Wednesday, April 22, 2009

close quarters

One thing I haven't mentioned on this blog is how easily annoyed I am by the sights and sounds of people eating.  It's actually been a consistent source of tension between G and I in our marriage.  He enjoys eating most when he can take a huge bite of something, while I enjoy savoring lots of little bites.  I used to tell him how much his eating style grossed me out, and we had some big fights about it.  Now I realize that my method could be just as annoying to someone as his, so I try to just shut up about it.  (But dude it makes my skin crawl!)

I'm blogging from a cafe at my school right now, where I've set up camp to have conferences with my students.  The problem is that seating is limited, so people keep sitting in a chair about two feet from me and wolfing down meals on their way to class.  First there was the girl with the frappucino, soft pretzel, and brownie.  (Mmm, nutritious!)  Her methodical ripping of the pretzel in such close proximity to me, combined with the sounds of her working through the doughy material in her mouth made me want to scream.  

Then she left, and another girl sat down.  It hit me--the unmistakeable smell of fast food.  She was holding a Wendy's bag.  She pulled out a big juicy burger and fucking mauled that thing. Sesame seeds and ketchup were flying everywhere--handfuls of fries alternated with enormous swallows of fire-grilled beef patties--slices of onion and tomato slipped down into her lap.  I could not take my eyes off her.  Then, in the midst of the carnage, she pulled out a cell phone.  I wept for the person on the other line, listening through the layers of cheese and bread and beef. She said, "I'm (snort) trying (chomp chomp) to eat real fast (gurgle, swallow).  Call me back later.  (snort swallow chomp gurgle)"  

She hung up.  She finished the burger.  I started to breathe again.

And then she reached back into that damn bag and pulled out another burger.

The worst part of this whole experience--and these are only two of the meals I watched/smelled/heard being eaten during my 5 hours in this seat--was how I was simultaneously disgusted and jealous.  I wanted the frappucino (and I hate frappucinos), the pretzel, the burger, the chips I could hear the guy eating from the next booth over.  How gross is that?  

Note to self: for sanity and self-preservation, schedule all future conferences in your office. 


  1. LOL! I work at a college and often eat with colleagues in the dining hall. I'm constantly amazed by how poorly and how much college students eat. Can't say I've ever sat close enough to hear their lips smacking against a cheeseburger though!

  2. That's kinda hilarious.

    There's this woman at work that I dread eating with - everyday I attempt to figure out what lunch she's on so I can take the opposite. It sounds mean, but she LICKS THE LID ON HER YOGURT CONTAINER and eats the most disgusting sandwiches I've ever seen (White Wonder bread, baloney, Kraft Singles and about two pounds of mayo) and she eats these sandwiches in FOUR bites, looking like she's detaching her jaw to do it. *Shudder*

    I wish I was kidding.

  3. I laughed when I read this - I am the same way. Sorry, watching and hearing other people eat is just so completely unappealing. I also work on a college campus and while our student body is healthier than most, I see some pretty sketchy meals being consumed! Also, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I'm an expat Philly-ite and you make me nostalgic :-)

  4. Thanks for the comments, everyone! It's good to know I'm not alone in my utter despisation (word?) of people who dare eat in front of me. And ubervixen, I'll try to keep up the Philly focus--this is such a great city that it won't be too hard!