Shut Up

November 3, 2017
By CurtisP BRONZE, Southborough, Massachusetts
CurtisP BRONZE, Southborough, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“May I eat my breakfast, I was late to work today?” the man interviewing me asked. Next to him was a ripe banana, a Ziploc bag of Raisin Bran and his hot Starbucks coffee. “Yeah, no problem, we’ve all had those days,” I responded. He takes a bite of his banana and says, “Alright, let’s get started.”  Without swallowing the banana, he asks me the first question, but it flew past my face, for all I could focus on was his packed cheeks and repulsive slop in his mouth.  The smacking sound of the banana echoed off the walls of his mouth. Remnants of his banana rolling off his lips. I started to heat up, my hands started to become clammy with sweat. He then reached for his steamy Starbucks and slurped it up and swished it around. Then before asking another question, he slid his coffee across his desk and grabbed his Raisin Bran, excited to munch.  I anticipated the slurp and crunch but he threw me a curveball and included the scraping of his teeth on his metal silverware. It was nails on the chalkboard, causing me to shake and shiver back and forth. He plopped his Raisin Bran down, looked up at me and said, “Are you okay?  You haven’t answered any of my questions.”  I sat there in awe.  How could he say such a thing?  All I could pay attention to was the symphony of noises coming from his mouth.  This is my life, every meal, every snack, always leaving me in disgust.

Ever since I was young, I have never been able to stand the sounds of people chewing, slurping, smacking, or scraping, while eating. It has been a daily issue that I deal with almost every meal.  It is something that I have always believed to be unpleasant. Overall I developed this on my own, but was reinforced with etiquette classes that I used to attend when I was a child. It is an aspect of my life that has always been there. Bickering often breaks out between my peers and myself. People often see me as crazy or unreasonable, when it is just common manners that the average person should possess.  I understand that you are enjoying your meal; food is meant to be enjoyed. But when your “enjoyment” affects myself to the point of insanity, that’s when it is time to stop. I absolutely do not need to see what is going on in there. Although I have disciplined myself when it comes to others eating, it is often hard not to cringe in the moment along with control my irritations in certain situations.
There is a known “condition” called misophonia. It is when someone becomes bothered, irritated and or enraged to the sound of eating. I have been told many times that I have misophonia, but I respond the same way every time. I don’t have misophonia. I have manners. This often results in a chuckle, but it’s no joke. I believe that there should not be a phobia or condition pertaining to this matter. It has a name that sounds as if it is some sort of disease. I have found that it is common that most people do not appreciate the sound of others feasting.

The girl is creeping down the spiral staircase, the only light is the dim shine of her candle stick. Then all of the sudden, the murderer jumps out of a secret door on the side with an axe. As the murderer swings for the girl, my attention is drawn away from the screen in front of me. The man behind me is sucking down his soda, the sound that the cup makes, when there is no drink left. The movies is one of those places where it is common to witness someone snacking, whether it is the previews or the climax of the movie. Crunchy popcorn, smacking gummies, and the sucking of the straw when there is no liquid left can ruin the best parts of the movie. Eating is distracting. When I am dialed into an activity, it is often easy to draw my attention away. Noises causes distress, pulling me away, which gives me no option to intrude on someone's meal. This relates to all actions that require focus, like the workplace and school. It is quite obnoxious during independent work when someone is munching away. It draws me away from the task at hand and puts the spotlight on the culprit. The constant munch creates an incredibly distracting headache, preventing me from completing the task at hand.

Bruins lead the Red Wings, 2-1 when my program cuts to commercial. Starting with Ernie Boch with Toyota cars, then to L'Oréal shampoo, then Dell, and eventually to the worst. The suspense builds with the logo at the beginning, I know it’s coming. The iconic crunch. The camera narrows in on the actor's lips, the anticipation is too much. Crunch. My whole body trembles. The camera quickly then cuts series of crunches, myself cowering at every chomp. The Kit Kat commercial brings disgusting smacking to television. I can never get away for this issue. Kit Kat uses this sound as symbol for their product showing that people do not understand the complications food noises bring. This presents the fact that this issue is bigger than eating, it is everywhere. It is common witness it in the lunchroom, at dinner, but even on television. The sounds are everywhere which brings unneeded distress, and it is easy to prevent. Shut your mouth, understand that people do not need to witness a showcase of what you are currently consuming.

It is the common decency to eat with your mouth closed and should be a task that everyone takes part in at every meal. Even though I did in fact survive the interview, the Kit Kat commercial and the time at the movies, it should be understood that people should control their consumption habits, for it is distracting, distasteful and not essential to society. The constant sound of smacking and sucking should not be present at mealtime, for it is inconsiderate of others. This includes the big businesses using a crude act to market their product, for it is extra and unneeded in order to sell their product. This issue would be minimized if people were more considerate to each other and understood the distractions that comes noises while eating.

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