Yesterday, I logged in to my computer and was oddly inspired by Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time? hilarious meme on maintaining one's composure when faced with a "gross chewer".
And let me preface this post with the fact that yes, I realize there exists full-mouth talkers and it's totally reasonable to wince in their presence. But then there are normal eaters who are confronted with hyper-sensitive folks like me who experience a visceral reaction to the sound of a spoon clinking on teeth or hitting the side of a bowl...let alone chewing!
Now too long ago my girl Cari of The Tot Wrangler (what is this, blogger pimp time? Why not) and I were chatting about the sound of my husband's jaw clicking and she admitted she suffered from the same condition, known as Misophonia.
OK, not really. I mean, maybe? Technically we haven't been diagnosed, but holy Hell do we have issues listening to anyone putting utensils, beverages and/or food in their mouths. I did an online assessment and scored a 12,000 out of 10. Well, actually a 6, but close enough.
According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia (sorry, librarians) misophonia is: literally the 'hatred of sound'... in which negative experiences (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds. It can be described as an immediate and extremely negative emotional response accompanied by an automatic physiological flight response to identifiable auditory, visual, and olfactory stimuli. The disorder disrupts daily living and can have a significant impact on social interactions.
I remember once yelling from my college bedroom at my very sweet roommate for "clinking" her cereal bowl too loudly in the morning. "CLINK! CLINK!"
People who have misophonia are most commonly angered, and even enraged, by common ambient sounds, such as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, chewing crushed ice, eating, slurping, drinking, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; saying certain consonants; or repetitive sounds.
That sounds about right. But I'll tell you what, apparently insight isn't enough to stop my seemingly irrational behavior.
Have you ever eaten with a kid? I love this child. He has done nothing wrong in feeding himself per our request. For the love of Pete, he's eating cucumbers!! What is going on inside his doting mother's noggin as he noshes on veggies? SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL MAKE IT STOP!!!
When I hear Mr. Swirley's jaw incessantly clicking while he consumes ANY TYPE OF FOOD, I imagine writhing around on my knees, shaking my balled-up fists at the sky and crying, "Why?". Or how about when clerks snap their gum while they assist you? I want to ask, " A drink? How about a side of glass shards so I can stab myself in the ears, ma'm?" Actually, I think a creeped out reaction to the latter is legit.; listen to this and tell me you didn't immediately fly into a blind rage (I gagged).
Since becoming a mom, I have become a lot more relaxed about previously (warranted or otherwise) pet peeves - but seriously, this is pure assholery up in my head. I want to stop - really. However, if I cannot identify a solution, my Plan B consists of investing in an economy stash of earplugs and yelling like my grandpa when he conveniently "forgets" his hearing aide.
And sorry about that whole "clink" thing, Katie Marie. Really, sorry.
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