By Halle Newman
Dear People Who Chew Really Loudly,
I can hear you chewing. You are not being secretive. Did you really think you could stealthily eat a baby carrot in the middle of a silent math class? Let me tell you this buddy: you thought wrong. It sounds like you are grinding cement between your teeth with every bite. And since you are chewing with your mouth wide open, the sound is amplified to the ENTIRE ROOM. Do you know how easy it would be to, um, I don’t know, chew quietly? You could also just not eat at all, but if you have the utter audacity to bring a seemingly bottomless bag of carrots to school then it is my assumption that you have no shame. I write today to urge you to chew quietly, or to be nice and leave the room when you eat.
I know what you’re thinking: “wow this girl is just way too sensitive and probably just hates food and I don’t care and I’m just going to eat anyway because no one cares”. Well guess what? I PROMISE you I am not the only one. I promise that the people who have to endure you tortilla-chip crunching during a quiz or your goldfish-smacking during a presentation are this close to punching a hole in the wall. The worst part is when you guys don’t chew with your mouth closed and little fragments fly everywhere. I actually did not come to school today to be pelted with saliva-coated Cheez-Its or spray from an apple. Please take your food, your loud chewing, and your horrible manners into the hallway and finish your food by yourself. Your classmates and teachers will thank you later.
There have been days when I have asked myself, “do I, too, chew loudly? Is this an innate human flaw I can see in others and not myself?” The answer is no. Of course, there are times when I am eating an almond or a Triscuit and I can tell it’s starting to get noisy, but I keep myself in check and either 1) stop eating it 2) chew it more quietly or 3) CHEW IT MORE QUIETLY.
Quiet chewing is all about self-control. If you were born a loud chewer, you can change; I promise. They key is self-awareness. If you are in the middle of a math test, it might not be the time to pull out the world’s crunchiest carrot. If you know you’re going to be starving at the particular time of day, bring something less loud, like applesauce or yogurt. A great time to chew loudly is a time of day that is called – wait for it- lunch. Lunch is a magical time when loud chewing is more acceptable, although you still absolutely cannot, under any circumstance, chew with your mouth OPEN. Lunch is the perfect time for almonds and chips and apples. Class is not.