There is nothing that bothers me more than loud chewers. You know those people who clang their forks against their teeth. And slurp on the food as it goes down their throat. Those people with their gaping, open mouths as they inhale and chew food. And chew loud enough that you can hear from another room. Those people that make you wonder if they grew up in barn raised by wolves – wolves who probably have tamer eating habits than they do.
It enrages me. It actually makes me question never speaking to the person again. I can feel the heat building in my heart, causing my blood to boil. Sometimes I lash out, sometimes I leave the room, and all the time it makes me want to dry heave into the toilet. I’ve sometimes thought it’s irrational, but if a person can’t tamely ingest some food, what kind of person are they really?
I once saw this special and Kelly Ripa was talking about a disease associated with people who get irrationally upset by loud chewers, and I knew from that moment on I must have that disease. It’s called misophonia, and I am 100% convinced I have it.
Symptoms of misophonia include feeling anxious, angry and irritable when loud chewing occurs. I actually read a few articles about how to get over this rage, but in all honesty, the only way I think I’ll get over it is if people learn how to chew. Where were these people’s mothers, flicking their elbows when they had them on the table and taking their food away when they were eating with their mouths open? As much as I hated my mom when she would do that to me, at least I eat like a civilized person now because of it.
Really, though, one of the suggested methods of getting through misophonia is letting people know who chew really loud. Not only does that make me sound like a dick, but it has rarely ever helped. It just makes the rest of the meal awkward, and I’ve never seen any long term improvement. However, I have found several ways to combat the horrendous chewing of people you have the misfortune of being around during their feeding time:
1. Crank up the tunes
This one is rock solid. Is the TV on, maybe the radio? If so, crank that puppy up. Sure, it may dampen out any conversation, but it also blocks out the horrendous sucking and gurgling of food that's pounding on your ear drums.
But what if no TV or radio is already on? Yes, you’ve got to get crafty now. Use a line such as, “Oh my gosh, have you heard Adele’s new song!?” Then blast “Hello” as loud as your little phone can go. Consider holding it closer to your ear and belting along if you can’t drown out the chomps enough.
2. Get your own food
If someone is chewing excessively and you’ve got nothing to eat, it’s even more noticeable. But if you go get your own food, two things happen.
1. You are out of the room, preparing food for at least some of the time.
2. When you get back, you’ll also be chewing (not as grossly I’m sure) but you’ll hear that more than you’ll hear them.
When all else fails, go to the bathroom. Go get laundry. Pretend someone is calling you. Just get out of there before you kill the chewer.
4. Cut that person from your life.
I’ve done the whole telling people thing, and loud chewers are simply that: gross, loud chewers for life. Just like you’ve got misophonia, they’ve got the table manners of a T-Rex with too short of arms to feed themselves properly so they have to dip their faces down to the table and lick food off the plate.
I once went out with this guy who was perfectly nice, enjoyed craft beer and was equally sarcastic as me. But that guy chewed and talked his way right out of my life. I was so turned off by seeing everything that was in his mouth while he was eating that he was no longer attractive. I couldn’t imagine listening to that for any duration of my life.
Sorry, bad chewers, it’s not me; it’s you. And maybe a little bit me. But get some manners.