I can't stand loud chewing and often find myself making excuses to leave the room when she eats. I am so glad to see so many who have this same pet peeve!
Along with the eating loudly, she also audibly exhales after every bite! And slaps her lips and bites her forks...she just started eating again. How is it possible to make so much noise!?

Michael said...

That is so cool how you found my blog that way, Sam. Your roommate is a 'she'? My goodness, that's not very ladylike.

I don't know what to tell you, Sam. Some people just lack the self-control, and allow their bad habits to guide them.

pmoorhouse said...

I actually did end up talking to my gf about it. It was a difficult conversation to have, but she responded to it really well. There are things that bug her as well, so she understands how it feels to have that kind of pet peeve. Anyway, she talked to her daughter about it, and continues to watch for it and remind her daughter to chew with her mouth closed. It has made eating as a family possible for me (which it really wasn't before). For anyone dealing with this, I'd suggest being honest and open about it. I've come to believe that people who do this just aren't even aware that it might bother people around them. And once you tell them that it does, they'll change what they're doing. Most, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad others feel the same way. I am REPULSED by chewing, lip-smacking, gulping (and the following 'ahhhh'). I have an almost physical reaction to such things and I do wish I could overcome it. Sometimes I manage to let it wash over, but often I just get tense and very angry and have to move away or put on headphones or something.

Anonymous said...

MY room mate is a very noisy and disgusting eater too , although I have good eating manners. So I started eating in an irritating way too. So she noticed and eats nicely while I am but resorts to her habirs while im sleeping .

Anonymous said...

MY room mate is a very noisy and disgusting eater too , although I have good eating manners. So I started eating in an irritating way too. So she noticed and eats nicely while I am but resorts to her habirs while im sleeping .

Anonymous said...

I grew up having to sit next to my father at the diner table, who ate with his mouth open. I think that's why I'm so sensitive to it now.
It sounds like Cows Walking Through the Mud. That describes it perfectly.
I think eating manners have been dropped from the upbringing for many kids & I think that sucks. My little sister smacks her lips terribly & of course, so does her daughter.

Alea said...

You have NO IDEA how loudly my grandpa eats. I think it's because he's loosing his hearing, because he he can't really hear how loud his smacking is.

But UGH! It's so annoying! Impossible to eat a banana noisily you say? Well my grandpa makes the impossible, possible -_-

And I know it's a little rude to say this but he coughs obnoxiously without covering his mouth and he stirs his coffee loudly....the list goes on and on

If only there was a mute button that came with some people....

joe said...

Its nice to know that I'm not alone on this. It all started for me when i was 11, i was eating dinner with my mother and it dawned on me how loud she was. over time i became more and more irritable that i would look for any excuse to leave the room & eventually we had a fight about it. unfortunately 20 years down the track this pet hate has become worse for me, people at work irritate me to the point of feeling like an enraged caged animal when they eat around me and at home i have almost become a solitary eater because i cant handle the sound of some of my friends and family eating. Sometimes i think if i was given the option of two tortures
A: having all my fingers broken or
B: sitting in the same room as somebody eating a steak or a carrot i would say " who needs fingers"

But i think what bothers me the most is that i shouldn't feel this way. Everybody eats!! and I probably make a little bit of noise when i eat despite the fact that i make every effort to eat and drink as quietly as possible.

if there is some wonder drug out there that suppresses the anxious feelings i get when I'm around people who are eating ppppppllllleese tell me what it is.

sorry for the long winded post but it feels kinda good to get this off my chest.

fawnie said...

Is loud eating/loud breathing while eating/scraping back teeth together while eating grounds for divorce?

I just cant be in the room when my partner eats! It nauseates me!

Anonymous said...

Good lord! I thought I was just being over sensitive!!!

I've recently moved in with my father, who's a recent widower. Listening to him eat causes me to lose my appetite. I honestly can't even figure out how he can slurp so loudly! And I'm not just talking soup. He slurps solid foods into his mouth... I've actually attempted to replicate the slurping (in solitude... No witnesses lol) and I cannot for the life of me figure out the physics behind slurping chicken off a fork. Wtf!? It isn't a straw, dad! You don't suck on it, you place it gently in your mouth (avoiding tooth contact), close your lips around it, then gently pull it out of your mouth. Chew. Swallow. Repeat. Is this difficult?

Don't even get me started on a bowl of cereal... The obsessive scraping of the spoon against the bowl is enough to cause me to leave the room. That is, of course, in addition to the aforementioned slurp. Ghaah!

And what better way to cap off dinner than with 5 minutes of toothpicking? Ahhhh yeah! That's paired up with even more suckling, slurping and a commentary about the treasures he's digging out of his teeth.

Is it too much to expect someone to leave the room to pick his teeth?

Even a glass of water makes me cringe. He doesn't drink water, he gulps it. Gulping is another sound that sends shudders down my spine.

Rant over. I think I'll invest in some ear plugs tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love.

Anonymous said...

My mom is a horrible doub whammy...

Whenever she eats, I hear sandwir the TV... it's constant squishing and chewing noises. It ticks me off.

What's worse: she is the slowest eater i have ever met. A normal sandwich takes her at least 15 minutes. A meal? She usually can't get it done in 30 minutes, meaning i have to sit in frustration as she takes 30-second to 1 minute bites--and I'm not even exaggerating.

Another problem... She snores. Loudly. I sometimes have trouble sleeping because of it and I sleep in the room above them... with my ceiling fan and the adjacent bathroom fan on at the same time. It's as loud, from my room, as maybe a vibrating phone on a seat.

We just ate a quick, simple dinner: Pork chops and a baked potato... took her 40 minutes.

Anonymous said...

My roommate breathes loudly all. the. time. And if she's eating or drinking I can hear every little sound from chewing to swallowing and even licking her fingers. She breathes even harder when she eats and sleeps. Ugh. I listen to music whenever I'm in the room - I can't handle it.

pmoorhouse said...

Well, almost four years after my last comment here, I'm back. My girlfriend became my wife, and then my ex-wife. And believe it or not, this issue (or at least our inability to communicate rationally about it) was part of it all.

Anyway, I wanted to leave something here for the commenters who - like myself - find sounds like this intolerable. Someone brought it to my attention a while back, and my world has made more sense since then.

Google the word: Misophonia. It translates literally as 'hatred of sound'. And it's a recognized disorder. Of course, it would help a lot more if there were a cure or treatment .. but it helps to at least know that it's not because you're crazy, or oversensitive.

Michael said...

I just wanted to leave a comment to say to you, pmoorhouse, that I'm still reading these. Things have changed a lot for me too in the last four years. Sorry to hear about the divorce/separation. That's all I wanted to say.

pmoorhouse said...

Thanks, Michael - it was for the best, but I appreciate it.

I hope the changes in your life have been mostly good ones.