Have you ever noticed that one thing, in particular, not only irritates and drives you crazy now, but has irritated you, for as long as you can remember?….. An irritation that just kind of grew with you, similar to your bones, or your fatty tissues?
Well, me too!
I have many things that irritate me, because let's face it, people are irritating, but one thing that drives me the craziest, is the sound of people eating. Its not just gulping or slurping. It's not just chewing with the mouth slightly ajar, and while inhaling and exhaling loudly throughout each bite of food. It's not just the sounds of lips smacking together, while trying to hold liquids and solids, in the mouth simultaneously, and while trying to spout out a full sentence. Its not even just the visualization of this partially digested food, that may go flying out of ones mouth, at any point during a conversation. IT IS ALL THE ABOVE!
It doesn't matter what combinations of these sounds are put together, it irritates me equally. It could be one sound, or all sounds…. My irritation is the same. I try hard not to mention it, because I know it isn't as bad as it seems. I just can't stop focusing on it, so it makes it sound like its 10 times louder!! Most times, I hold out until the end, but eventually can't take the last 10 to 12 bites, and scream “DO YOU HAVE TO EAT LIKE THAT IN MY EAR”?
When I was a kid, I also could not stand to hear people eating. Whether it was another kid, or an adult. My mother used to make me eat in another room, away from the rest of the family, because I would spend the entire meal time correcting people's eating habits, and asking them to “PLEASE STOP SMUTCHERING”!
SMUTCHERING….. That's the name I gave to the sound of lip smacking, while chewing. It's probably what drives me the most insane, if I had to pick just one.
“You know that YOU are destined to have children, that all smutcher, because it annoys you so badly, and because you irritate US so badly, with it”!……
That's similar to what my own mom said to me, when I was a kid…….
However, she failed to mention that in addition to my kids……that my partner, my friends, my family, and most people I come in contact with, were also destined to smutcher!….. Just because they know me??? That seems to be an unfortunate fate, and I'm sorry to have caused this:).
As an adult in my own home, the amount of food chewing related irritations, have honestly risen to an unforseen number! My dear loving partner Renee, will no longer attempt to eat a bowl of cereal, in my immediate area. It's either because she's being respectful of me and my feelings, or because I have finally broken her down, and shamed her into believing, that her cereal eating is an utter disgrace……. I choose to believe the first one:).
However, My kids haven't exactly reached their limit of my complaints, regarding their barnyard eating habits….. Or they simply don't care! Regardless, they are ALWAYS chewing in my ear! Not only that, but they REALLY want to sit next to me when they are eating cereal, or snacking on the banana, which I think, is HANDS DOWN, the WORST!
This morning, my daughter, chose to eat a large bowl of cereal, with more milk than necessary…..I was paying bills at the table….. She came in with the bowl, and stood there staring at me….. And I stared at her. Our eyes met…. She knew I didn't want her to sit there, but she's smarter than me, and I knew that…. So, she says to me as nice as can be (which rarely happens), “Mama, can I please eat my breakfast with you”?
Of course she can! What can I say? In hind sight, and in foresight, I need a document that says “You can only sit next to me IF….. BUT WHO HAS TIME? The thing is, they know it irritates me, but that's the point. Just like my mom said, its their job to pay me back right?
The whole time she sat there, all I could hear was her smutchering, and slurping, and chewing, and gobbling. When she started drinking the excess milk, one spoonful at a time, in the tiniest spoon in the world, I finally said through gritted teeth “Will you please just drink from the bowl”? Like it was no big deal, she said “Sure”, then proceeded to slurp and gulp the rest of her milk, like an animal, and finished it off with an “AHHHHH, you know how much I love milk mama”!….GRRRR!
Last week, while I was visiting my dad, I got the luxury of listening to him eat chips, while smutchering, inhaling, exhaling deeply, and telling me a delightful story. Memories came flooding back to me, and I couldn't hold my tongue, for even a moment. I said “DAD, please stop smutchering”. He laughed it off, and said “Oh, that's right”, as he continued telling the story, with the exact same behavior! Again, I said “DAD”!
That's when he really laughed, and said “Tia, have you ever stopped to notice if YOU have any annoying behaviors”. ….. This really made me stop to think, because I do try to better myself, with any chance I get….. and he HAD called me out! But, after several moments of considering….. I realized that I really don't have many, IF ANY, annoying qualities… I wonder if this is why it's so hard to deal with other people's annoying behaviors:).
If for only a moment, I could experience, what other people experience…. Would I?…. Could I?…. Be a different person?…. I guess we'll never know:)!